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A lot of the internal things that affect our productivity are out of our control. Our energy, focus, and motivation follow their own path or “productivity curve” throughout the day.
We’re naturally more energetic and motivated at specific times of the day. Researchers call this our Circadian Rhythm. Every person’s rhythm is slightly different, but the majority follow a similar pattern.
We work best in natural cycles of 90-120 minute sessions before needing a break. When we need a break, our bodies send us signals, such as becoming hungry, sleepy, fidgeting, or losing focus.
If you ignore these signs and think you can just work through them, your body uses your reserve stores of energy to keep up. It means releasing stress hormones to give an extra kick of energy.
There’s a simple curve to how email usage affects our productivity. No email = OK productivity. But as we start to use more email, we become more productive thanks to more access to information and collaboration. But this only works to a point.
Once you cross that threshold, more email usage drops productivity to a point where nothing gets done.
How to design the perfect day based on your productivity curves.
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There is no "one size fits all schedule" for maximum productivity.
Because we all have particular strengths and weaknesses when it comes to time management and productivity, what works...
It involves planning out your day in advance and dedicating specific hours to accomplish specific tasks.
It’s important to block out both proactive blocks (when you focus on important tasks) and reactive blocks (when you allow time for requests and interruptions).
Instead of writing a big to-do list and trying to get it all done, determine the 1-3 tasks that are absolutely essential and then focus on those tasks during the day.
You don’t do anything else until you’ve completed the three essential tasks.
A good general rule of thumb is blocking out one-to-two-hour chunks of time in your calendar for uninterrupted work.
You have to stay committed to getting into the rhythm. It’s critical to ig...
Timeboxing is allocating a pre-determined amount of time to finish a given activity. It encourages you to find more efficient ways to finish tasks.
Recognize when you need to take a break and continue later on when you can be more effective. Signs that you need to take a break are:
Regardless of how you’re feeling, you should take a quick break every 90 minutes or two hours.
It's the practice of planning out every moment of your day in advance and dedicating specific time “blocks” for certain tasks and responsibilities.
When you fill your c...
By scheduling every minute of your day you not only guard against distraction but also multiply your focus.
Also, focusing on one task at a time can make you up to 80% more productive than splitting your attention across multiple tasks.