How often have you said “I wish I could have more time in the day?” Here’s how.

I used to wake up in the morning feeling tired and anxious. I always felt like I didn’t have enough time to do the things I wanted to do. The day “just got away from me” until I reached the end of the day feeling like I didn’t do enough. And I never got enough time to quilt!

Does this sound like you?

When I stopped to ask myself why I realized there were a couple of things going on:

1. I didn’t feel rested, because
a) I had gone to bed feeling as though I hadn’t accomplished enough in the day, or
b) I had stayed up too late at night trying to get everything done.

2. I woke up feeling as though I was already falling behind because
a) I didn’t have a plan for the day and
b) I had stolen just a few more minutes of sleep using the time I might have had for myself to make a plan for the day. (And it wasn’t even good sleep…)

This was a vicious cycle! I always felt tired and behind schedule.  And it hit me that I could solve it by giving up just ONE evening of my life. Here’s how:

It’s 9:00. Dinner is over, the dishes are done. What do you do now?  I bet you do what I did: go watch some TV, or go to your desk and do some more work, or perhaps go to the studio to do a bit of quilting.

This is the moment when you break the cycle. Instead of doing all that stuff, get ready for bed. Make a plan for the next day. Then go to bed by 9:30 and set the alarm clock for 4:30 or 5:00.

Next morning, get up and enjoy the first couple of hours in the day all to yourself. Go to your studio and quilt. Or go for that walk. Or practice the piano. Or meditate. Do the things you want to do for yourself and your creative life before anyone else makes demands on your time. Claim your time first.

Here’s where you gain those extra 2-1/2 hours: Somewhere years ago I heard that every hour you sleep before midnight is worth two hours you sleep after midnight, and I have found that to be true.  So going to bed at 9:30 effectively changes 2-1/2 hours of sleep before midnight to 5 hours. You just gained 2-1/2 hours!

Getting up at 4:30 or 5:00, you get another 4-1/2 to 5 hours of sleep after midnight. Altogether you’ve effectively gotten 9-1/2 or 10 hours of sleep in only 7 to 8 hours!

And here are 2 more hours: You might find yourself waking up in the middle of the night. Don’t let this worry you — it’s actually a natural and healthy sleep pattern called “split sleep.” Historical studies are showing that back before the days of electric lights, split sleep was considered perfectly normal. People would go to sleep not too long after dark, wake up in the middle of the night for a couple of hours, and then fall naturally back to sleep. During those two hours they would read, write, make love, quilt…... Modern day studies have shown that this interim can be a particularly creative time.

So, by going to bed early/getting up early and using split sleep you could gain up to 4-1/2 hours of quiet, uninterrupted creative time. That’s huge!


(What to do with the time you gain?
You could do your daily
Free-Motion Mastery in a Month block….)



Make your plan for the next day before you go to bed, even before you get tired. Plan what you will do with those extra hours. Even better than waiting until you get ready for bed, do it at the end of your work day or right after dinner. You will find that it’s much more fun to make your “To Do” list when it includes “Want to do’s” (like quilting) along with the “Have to do’s.” You’ll feel more motivated to do it all when you know that time for you is included in the day. You’ll feel calmer about all the other stuff when you get your soul-feeding stuff first thing in the morning. It’s like morning coffee for the soul.

Why did I say this takes only one night? Because you only have to “lose” one night to shift the time cycle. On that first night, when the voice in your head starts chiding you “You’re wasting the night! You haven’t done enough today!” tell it: “I can do it tonight while I’m tired or when I’m fresh tomorrow morning. It’s the same number of hours. So I’m doing it in the morning.”

Oh, and one more thing: this change is helping me lose weight! How?

  1. I’m not tired so I’m not reaching for sugary high-energy snacks during the day.
  2. I’m not tempted to snack while I watch TV, because I’m not watching TV.
  3. I go to bed before I get hungry again, so I’m no longer tempted with midnight munching.

Shifting into this rhythm has been life-changing for me. It has improved my health and well-being, increased my creativity and boosted my productivity. I hope it will for you too.  If nothing else, it will give you more time to quilt!

Happy quilting!  ~ RaNae

Want to share this?  Please do! Just credit me, RaNae Merrill, as the author and include my blog address  Thank you!