A lot of productivity hacks cite time management as the path to better personal productivity. I’ve watched many videos, articles, tweets about how to better my work efficiency from productivity gurus, only to realize that the over-consumption of this fluff is counter-productive to my efforts.
Nevertheless, I’ve tried many supported claims of time management hacks: tasking out every hour of my day, setting time limits, using website blockers, listening to productive music. But why was I still stuck on the first task of the day halfway through the day? Why did it still feel like time was running away from me? Why wasn’t time management working for me?
What I noticed was that my energy required to perform the deep work ran out quickly. Or when I sat down, I was already exhausted from previous things I needed to complete that I wasn’t primed for doing deep work.
Perhaps instead of managing time, we should be managing our energy. Energy runs out faster than time, especially when you have a ton of work to do. I was putting in too much energy building up a productivity system based on time instead of one based on optimal energy- to reserve mornings for deep work.
Everyday, mornings are my mental sprints. The mornings are when I am well-rested, refreshed, and ready to output. I get a chunk of my work done at the beginning of the day before anything else can get on my mind. Naturally, I built a productivity system around that time of my day to optimize my energy for that deep work. I get enough done in that morning sprint that I don’t need to output the rest of the day. I can rest and do other things to support my production.
That meant not checking my phone when I roll out of bed. That meant jumping out of bed and straight into work because my lucid dreams already have my brain buzzing with energy. I don’t eat. I avoid meditating… I wait until after my sprint to do it. I work until I start feeling distracted and I immediately stop.
I get up and put a clean halt on my deep work sprint. I do whatever I want the rest of the day with a clarity of mind.
Ride your energy vehicle- tap into that renewable energy.