How I engineer my life for maximum productivity - Digital Tool Factory blog

How I engineer my life for maximum productivity

Keep Out Experiment In ProgressSo far 2010 has been the year of gradual improvements in life, health and productivity.  I made most of these changes based on what I learned in Brain Rules.  Here is a snapshot of my changes so far:

General Improvements:

  • No more smoking (though it did take two months to get my concentration back)
  • 8 hours of sleep per night (up from 6)
  • Minimal alcohol consumption (I never drank that much, but I now drink alcohol once a month or less.  I think I’m more sensitive to sugars than anything else)
  • Six hours or more of intense aerobic exercise a week cycling, and 11 of mild exercise (walking the new dog).    I think I’m close to the optimal level of physical activity for maximum brain function.

Workplace Improvements

  • I have  strong “Owl” Chronotype and I now work with that.  I wake up later and work later than previously.
  • I discovered my peak creative production hours (defined loosely as the hours where my brain maximizes my working memory) and schedule my hardest work in those hours.  The hours are between 2:00 and 5:00 PM, just fyi.  I do the less creative work in the non-peak hours (such as accounting, tech support, email, etc)
  • I use the Pomodoro Technique for everything these days.  I use this online timer.
  • The phone, email, Twitter, etc are turned off while I’m working, the door is closed and the dogs are outside.
  • I describe everything I’m trying to do (via the Pomodoro Technique) in writing before I actually do the work.

So far the results impress me.  I work slightly less, but I produce more per hour and I feel less stress or anxiety than I did before I started.

What should I try next?  I still consume legendary amounts of caffeine, and my desk and office are far too messy, but what else besides that?

Creative Commons License photo credit: jurvetson


This post originally appeared on the Stronico blog – with the absorption of Stronico into Digital Tool Factory this post has been moved to the Digital Tool Factory blog


Written By Steve French


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