How can I have a productive day?
The search for the answer to this led me to a narrower question.
How can I have a more productive morning?
I noticed that day after day I worked late – because my mornings were unproductive. I would wake up late, check emails, and take a long time to get into the groove to work. In fact, most of the day passed before I started doing my most creative or important work in the evening.
I had to reclaim this time. How can I get into the supercharged working mode early in the day?
A mix of some of these seems to work for me:
A short but intense workout right after I wake up. I usually do squat or push ups. Total time spent – never more than 5 minutes. It gets all the good hormones pumping.
Protein shakes as soon as I can – within 30 minutes of waking up – as advised by Tim Ferriss.
A shower – if I am in the mood. Lifehacker suggests starting with hot water and finishing with cold water. Tried it – very refreshing. It makes the body alert and comfortable.
A promise to myself – to not touch work until these are done. This is a very important part. It is easier for me because I work for myself – those of you who have jobs or class in the morning may find it online slots difficult.
Some of the productivity killers
- Staying hungry in the morning
- Replying to emails or writing emails early in the day
- Having a fight/ argument/ negative feedback/ disappointment in the morning (it may be worth avoid interruptions and interactions in the morning)
- Reading newspaper/ blogs / interesting articles etc. early in the morning
When I was in college – things were quite different. I had to go to the class first thing in the morning. Attending classes was the most unproductive way to spend time sometimes – at least for me. (I found reading the study material myself to be faster, more efficient etc.) However, not attending classes in Indian law schools is not an option, unless you want to flunk the year (there are minimum attendance requirements to pass a course). hence, my day started pretty much after classes were over. I slept in class and worked late every night.
I don”t advocate this for everyone – the point here was to demonstrate that your circumstances often require you to adapt to stay productive. This morning formula that currently works for me may not work in your circumstances.