The 6-3-1 Rule: The Ideal Way To Start Your Day (For Writers)

How you start your day is how you end your day. 

Meaning: 

If you wake up, plug your senses into your phone, and scatter your brain into dozens of open loops… 

Then the rest of the day will be scattered. 

And you’ll return back to bed in a daze, wondering where the time went because you didn’t produce much in the areas that count. 

We obviously don’t want that.

What we want is to build momentum and ensure that you’re making REAL progress on the projects that’ll move your business forward. 

Whether it’s:

– Writing funnels 
– Writing backend sequences
– Writing offers
– Writing newsletters
– Writing long-form sales pages
– Writing scripts
– Writing content
– Writing webinars
– Writing ads 
– Writing SOPs 
– Writing outreach 
– Writing books
– Writing letters

You want to carve out time to move your most important project forward word by word, line by line, day by day…

… until the project is done. 

This, after all, is usually how it goes (for writers):

You pick ONE project and chip away at it until it’s complete. 

As a result: 

It’s important that you sustain your focus throughout the days and nights and keep it locked on the most important project. 

Where most people fail is they lose focus. 

Meaning they work on the most important project today, but tomorrow get distracted by something else and start reacting to their day aka working on something else that seems urgent, but isn’t really important.

Before they know it…

The week is over and the most important project remains undone.

Again, not what we want. So this is what brings us back to the importance of starting your day in the right way.

More specifically: 

When you look at the routines and habits of the most prolific writers (from copywriters to authors to screenplay writers), you’ll quickly realize that they were very mindful about how they started their day. 

In other words: 

They more or less abided by a set of habits that would prime them for a successful day of writing and production. 

Question now becomes… 

What
exactly were those habits? 

The specifics ranged for each writer, but if you were to take a summary and pick out the 3 most common habits, you would arrive at what I call:

"The 6-3-1 Rule"

This rule is what I aim to follow whenever I’m in a heavy writing season. 

By doing so, I can easily get into flow and put a BIG dent in the most important project that is on my plate. 

Day in and day out.

For reference: This is the rule I more or less leveraged to write 1-2 long form sales pages (10,000+ words/each) every month for years on end. 

So with that noted…

What exactly is this rule? 

Here it is:

– Wake up at 6 AM
– Walk 3 miles
– Write 1,000 words (on your most important project) 

Simple, right? 

You bet!

But the one additional point to keep in mind (that makes this all work) is that you do all the above BEFORE you even touch your phone and/or expose your senses to ANY type of distracting stimuli – positive or negative doesn’t matter  (i.e. texts, emails, conversations, music, books, etc.)

By doing so: 

You wake up with a purpose, walk with a purpose, and write with a purpose (without getting distracted). 

This allows you to put in the reps daily and move projects forward (instead of letting the noise of the world derail you). 

But that’s not all… 

The quality of the work you get done also skyrockets. 

And that’s because the 6-3-1 rule is strategically designed to overcome a lot of the barriers that plague most writers (i.e. feeling like you’re behind, no time to write, getting distracted, writer’s block, lack of new ideas, no creativity, rushing, etc.)

Question is… 

HOW SWAY? (Ye voice). 

And the answer lies in each of these habits, so let’s cover those now… 

Habit #1) Wake up at 6AM

Most people struggle to write because writing requires space, but the world is full of clutter. So if you want to write, you want to tailor your routine to not align with the masses, but the early morning birds. 

In other words: 

Early mornings are sacred and time is relative. One hour before the world is awake is worth 3 hours in the afternoon. 

So align your schedule to take advantage of this.

I don’t know what will work best for you, but personally speaking… 

I perform the best when I feel *ahead* of the world. I perform the worst when I feel *behind* the world. I perform average when I feel *on pace* with the world. 

So one easy way I trigger the feeling of “being ahead” is by simply waking up while everyone else is asleep. 

Now 6 AM isn’t really that early to be fair, but it’s early enough to trigger the feeling of being ahead of the day. This is HUGE not just for your mental health, but for your project’s health too. 

In other words:

Most people are usually full of anxiety and stress while they’re trying to knock down a big project because they feel behind the world and like they don’t have enough time aka space to get it done. 

This is a horrible place to create from. 

By getting up earlier, you give yourself space to move with grace. No longer are you rushing through the day like a peasant, but flowing through the day like a King/Queen.

This alone improves the quality of your work tenfold.

Habit #2) Walk 3 miles

Most people struggle to write because writing requires signal, but their mind is full of noise. So if you want to write, you want to tailor your routine to not align with the mind, but the feet. 

