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Chunking down painful or scary tasks within your Golden Hours

Updated: Jan 31, 2021

Homeschooling is in full flow! Hats off to schools and teachers, they have massively upped their game since last time, especially for my older daughter. I wish it wasn't January though, because I have a personal objection to waking up early in January, it doesn't feel very natural to me. And so its harder to get the uninterrupted golden hours I'd like before the day kicks off.

However, without the morning school rush, and the kids having adopted a later bedtime, our house does feel a bit calmer in the morning. Its still possible to get a couple of hours in first thing, to 'get me out of the way' as one of my friends puts it! So a good coffee, a walk or run outside, a very short YouTube strength video (I've discovered Lily Sabri), and about an hour of work before I take over with my 4-year old.

The bargain is sort of like this: I get the mornings, and long ones on the weekend (which matters to me, as I get double the amount done in mornings), my husband gets most of the rest of the day apart from when I'm coaching or in meetings, plus I get another couple of hours here and there. Not quite what I was hoping for in January but it will do, and my 4-year-old is pretty good company. Also.. what better way to test the gold hour concept! It will demand lazer focus on priorities, but I've always preferred to work short intense hours.


The key thing is not to let my bigger projects slip during these compromised times. In fact in my recent discussion with Nir Eyal, we explored the idea that time management is pain management. I love this concept because, unfortunately, not all important work is fun.

During my longer golden stretch on the weekend, I set up a daily checklist to start tackling some of my more daunting or painful items - tax return, a research quality check (of 120 papers) etc. The idea is to do a minimal amount (5-20mins) on these daily. Of course, if I get stuck in then I can carry on for longer but often this is enough to give a project (especially one which is prone to procrastination) the momentum it needs. It takes about an hour to do all of them so below where I refer to '*metrics' I managed to complete this during golden time.

So here is my golden hour log for this week - not this wasn't my only work, but it contains hours that I consider to be golden.

Fri Jan 8th - 8.30am - run + home exercise; submitted article so feeling chuffed.

Sat Jan 9th - 9 till 12 noon - newsletter planning, setting up some other research, exercise

Sun Jan 10th - 9-1pm - as above + *metrics

Mon Jan 11th - 8-10am walk + coffee + setting up blog + *metrics

Tues Jan 12th - 8-9am walk and talk with a friend. busy coaching day. *metrics

Weds Jan 13th - super busy work days. Golden time: bath + planner time

Thur Jan 14th - as above * metrics


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