Usually, the productivity gurus recommend that those who want to succeed spend the morning like this:
- Get up at 6:00.
- Take a cold shower.
- Work out in sports.
- To meditate.
- Make diary entries and brainstorm.
- Rate your progress on goals and set new ones.
- Read news and sites on their work.
- View inspirational content.
- Eat a protein-rich breakfast.
A pretty to-do list until eight in the morning!
I’m not sure exactly when the craze for morning rituals began, but suddenly such meter-long task lists appeared everywhere. Rituals, of course, can be beneficial, but unreasonably much attention is paid to the morning.
We are all productive at different times of the day. It doesn’t matter if you are an early bird or an owl, go for a run at six in the morning or at six in the evening – you can increase your efficiency.
To do this, you need to determine what time you work and feel the best. Brian Tracy, the author of self-development books, calls this the most fruitful time.
Your internal peak time is that portion of the day when you are most productive according to your biological clock.
It took me 12 years to turn my JotForm platform from a small idea into a company with a hundred employees and 3.5 million users. I worked, following my natural rhythms (which I discovered through trial and error), and this formed the basis for growth.
When I do the most important work in my most fruitful time, I do not lose motivation and do not feel overwhelmed. And most importantly – I still love my job. Every day I go to the office with pleasure and want you to feel the same.
Determine your most productive time.
Scientists have long been researching the body’s biological clock. You’ve probably heard about circadian rhythms that affect sleep and wake cycles, body temperature, and hormone levels. But during the working day, we are faced with ultradian rhythms. Their cycles last from 90 to 120 minutes and explain why you start the task peppy and interested, and after two hours, go to Instagram and look for something to chew on.
The ups and downs of energy are inevitable. Therefore, it is important to identify your own rhythms and work in accordance with them, and not against them.
A simple three-week experiment is recommended for this. Evaluate your level of energy, concentration and motivation at the end of each hour on a ten-point scale. It seems tedious, but you will quickly notice repetitions. Exclude those days when you did not get enough sleep or were sick, and your daily productivity cycles will remain.
Involve the body and brain
It’s not a fact that the morning ritual that helps some productivity guru will save you either. Take me, for example. In the mornings, I eat a light breakfast and go to workout. It doesn’t matter if I have motivation or not, I come and do what my personal instructor says. About 20 minutes after the start of classes, I experience a surge of energy. My heart beats often, and I try my best not to drop the weight on my leg.
When this hour of useful torment ends, I take a shower and go to the office. I take coffee and start working. Honestly, this is one of my all-time favorite moments. I feel fresh and awake. I am happy to be in the office, and my productivity reaches its maximum.
I open a new document and begin to write down thoughts about the problem that I want to solve on this day, or just about what is spinning in my head. Such recordings often begin as a stream of consciousness. But after about five minutes I begin to come up with new ideas. In this chaos, I find clarity.
I write until my thoughts end, and then I convert these notes into a usable format.
For example, draft letters, meeting plan, discussion points, presentation for the team. So I work for about two hours, and this is the most productive part of my day.
Make a suitable schedule
There are two types of work day organization: a manager’s schedule and a creator’s schedule. “The manager’s schedule is for executives,” says entrepreneur and investor Paul Graham. – It is embodied in a traditional business diary, where every day is divided into hourly intervals. If necessary, you can allocate several hours to one task, but by default you change activities every hour. ”
Writers, developers, designers and other representatives of creative specialties need a creator’s schedule. He divides the day into two parts. It is difficult to write or think when you need to keep within the hourly interval. Especially if you have scheduled appointments before and after.
Excessive workload leads to the fact that the day is divided into unusable pieces, and this kills productivity.
“I know, it might seem like too much, but if you are a creator, remember your own experience,” Graham continues. “Doesn’t your soul sing at the thought that you can work calmly all day and not be distracted by meetings?”
I thought a lot about it. Entrepreneurs are usually both creators and managers. They need to meet and collaborate with subordinates, contractors and suppliers, and also think strategically. If the company works with technologies or content, you also need to do the work yourself. It all comes down to the word build. If you are building a business or team, then you are working as a creator.
Therefore, I divide my day into two parts. In the morning I work as a creator, and from lunch I have meetings and meetings and work as a manager.
Do not forget to relax
I am a hot advocate of relaxation. I do not work on weekends and believe in regular holidays. Once a year I go to collect olives with my family. It is amazing how time outside the office fills my body and soul with energy.
On Sundays, I spend time with my wife and children. We go to the playground, have lunch or have fun. And when the children go to bed, and I rest on the couch, new ideas inevitably come to my mind.
Rest promotes creative thinking, so brilliant thoughts come so often after fussing on the playground or when we soap the washcloth.
In 2016, psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman spent poll and found that 72% of people visit creative ideas in the bathroom. I am among them too.
When we let go of thoughts of wandering, nonlinear thinking often turns on. “Find time and place to be alone,” Kaufman advises. – For example, go out for a walk daily to reconfigure your brain and distract from the work that you have been doing for the last couple of hours. Or go to a room where you can dwell in the clouds and drown out the internal noise. ”
Although our company does not yet have such a room, we believe in the importance of paid vacations and remind employees to use them. We also encourage everyone to work at the most fruitful time. And a flexible schedule allows you to come at a convenient time.
Protect your most productive time
These few hours are priceless. Set clear boundaries and protect them with all your might. Use this time to solve the most complex, most creative and intense tasks. Do not plan meetings and do not distract yourself.
Habits will also help protect the most fruitful time from encroachments. For example, I am parsing mail in the evening. My team knows that I will not reply to their messages immediately, but I will answer within one business day. Clear expectations help me better control my time.
Determine which half of the day your most productive hours are. Track your natural rhythms and make a plan that works for you. After all, the most fruitful time is your secret weapon. Use it wisely, and your productivity will increase significantly.