Successful people understand managing their time effectively is essential to their efficiency, competence, and success. One of the strategies they employ to increase their efficiency is adding a scary hour into their morning routine, getting their day started productively and efficiently.
As a blogger in the self-development niche, I’m an obsessive believer in productivity optimization. If I don’t hold myself accountable for how I manage my time, high-level goals could easily go by without making improvements.
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What is A Scary Hour?
A scary hour is a time set aside every day, typically in the morning, to tackle the most challenging or daunting tasks on your to-do list.
If you take on these challenging and demanding tasks first thing in the morning, you will be able to conquer your fears and achieve more throughout the day.
How and Why Does Scary Hour Work?
If we’re stressed out, we’re most likely to steer clear of the work that needs to be completed and any negative feelings we experience about work. That’s because we are biased towards the present at a basic neuroscientific level and prefer the instant reward of feeling good when the brain releases the neurochemical dopamine, so I’ve heard on several Podcasts.
In the same way, our brains are wired to perform tasks that we enjoy and avoid tasks that cause negative emotions. Techniques for productivity like Scary Hour or the Pomodoro Technique, where you do 25-minute work and then take 5-minute breaks, can aid in focusing your attention.
If you realize that you’re stressed, attempt to reduce it by consciously paying attention to the task at hand and not focusing on the feelings of anxiety, stress, or lack of motivation; it’s about recalibrating your attitude to stress and the behaviors you train.
Adding a Scary Hour to Your Morning Routine
A scary hour, also called “power hour” or “eat the frog,” is a time that is set aside every day to complete the most difficult or daunting tasks you have on your list. It could range from making a tough phone call or presenting an innovative plan to the Board of Directors. If you tackle these tasks early in the morning, you can overcome your anxiety and take on the rest of your day confidently.
Make time for the tasks you’ve been putting off.
Scary hour can be a productive technique to get rid of “scary” items off your to-do list that have been put off since they cause you stress. You just need to set the timer for 60 minutes and then tackle the tasks you need to finish at home or at work. You could use the time to respond to emails, plan meetings, make an appointment with your doctor, or even sort laundry; this task has to at least feel like the most daunting task for the day.
Plan the tasks you want to work on the day before.
When you get home from work or just before you get to bed, make a list of the things you’ve been putting off that you need and want to finish the next day; break the tasks into smaller tasks so that you can check each one off.
It’s fine to use your time of fear to begin projects that take more than an hour to finish. For instance, you could utilize it to outline or study a piece of writing.
When you write your list, think realistically about the things you can begin to work on or complete in the space of one hour; this helps keep you focused and keeps you from feeling overwhelmed.
Schedule 1 one hour early in the day to complete the task.
Schedule it into your calendar or planner to stop yourself from procrastinating about starting a scary hour; this will help you organize yourself and tasks and put yourself into a more productive attitude. Pick a time when you are feeling productive and enthusiastic, whether one hour before the beginning of your day, the initial hour at work, or even right before lunch.
- Try different times of the day to determine when the scary hour is the most suitable for you. Set it up for the same time each day.
- You can also start your day at a different time each day. This could be a better option for you if you like a schedule timetable’s flexibility.
- If you’re utilizing the scary hour at work, make it a point to schedule it when there aren’t any meetings scheduled.
- How you plan your scary hour is not as important as making sure you do it each day. Making sure you check off the scary hour consistently makes it a habit.
- Make yourself a success by gradually adding a scary hour into your daily routine, and you can increase it as you grow.
Start with easy tasks and work up to hard ones.
Obviously, this seems to contradict the scary hour, but don’t forget it’s not just about making a to-do list but, most importantly, about following through, so if you are setting your alarm for a scary hour, you can initially start with the easiest task from your daunting task. Completing a task that is stressful boosts your confidence and motivates you, which will allow you to tackle the tougher or more challenging tasks. Once you’ve got to your final assignment, you may not believe it’s so daunting.
Also, you can choose to do the task that is most difficult to clear it and reduce anxiety. There’s no one right method for dealing with a scary hour; you just need to find what is most effective for you.
Put away distractions while you work.
To keep your attention on your list of tasks, put away your mobile or turn it off. If you’re working, inform your colleagues that you’re unavailable for the next hour or mark yourself as busy on your social messaging system or calendar.
