Over the last eight to nine months, I've been on a journey of self-improvement. There were a lot of facets to this journey. Most of them generated from the podcasts that I have been listening to.
However probably the one that I have enjoyed the most is the concept of ‘magic time’. I have consciously changed my schedule so that I now wake up generally between 4 - 430 a.m. every day. That may seem incredibly early to many people, and no doubt it is. However, I get the vast majority of my work done during the day between 430 and 930 in the morning. I wake up, I usually write for an hour, do my workout, meditate for 15 minutes, and then work another three or four hours before I go out and start meeting and working with other people.
As I have said many times I’m not much good at attribution. I don't remember who coined the phrase ‘magic time’, but it really is magic for me. The house is dark and quiet. There is a magic quality to watching the world slowly get illuminated as the sun comes up. Where I live there's less traffic noise at that time of the day, and when I can focus, I get an incredible amount of work done in that period of time. Probably more than most people get done during a regular day. I find peace in my routines. Waking up, writing, fixing and enjoying my first coffee of the day. Browsing the news (although I try not to do too much of that as it is stress inducing). But the feeling of accomplishment I get from getting things done so early is really great. And, conversely, when I start to fall out of those habits, I notice that it is a negative feedback loop. I tend to grow more distracted over time and my habits get worse. It does take some discipline to maintain. But it is well worth it.
I have tried several different techniques to improve my productivity. Such as Pomodoro techniques, to-do lists, magic time, etc. And of all of them, my ‘magic time’ in the morning is probably the most effective by far.
And, by the way, I am not trying to work a productive 16 hour day. I question whether people can really do that. I happen to know at least one person who does, but in general I think that is the exception that proves the rule. My aim is to try to be as productive as I can in a short period of time as possible. That accomplishes two things. Firstly, I have less stress because I know I have completed the work that I needed to do. Secondly, it means that during the rest of the day, I can relax.
What are your methods for being productive? I’d love to hear them.