Categories: Writing Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 6 Comments

Can 20 minutes change your life?

A few weeks back I would have laughed and said no ways! Now, I know that it can.

Just to be clear – I’m not talking about car smashes or connecting with God for the first time. I’m talking about the humdrum of normal life. You know – the parts that never make it into novels… feeding the dogs and shaving your armpits, that kind of thing. Not convinced? Check out these scenario’s and then we’ll talk again.

Scenario # 1:

5:25 I get woken up with tea. I sit semi-comatose in the dark, sipping the warm liquid. It helps to wake me a shade beyond snoring.

5:40 a stagger zombie-like to the kitchen to slap together lunch for the small people, help them find a ridiculous number of lost things and help the smallest, grumpiest person in the house to get dressed and ready.

6:20 usher them all out the door with much hugging and love you’s and 0h-poop-I-forgot-my-sports bag/homework/to kiss the cat.

Note: at this point I am still pretty much asleep.

After that follows brekkies and all the stuff that ladies do to make themselves feel acceptable for human company.

7:30 I finally sit down to write a few words before heading out the door.


Scenario # 2:

5:00  My cellphone sings me an irritating ditty and I try not to smash it.

5:01 I stumble zombie-like down the passage to the shower. This actually transfers me into the state of compos mentis.

5:20 I find clothes and brush hair. My hubby brings me tea. Thanks to the above-mentioned shower, I’m actually awake enough to read my Bible while I sip my tea (with the lights on).

5:40 I make lunch and find lost stuff and get the short-grumpy person dressed and moving.

6:25 Wave them all off feeling awake enough to actually mean it when I yell out “Love you!” Put the washing and the dishwasher on to do their thing.

6:30 I sit down to write.

A whole HOUR earlier. Isn’t that amazing? 20 minutes of sacrificed sleep buys me an extra HOUR of writing time. Isn’t that just insane? The loopy part is, it actually works. I’m 1/3 of the way through my current novel after spending months whinging about not having the time to write.

Small shifts can make a huge difference. 20 minutes a day have changed my life.

How crazy is that?

Is there anything you can rearrange in your life today that will make such a dramatic difference?

I’d love to hear your story.

Pssssst! Just between you and me,  I fell over this article by Barbara O’Neal today called The 20 Minute Win which totally proves my theory.

Comments (6)

  1. Early to bed
    And Early to Rise
    And You Won’t Have Red
    In The White’s of Your Eyes-
    –Burma Shave

    1. Heehee JZ! I dunno so much. I still go to bed way too late. You could probably navigate around the globe and back using my eyeballs…

  2. That’s so fantastic that such a little shift in the way you begin your day has resulted in such a huge change. I’d love to find a way to make a routine like that, but everything is still chaos here.

    1. Cassie – here’s the thing. I spent many months (years, even) bewailing my lack of time to write, waiting for the day I had uninterrupted hours before I put pen to paper. Then I watched you… cranking out the words, slowly bit surely. The turning point for me was when you hit 30K on (Burn or Sun Touched – I can’t recall.) That made me realize that this dream of mine was not going to happen unless I made the time. I was not magically going to find a few extra hours a day. If I waited till then… I might as well give up and save myself the heartache of an unfulfilled dream. So, my point is – I can honestly say that it was you who set me on a journey of finding a way to make it happen. Thank you my dear friend. 🙂

      1. When I first read this it brought a tear to my eye, and it still makes me smile 🙂 THANK YOU. I got interrupted back then by one kid or another and didn’t have the time to comment, but kept trying to make it back. I’m so pleased for you, that you are pushing through and getting those words down. It really is the only way to go. I love knowing that I’ve helped inspire someone to get writing and make their dreams a reality. And in turn, knowing that you did it reminds me that I can do it too. So thanks 🙂

  3. […] I’ve pantsed and plotted and settled into a happy combination of both. I’ve changed my sleeping habits, tried NaNoWriMo, read a ton of blogs from writers I love and respect and so on and so […]

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