Adrienne Herbert on why we all need a Power Hour this January

·5-min read
Photo credit: Courtesy
Photo credit: Courtesy

How do you spend the first hour of your day? Wailing at your alarm clock? Hitting snooze for the tenth time? Mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, or your inbox? What if you could reclaim that time and make it worthwhile? This is the revolutionary concept from Adrienne Herbert, a wellness professional and inspirational speaker, whose Power Hour ideology has spawned a hugely successful podcast and book.

The premise is simple: take an hour each day, normally the first, and set it aside for you. That could be training for a marathon or listening to a podcast, drawing, journalling, learning a language, doing yoga. Whatever it is, the intentional hour is a hugely beneficial mindset that can revolutionise, not only your mental wellbeing, but even the way you approach your career.

Here, Herbert explains exactly why a Power Hour may be the best new mindset for a brand new year...

It's not selfish, it's necessary

"The more demands we have on us – from work to family – the less time we have for something that is purely for us. I work really hard, and I also have my son to look after. What can easily happen during my day is that I very regularly put myself and my needs last.

By having my Power Hour, I am consciously putting myself first, even if it's just for that one hour. It's not self indulgent, it's necessary to say, I choose me, we do this first, and then get into the rest of it, because the rest of the day, our time and attention and energy is going to be taken. So if you don't reclaim some of it, you'll never have you'll never any for yourself, and that will wear you down."

Embrace solitude

"I'm not saying we need to all go off and do a Jedi mind meditation, but I think we've lost a lot of solitude in the modern world and that is really important for reflection and peace. With digital connection, being available is the norm – people are on demand 24/7 and so most of us never feel that we have solitude. Setting aside an hour for disconnection and quiet is vital. You don't have to meditate, you can just enjoy it, because it is so rare."

Free time is not availability

"I think it's more important than ever to set boundaries around the blurring between our work and our life and our home and people's expectation of our time. I think people's expectation that free time means availability, it doesn't mean the same thing. I talk in the book about whitespace in your diary. That means in that time, nothing can go in that space, keep it for yourself. Now, in this hybrid world, a lot of people might have lost their commute, where maybe they used to sit on the train and listen to podcast, or maybe they used to cycle for 20 minutes. And, if we've lost our commute, if we're in one space, and we're expected to work, and live, and work out and eat, and everything in one place, I think we need like a bookend to start and finish working day with that 'commute time'. So yes, more than ever give yourself an hour before you log on."

Photo credit: Courtesy
Photo credit: Courtesy

Make clear intentions

"To use your Power Hour effectively you need to plan it. When I was training for a marathon, that's what I used my Power Hour for. Otherwise I break it into 'seasons' where i will be using it to do yoga, or read books, or learn something. A good idea is, on a Sunday, to plan what each day's Power Hour will be. Maybe Monday is for learning a language, and Friday is your Pilates day. You have to wake up and know beforehand what you are doing, otherwise you will waste your hour. The worst thing would be to get decision fatigue when you're comfortable in bed first thing in the morning!"

Learn how to motivate yourself

"So everyone needs to kind of kind of take a bit of ownership and be reflective and say okay, what kind of person am I – what will actually motivate me to do this? What what are the barriers and blockers that have stopped you previously from doing it? Because often it's not the first time people have tried to make this habit. I'd say write down what the potential things are that could stop you from achieving this or from doing it and that makes them easier to work through.

It is also important to ease into this. Don't set yourself a goal like: I'm going to pick up ten new habits. I would set three, and then be ruthless and circle one. If you start with one habit and you say that I'm going to do this, repeat it, repeat it, repeat it, and you start to get that positive reinforcement, the success gives you the dopamine, you start to feel good. Then maybe you can add another habit and say, right, there's two things on my list and so on. And if you fall off, that doesn't mean it's the end, that doesn't mean you failed at that habit, it means you, you know you didn't do it once. What you do most of the time, is going to define the outcome of success, not what you do once."

It will benefit your career...

"I think, because people are time poor they don't feel energised, and they don't have the time to think outside of their everyday working tasks. We get our best ideas, as humans, when we are rested and letting ourselves think. That is why cultivating time specifically to say to yourself: 'what are my ideas?' is really important. When was the last time you sat down with a blank sheet of paper and said, What do I love about my career? What am I bringing to the table? What is the unique skill set that I have, which has been overlooked by my current employer?

So reclaim that time. Do the things in the morning that are going to set you up for success in your day job or in a future job. If you give yourself that time then you can go and deliver that, today, or for future you."

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