“Jason Womack, president of a workplace performance training company, defines success as being okay with what you haven’t done today.” ~ Christine Louise Hohlbaum, The Power of Slow
I’m a morning person, always have been. Whether it’s from having grown up on a farm or a family trait, I am up before the sun—4:45 a.m. every day this summer—and wide awake when many people have yet to enter their last cycle of REM sleep. It is hands down my best, most alert, and most productive time of the day. Whatever work I do in those first two or three hours is what I do best and most efficiently.
So, how do I spend those precious hours? All too often, I read and answer email (and delete spam), check Facebook (where I read about and see photos of what other people are doing), and tweet my recent blog posts (and read a few of my favorite blogs to recommend and retweet and comment on). Oh, and I approve any new comments on my own blogs and reply to them.
Do I then close all those tabs and focus on my writing?
Perhaps because I had recently read the quotation above from The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World, by Christine Louise Hohlbaum (St. Martin’s Press, 2009), I was aware of what I wasn’t getting done: writing.
I also had in mind a blog post by Chris Brogan titled “How Not to Write a Book,” which includes ten procrastination and time-wasting activities we all can probably own up to, including tweeting and updating Facebook. Brogan’s point is that writing a book does not happen when we are thinking or talking or texting or tweeting about writing a book.
And, if that’s not enough, in the back of my mind was Peggy Orenstein’s column from last week’s New York Times Magazine, “I Tweet, Therefore I Am,” in which she suggests that Twitter, by “encouraging self-promotion over self-awareness” is making us all “perpetual performers,” making us overly self-consciousness about our daily life as we are continually thinking of how we want to market ourselves.
Whatever the reason, this morning I chose to stop.
I logged out of Facebook, signed out of Twitter and email, and opened my WIP folder. You see, I’m just lazy enough that having to sign in or log on again makes it more likely I won’t.
It was the most productive writing morning I’ve had in several days.
Tomorrow I plan to go straight to writing for an hour before logging or signing in. I’ll let you know how it goes, in 140 or fewer characters.