The wheels are spinning. That was my first thought as I opened my eyes around 4:30am today. A Sunday. The Sunday before Christmas. A time that I told myself would be about rest and relaxation – and yet, I find myself compelled to do something – to be productive – to get “ahead of the game”.
Getting “ahead of the game” is something I’ve been working toward for years now. And sure, while you can be more prepared for what’s ahead – while you can feel better about the direction you’re headed, you’ll never, ever truly be “ahead of the game”. So while this idea plagues me – keeps me up at night and waking early in the morning, I’m self-aware that no amount of productivity and hustle will ever pave a road without obstacle.
Instead of fighting the wheels from spinning – instead of closing my eyes and going back to bed for another hour of rest, I inevitably always find myself waking up. But it’s not the waking up that I have a problem with – it’s what I’m doing with those few early waking moments that concerns me.
As a business owner – I immediately result to a “what needs to get done” kind of attitude. My early mornings are often spent sending off emails. Catching up on projects. Writing proposals. You get the idea.
I’ve lost track of what I’d really love to spent the first part of my day doing: Reading, writing, running…simply allowing myself a little (head)space to think and find solace in creating. This is because to often I (and we) ask ourselves, “What’s the point?” – and allow the answer to stifle the wheels from spinning.
What’s the point if anyone reads this? It’s not going to make me a bestselling author. What’s the point if I run right now? I’m still going to complain about the shape I’m in tomorrow. What’s the point of reading? Is it really going to make me any smarter or more creative?
The point is – there isn’t always a clear point. The point is that there’s something about the act of simply doing – of writing, reading, creating, exercising, breathing, that inherently has an effect on everything else in your life. Your level of stress – your ability to problem-solve, your confidence…
This morning I woke up and as the wheels began to spin I found myself thinking about all the work I needed to get done over the holiday break. All the emails – all the planning – all the thank you notes to write. It took literally 30 seconds for my heart to speed up and my tension level to rise. Then I grabbed my computer and a copy of Simon Sinek’s Start With Why – a book I’ve skimmed the past several months but haven’t had the chance (ahem, made the chance) to dive into. I wrote this and when I’m done I’ll enjoy a little coffee and read 100 pages. I haven’t and I’m not going to open my email, check Twitter, Instagram, or any of my other typical morning routines.
Of course, my brain is already asking, “What about tomorrow? Can you keep this routine up? What’s the point? Are you SURE there’s not something better you can do with your time?!”
Tomorrow will no doubt be a struggle to make time for what matters – just like today – just like this very moment as I write these words. Today, though, I’m not going to focus on getting ahead – I’m not going to focus on what I COULD be doing.
Today I’ll take one small step toward the bolder leap of what I know I should be.