If you’re using your computer, shut down all unnecessary windows or programs to help you stay focused and avoid distractions.
Keep working after the hour is up, or stop.
The scary hour doesn’t have to end after just one hour. If you’re still feeling enthusiastic and eager to get your stress-inducing tasks off your plate, then set another timer and get going; if not, you’re free to shift gears and return to your day-to-day tasks or just relax.
Reward yourself for what you accomplished.
When you’ve finished your scary hour, you can treat yourself to an easy walk or snack or take a 10-minute time-out on social media. A few minutes to enjoy an accomplishment makes you feel more satisfied with your work and become more motivated to finish your work.
If you haven’t completed your list of things to do for the day and are overwhelmed, take a deep breath to ease your stress and relax.
Set aside an additional one hour later in the day or during the week to finish the tasks you haven’t completed, but this is not a loophole to the scary hour; it’s important to keep your word to yourself and follow through.
Do not feel guilty about not completing things that make you anxious; it’s human nature to avoid tasks that make you anxious and instead concentrate on the things that make you feel great. Allowing yourself an hour to complete the tasks that scare you concentrates your energy on the task in itself rather than how you’re feeling about it, which will help you to complete the task and stops you from procrastination.
It makes you more productive and efficient.
Concentrating your energy on a period of time, particularly in the event that you are aware of rewards at the end, helps you remain focused to complete your work. The increased motivation will help you to work more efficiently and get more tasks completed off the list of things to do in your scary hour.
Numerous popular methods for productivity include the Pomodoro method, which allows you to divide your day into smaller chunks to keep you concentrated and efficient.
A set time can help you stay productive.
Sometimes, getting started with a difficult task is only half the battle. If a project seems too daunting and you’re not sure how to start, you could postpone it. Even if you can’t complete the task you’re afraid of in one hour, the plus side is that having in mind a set time frame set aside to tackle it can jumpstart your progress and give you the motivation and direction to complete the task.
The scary hour should be time-blocked every day.
To get the most value out of your time, set aside the entire focus of your attention to only one task; no meetings, no emails, or admin work should conflict with it. I’ve observed that the majority of unproductiveness results from two causes: excessive communication (such as Slack, email meetings, and multitasking) as well as analysis paralysis (overthinking the issue). By putting both away, I’m in a position to remain focused on more important work.
A key rule I adhere to when it comes to scary hours is “never skip twice.” Emergencies or unexpected surprises could be a sure way to disrupt your plans for a specific time, yet it’s vital to keep the habit from being lost for more than a subsequent day.
Read More: The Daily Habits of Highly Successful People
Why is a Scary Hour Important?
For many who are considering tackling a task that is difficult or daunting, putting off the task can cause the project to remain on the list of things to do for weeks, days, or perhaps even a month.
If you set aside a specific time every day to complete these difficult tasks, you can overcome your anxieties and achieve more in the course of your day.
Adding a scary hour into your morning routine could be an enthralling and energizing way of beginning your day. It’s a great way to bring about a variety of emotions, ranging from adrenaline-driven excitement to a greater awareness that will help you break out of your typical “avoiding” routine. If you allow yourself a good dose of the scary hour, you will find that you can be more alert, focused, and able to face the issues of the day ahead.
Plus, it is true that the scary hour can serve as a good reminder that it is important to embrace the discomfort and confront fears to help you grow and develop your determination to achieve and build competence; this reminds me of a philosophical razor.
The more uncomfortable an activity is, the more likely it is to lead to expansion and growth; however, the more relaxed the activity, the more likely it is to cause stagnation.Discomfort Razor
If you shift from completing the same task every week to completing it daily, you will achieve 7 years of output in 1 year. If you apply 1% compound interest each time, you achieve 54 years of output in 1 year.Everyday Razor
However, it is essential to approach this topic with a sense of calm and moderation to ensure it remains a pleasant, manageable part of your daily routine instead of a stressful one.
In the end, the efficacy of incorporating a “scary hour” into your routine depends on your own preference and willingness to endure suspenseful events. It’s an exciting method of injecting some fun into your mornings, but it must be tempered by mindfulness and self-care to ensure it is beneficial to your overall well-being.