As a multipotentialite, my huge would-like-to-learn list is pretty overwhelming. Add to that my would-like-to-brush-up-on list and it’s no wonder I always feel guilty for neglecting my interests and not making progress with my projects.
It’s hard to find a balance between work and play. And while drawing up a schedule to try and strike a healthy balance is a great tactic, when either the “work” or the “play” part of your life contains more than just a few activities, it can seem like there’s never going to be enough time in the week for everything.
I recently started a new routine that’s enabling me to spend time on four to six of my projects that I can never justify prioritizing, not only every week but every day. What’s more, I get to work on them all before lunchtime and I still have plenty of time for everything else I need to do too.
The inspiration for the multipotentialite morning
Over Christmas, I read a book called The Miracle Morning. In a nutshell, the author, Hal Elrod, says that getting up early and doing a sequence of activities called the Life S.A.V.E.R.S, can help you become more productive, more successful, and happier. As a curious multipotentialite, I of course decided to try it out.
The idea is that you wake up earlier than normal and spend five to ten minutes on each of the following activities:
- Scribing (writing)
Since I’ve been meaning to brush up on my languages and start checking the news each day for years now, I decided to throw those activities in there too. I also changed the order of the elements to suit me, so instead of the neat Life S.A.V.E.R.S, I ended up with a rather messy S.A.V.U.R.L.W.E.:
Adapting The Miracle Morning
Straight off the bat, the getting up early part was a problem for me. Despite my excitement and promise to myself that I’d jump out of bed on time, I just didn’t make it.
I’m constantly torn between thinking I should do what I’m told I’m supposed to do and what feels most natural for me. In this case, as a night owl, I decided to drop the early rising element, and just keep the microblocking approach.
The big surprise though, was just how much fun I had doing my first Miracle Morning. After years of feeling bad for not keeping up with the languages I studied at university, I remembered how much I love learning new words. Giving myself permission to read was bliss. Finishing a blog post before my day had even begun felt amazing.
But some of the other parts weren’t so much fun. As much as I try to get into things like meditation, I’m just not very into it. So I let myself take out the activities I wasn’t interested in (and exercise, since I do that almost every day anyway). Here’s what I ended up with:
- Updates (10 minutes)
- Languages (10 minutes)
- Reading (10 minutes)
- Writing (30 minutes)
I could rave on and on about how amazing this morning approach is, but instead I’ll summarize the main benefits:
- Waking up is easier because you’re excited to get on with your projects.
- You can work on all your projects in less than an hour a day.
- By doing them first thing, you guarantee you get round to spending time on the projects you enjoy.
- You make a little bit of progress every day, which all adds up.
- You get to spend time on as many interests as you want.
- It’s easy to add in new habits or drop old ones, as and when you want to.
- It’s a habit, so once you’re used to it, it’s easy to stick with.
- Achieving so much before your day even starts puts you in a great mood.
- It’s fun!
If you struggle to find time to spend time on everything that interests you, I really recommend coming up with your own multipotentialite morning.
How to design your own multipotentialite morning
Step 1: Decide what you want to spend time on
Now’s the time to grab your bucket list, would-like-to-learn list, and any other kind of list of your interests and projects. Decide which of these you’d like to work on every day.
I’d suggest starting with several interests, but don’t worry if you’re not sure how to narrow down your list. Just start with everything, doing just 1-5 minutes on each activity if that’s all you have time for. As you get used to spending your mornings this way, notice which activities you enjoy the most and tweak your routine until you’re happy with it.
It’s worth noting that some activities are better suited to this approach than others. You’ll probably have more success with practice- and learning-based activities rather than creative ones, simply because the former lend themselves to chunking. If you’re in the middle of creating something, and experiencing flow, having to stop what you’re doing can be really frustrating.
Step 2: Decide how long to spend on each activity
You might want to spend longer on some activities than on others or you might want to divide up your time equally. Another approach is to set a minimum amount of time for each activity and then to spend longer on whichever project feels most exciting each day.
Of course, the amount of time you have available will have a big impact on your time allocations. To make more time, you could get up earlier, but if you’re not a morning person, try starting with just a few minutes on each activity.
And if you’re really short on time, either altogether or on a particular morning, spend just one minute on each project. It sounds silly, but this way you’ll definitely have time to dip into all of your projects every day. Learning one new word of a language, reading one page of a book, or writing one paragraph of a story is still progress.
Step 3: Put the activities in an order you like
You might want to save your favorite projects for last or get others out of the way first, so arrange your activities into an order that suits you. Allow yourself to experiment with the order over time.
Step 4: Try it out
Once you’ve planned out your multipontentialite morning, get everything you’ll need ready for the morning.
I put my laptop, Kindle, phone, a notebook, and a pen beside my bed, and work on everything from there, but you could put everything you’ll need on your desk if you have one, or in your bag if you’re going to head to a café or outside.
Step 5: Tweak it
As you do it, you’ll find yourself enjoying some parts of your morning more than others. If you find yourself wishing you’d allocated more time to painting than to practicing your scales, change the plan. Add in new hobbies as they come along and get rid of any that get boring.
Oh, the things you could learn…
The multipotentialite morning is a great way to incorporate all of your interests and projects into your busy life.
Just think how much you could learn if you spent just ten minutes a day reading. Or how much quicker you’d progress with the new musical instrument you’ve picked up. Or even how many interests you could cycle through in a year. The possibilities are endless!
What are you going to put into your multipotentialite morning? How else do you find the time to work on all your projects?