When I shifted to a 3 day work week some years ago I was looking at key hacks to up level my productivity massively. The single biggest thing that impacted by productivity was this: productivity is more to do with energy management rather than time management.
I highly recommend the amazing research on the topic put together by Tony Schwartz in his super book: The Energy Project. While time is finite – we only have 168 hours a week no matter who you are. Energy on the other, had if managed right, can be flexed and increased.
There are 3 parts that you can systematically energise so that you have a super productive day:
- Physical Energy
- Emotional & Mental Energy
- Spirit Energy
In Physics, energy is the capacity to work. If you have more energy than you can get more done in the same time. So these are my 5 key energy management hacks that guarantee a Super Productive Day:
- Identify your highest energy time of day – Everyone is different. Some people work best at night, others are morning people. Identify which part of the day works best for you. For me it is definitely the morning. In the remaining part of the blog, I’d like to share how I set up a super productive day.
- Have a morning ritual – This sets me up both physically, mentally and emotionally for the rest of the day. I call this my hour of power.
For me this covers 3 parts:
(a) Meditation – I start with 20 minutes of meditation, shortly after getting up. There are 1400 plus studies on the positive effects of meditation on your overall well being, productivity, focus, happiness, success and resilience. It helps positively alter your blood chemistry so that you secrete happy chemicals like dopamine and serotonin.
Meditation also helps strengthen the membrane between left and right brain hemispheres so that you are able to better utilise both the logical and creative parts of your brain.I use the 6 Phase Meditation by Vishen Lakhianai available on the Omvana app. It is a guided meditation.
(b) Exercise for 20 minutes. I generally start with rebounding (jumping on a trampoline) while having up beat positive music and saying incantations. Incantations are repeating positive affirmations in a rhythm. It helps create a euphoric feeling and floods my body with happy chemicals such as endorphins and dopamine.Every other day I also do 5 minutes of Tabata which is a high impact resistance training. Developed by Dr. Isuzu Tabata at the University of Tokyo, his research shows that this short bursts of exercise increased both aerobic capacity and muscle building by 28%. If I do Tabata then I only do 15 minutes of rebounding followed by 5 minutes of Tabata.
(c) Have a healthy breakfast – Don’t skip breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day. I generally have a green vegetable smoothie, masala oats or a protein shake to energise me. This also keeps my blood sugar stable and not go through huge variations which can affect my focus and energy.
- Slay your dragons in the first 90 minutes – The first 90 minutes in the office I do not check email or plan my day. Instead I focus on only one major income producing activity every day. If I don’t accomplish anything else I would have completed that and it will have made that day productive.I theme my days in the week so that I have allocated different days of the week for different income producing activities.I spend 50% of my time on marketing. 25% of my time on administration and 25% of my time of production. That means about 3 days of the week I would spend focussed on marketing activities.I tend to have my meetings in the second half. I find that connecting with people energises me and I tend to schedule meetings or phone calls in the afternoon.Also the research shows that we have an internal ultradian rhythm which typically lasts 90 minutes, after that our mental focus tends to wane so it is best to do work in 90 minute sprints interspersed with 15 minute breaks.
- Have an evening planning ritual – Before I finish for the day, I review what I have accomplished in the day, what is pending and I plan the next day. I set out 3 most important things I would like to accomplish the next day and schedule the specific time in the day and location I will work on the said task. I tend to schedule the most important one first thing in the morning.I know it sounds counterintuitive to just focus on 3 major things, but consider if you managed to complete 60 important tasks in a month, would that be a super productive month?The research shows that drug addicts that followed an evening planning ritual were 95% likely to complete their to do list. Recent research by Linkedin showed that 89% of people never complete their to do list. I guess they didn’t know about the evening planning ritual!
- Have a gratitude ritual – The research shows that having a daily gratitude practice can increase your happiness set point by over 25%. Happy people have 31% higher sales and are 37% more productive!I end the day with a family dinner where we all share the 3 things we are most grateful for that happened during the day. It replenishes your Spirit Energy. This simple ritual helps us count our blessings and end the day in a wonderful way no matter what challenges occur.
Do these 5 things and you are guaranteed an energised and super productive day. Leave a comment below to let us know how you manage your energy?