What Happened When I Tried This 1 Hour A Day Challenge



When I have one hour I usually carry on working (through my lunch), check my emails (on the bus) or research (in the bath). Because who wants to waste one hour? That’s what we’ve been told, right? They key to productivity is using those hours wisely.

I read an inspiring article recently that tracked the time that Benjamin Franklin set aside a day for learning. One hour a day, five days a week he’d set one hour aside and do some cool shiz.

He started the day with a question: “What good shall I do this day?” and ended the day with the same question “What good have I done today?” and encouraged himself to constantly learn. In that one hour a day he managed to set personal goals, read and write and set up a club for like-minded people. I didn’t get that much done, but I decided to set aside one hour a day for five days a week and see what I could achieve.

Not as easy as it seems
At first, setting aside an hour a day made me shrug. I can’t count the hours I spend sitting in front of Netflix, using it productively will be a breeze (or so I thought). In order to be productive in an hour, I set myself a goal and where necessary, banished my phone. It’s hard to set aside an hour when you have so much to do, and even when I woke up early I just had more time to do my hair – not a productive use of my time.

What good will you do? 
In the morning, I can’t say I was asking myself what good I would do, but I did have a few goals that I knew I could achieve in an hour. I have a side-project to write 2,500 words a day – which I completed mostly on the bus with my notepad on my phone. I had a goal to walk 10,000 steps a day, I managed around 7,000 a day which is a good start for someone in the city of fast transport and I managed to read While My Eyes Were Closed by Linda Green in a week during my 20-minute bus.

What difference an hour makes
I kind of want to set aside more hours. 5 Hours a week doesn’t seem like enough to work on things, but when I reflect on everything I’ve done this week in just 5 hours I realize just how amazing it is to put one hour aside and try to accomplish something and reflect on it later. Next, I’m setting my sights on a couple of courses.

What do you want to achieve with just one hour a day?

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Managing Editor

Beth is the Managing Editor of CGD. She is a graduate of the Penguin Writer's Academy, has published a short story and loves to read creative writing manuals in her spare time.

  • Kiersten

    I really like this idea! I think I am going to try too. I’m finally digging myself out of hitting rock bottom so I am going to see if setting aside one hour day will help me further. :)

    Kiersten @ Autumn Country Girl

  • Yvonne Ashon

    Very cool idea. I like this.

  • Fashion Philosophy

    Such an inspiring post I’d love to try this! It’s amazing how we don’t realise the amout of time we spend doing nothing which could be so so mcuh more valuable and productive… x

  • Camille Beygui

    This is such a great and inspiring post

  • Brendan Burns

    Ben Franklin knew what was up!

  • Sharon Nicole Hughes

    Now that I have a little time on my hands I believe I am going to try this and see what new habit I can set over the summer. Thanks Beth!

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