In other words: 

Moving the feet gets the mind movin’ and groovin’ with new ideas, insights, and breakthroughs that you can channel inside your project. 

So align your schedule to take advantage of this. 

I don’t know what will work best for you, but personally speaking… 

Walking 2-3 miles with no input (i.e. music/audiobooks) does wonders for my creativity because it allows me to think about my number one project while I move my feet. 

By doing so: 

I usually get hit with new insights and ideas that have me rushing to get back to Deep Work HQ so I can start writing. 

This, in return, overcomes writer’s block entirely. 

No longer are you waking up, staring at a blank page, and wondering how you’re going to fill it up. 

Instead: 

Moving the feet gets the mind moving which gets the fingers on the keyboard moving. 

So that’s the power of habit #2. 

And chances are you already know this. 

After all:

Most people get their best ideas on walks. 

There’s a million and one reasons for why this may be happening. 

From being outdoors to the power of nature to distracting the conscious mind and allowing the subconscious to take over. And all those reasons are valid and true. 

But I also think it’s because walking allows your thinking to be grounded in reality (instead of disappearing into just the mental). Through this grounding (which happens when your feet make contact with the ground as you walk), you become anchored in reality and from here you open yourself up to the creativity gods. 

(Such is why even if you’re doing phone calls, you’ll usually perform better if you’re pacing around your home.)

SOOOO if you want to become more creative, simply walk more. 

But one caveat to this is… 

It’s crucial that you don’t expose your senses to any open loop or thought loop that your mind will get lost in prior to your walk. Instead: You want to keep your mind focused solely on the project. 

This is why I don’t look at my phone in the morning. 

If I look at my phone, then my mind will start thinking about the texts that I received, the emails I read, the tweets I consumed… 

… while I’m on my walk. 

And I won’t get any new insight or direction related to my project (which is the most important). 

If, on the other hand, I don’t consume anything and keep my mental garden free, then my mind will naturally think in accordance with my mission for the day which is the most important project and feed me ammo.

This works like clock work. 

Such is why the world’s greatest writers are usually walkers. 

So that’s habit #2.

Now onto the third and last habit. 

Habit #3) Write 1000 words (on your most important project)

Most people struggle to write because writing requires focus, but their to-do list is full of distractions. So if you want to write, you want to tailor your routine to not align with the wants of the world, but the needs of your most important project.

In other words: 

Writing 1,000 words (minimum) on your most important project ensures that you put in your daily reps and move it forward (even if you get nothing else done for the day).

So align your schedule to take advantage of this. 

I don’t know what will work best for you, but personally speaking… 

1000 words is BIG enough to put a dent in a project, but small enough that you can still do it even on your worst day (so you keep the streak alive). 

This is key for building momentum. 

So that’s habit #3. 

– 

After you finish all three habits… 

It’s usually around 8:30 am.  

At this time, you can now turn on your phone, take a shower, eat breakfast, and get moving with the rest of your day. 

What that looks like will differ based on your day. 

Maybe it’s a full deep work day, so you continue with your most important project. Maybe it’s a meeting day, so you run calls. Maybe it’s an open loop day, so you knock out all those little tasks that have piled up. 

Whatever. 

Regardless… 

You end the day like you started the day: 

With clarity and peace of mind. 

Such is the power of the 6-3-1 rule. 

So give it a go and see how it works for you? 

If you run this for 180 days, you can typically transform your mental, physical, and financial health completely! 

Thanks for reading. 

Your friend, 

/tej 

P.S. I’m a big fan of using my brain for creativity and nothing else. So if I can systematize x instead of leveraging brain power on a daily basis to do/not do x, then I will do it. 

With that stated:

One new system I’ve set up to ensure I stick to the ‘not checking phone’ part of the routine is I bought a Brick. 

Every night before bed, I turn it on… block everything (besides phone calls from list of favorites for emergencies)… and place the Brick somewhere far away from me. 

Now when I wake up… 

I couldn’t access my phone even if I wanted to. 

Instead:

The optimal action becomes the easiest action. 

Meaning: 

I get out of bed, into my shoes, and I’m out the door. 

Once I return, I walk (sometimes run with excitement) to my desk and start channeling all the ideas/insights from my walk into my most important project until I’ve clocked about 1000 high quality words. 

At this point, I’ll either keep going.

Or break and unbrick my phone to see if the world is still alive. 

Simple system. Infinite returns. 

Give it a go (if you’d like) and LMK how it goes.

That’s all for me today!

Cheers and have a great weekend :-) 

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