Pens at the ready.
What if we told you getting up an hour earlier could totally transform your self-worth, mentality, productivity, and, well, life?
No, we’re not talking about another wishy-washy self-help book angling for you to change 101 things about your life, but Adrienne Herbert’s debut book, Power Hour. The premise is simple: reclaim a single hour of your day for you. Doesn’t matter when, doesn’t matter why. All that matters is that you take it back and use it on yourself.
You’ll likely already know Adrienne from her Instagram account, where she has over 65k followers and shares daily posts around productivity, routine, and focus. The author, mother, and TEDx speaker is a powerhouse of positivity, and her book shares invaluable insight into seizing life with both hands and making the most of it: that is, reaching your full potential by making tiny, manageable tweaks and building a life you truly love, while doing so.
When chatting to Adrienne about the book launch, her energy is, excuse the cliché, but infectious: she chats candidly about the power of having a positive mindset and making time for you. “You owe it to yourself to pursue a life you love,” she shares. “Whether that’s walking your dog or listening to Motown: start your day with the feeling you want to have for the rest of the day,” she adds.
She continues: “I’ve always wanted to lead by example. I’m not an Olympic athlete, I’m not a superstar celebrity, but when it comes to having big ambition, I’ve always had that. I grew up in a single-parent household, am a woman of colour, and don’t have a degree. You’re always going to have people telling you that you can’t. I want to show people that if they want to do something, whatever it is, there’s never going to be a better time than now.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Keep reading as Adrienne explains a bit more about the book, shares her inspiring story, and recommends six tips for starting your own power hour, too.
So, what’s Power Hour about?
In short, it’s a modern-day bible jam-packed full of helpful – and realistic – tips and tricks to help you boost your positive mindset, pursue your passions, and build a life you love. 2020 gave most of us cause to reflect and reassess how we live our lives, and this toolkit will help you implement the changes you may be dreaming of making.
Whether it’s smashing your first marathon, getting that job promotion or simply waking up each day feeling happy to be alive, Power Hour has tonnes of actionable advice and practical tools to help you get there.
Adrienne explains: “The concept of the book is about reclaiming an hour of your time every day. Reclaim literally means to take back something that was originally yours, that’s been lost or stolen. Time is actually yours, before you give it to your kids, your Whatsapp, your work, or your social life. Power Hour is about claiming it back.”
“Why? Because carving out one hour of focus and solitude is so important. I make sure I have that first hour of the day to focus on myself. Whether I spend it going for a run, practicing Pilates, or working on a project, that hour gives me focus and solitude with no one else expecting me to be available for them then. It’s non-negotiable: one hour every day with no distractions.”
A bit about Adrienne’s story
She hosts a weekly podcast with the same name as the book and delivers talks and workshops to some of the world’s largest organisations – think Google and Apple and you’re on the right track – but when did Adrienne start rising at 5am, and how does she have the motivation to stick to it?
Good question. “I started my power hour about four years ago,” she explains. “I’d had a really terrible year prior – we were struggling with fertility treatment and I’d suffered from a miscarriage. I was just so down and fed up and fed up of feeling how I felt. The change was born out of necessity. I wanted to make a change for myself,” she explains.
She also chats candidly about her husband suffering from a brain hemorrhage when she was heavily pregnant with her son. “Life is short and you can’t control it, so don’t wait. Do what you can, while you can,” she shares.
When did Adrienne start her own power hour?
That’s where the power hour was born. “My son then was almost five, and got up super early. If I wanted an hour to myself, I almost had to do it at 5am. I wanted to priotitise myself and put myself at the top of my to-do list,” she explains.
Not so sure you could hack an alarm that early? Adrienne wants you to note here: making time for yourself is not selfish.
“Women especially often think of prioritising themselves as being selfish, but you can’t give what you don’t have,” she emphasises. “I’m not suggesting people should change their whole lives – I don’t think that’s realistic or necessary. Just try start with one hour a day, or even one thing. Don’t underestimate the impact of how powerful small changes can be.”
POWER HOUR: how to focus on your goals and create a life you love, £14.99
How many times have you said, ‘I’d love too, but I don’t have time’? The Power Hour message is simple: we all have an hour to dedicate to building the life we want, whether we think we do or not. Stop waiting for the right time. Start with just one hour, today.
Adrienne’s 6 top tips for starting your own power hour
Keen to understand how you could actually implement a power hour into your daily life, and curious about the benefits? We asked Adrienne for her six top tips.
1. Prioritise sleep
More sleep does not necessarily mean better, Adrienne stresses – setting yourself up to get good quality sleep is just as important.
“Get into bed early – I aim for before 10pm – and don’t have any tech in the bedroom. Try reading a book and avoid the news,” she advises. “Sleep is a win and your mornings will feel so much more achievable if you rest well,” she adds.
2. Set yourself up for success
Want to spend more time reading, journaling, or running? Then make sure it’s ready to go before you get up. “If it’s all there and waiting for you, there’s no decision fatigue,” Adrienne explains.
“There’s no, oh, I haven’t charged my watch, so now I can’t go for my run. In the morning, you’re ready to go.” See? Simple.
3. Aim for micro-steps if a whole hour scares you
If you’re starting your power hour for the first time and feeling like an hour every morning is just too much, Adrienne advises starting with micro-steps.
“It doesn’t need to be a whole hour all in one go – start with 20 minutes and slowly build up when you feel like you have the time,” she shares.
4. Don’t beat yourself up
Committed to a power hour and hit snooze after a couple of days? You haven’t failed, Adrienne stresses. “Life has natural variation, ebbs, and flows. If you miss one day, try again the next day,” she recommends.
You could even try once a week, for example. “It doesn’t have to be perfect or 100% of the time – just persevere. If you don’t get it right every time, that’s okay.”
5. Claim back your time
Aiming for no social media and no news in that first hour can not only be productive, but great for your mental health, too.
“Try fasting social media – and the news – for that hour every morning. Make it distraction-free – we all know that as soon as you look at a few Instagram stories, you’ve lost a solid twenty minutes of your life. You can do anything: listen to some music, do a yoga flow, or drink your coffee in the garden. Just claim back that time as yours,” she shares.
6. Focus on your mindset
This one’s important.
“The words we say to ourselves and about ourselves are really important”, Adrienne adds. “Remember, you’re an adult and this is a choice. It’s not a punishment – it’s a choice. You choose to get up and give yourself the gift of that time. The mindset shift from punishment to choice is essential,” she concludes.
Power Hour is available to buy from all good bookstores now for £14.99.