This month is all about productivity and how to accomplish more of what creates value in less time. Let’s start with a quick review of the first two of what I call the Gems of Productivity.


  1. In the morning before you do anything else- set your intentions for the day and write out your agenda first.
  2. Script out an ideal day and ideal week. What does a perfect workday look like for you from start to finish.


If you have applied either of these, you are well on you way to being more productive. Now onto Productivity Gem #3


Schedule Clean Uninterrupted Blocks of Time

The average human being is at peak productivity for 90-120 minutes each day. That’s about a 2-hour window where you are just at your best. This doesn’t mean that you only work for two hours, but there is a time in your day where everything is in alignment. Our blood sugars, energy, sleep levels, and everything else is just hitting on all cylinders. Part of learning to be extremely productive is a basic understanding of exactly what time in the day you are at your best. Once you know when it is, do everything you can to protect that time of the day as you do not get it back until 24 hours later.


The one thing we all need to accomplish our most valuable tasks is time. We are not designed to work in 5-to-10-minute bursts of energy which is how most of us spend out days. Studies tell us all the binging and buzzing of smart phones and instant messages are distracting us from the task at hand. All these distractions are causing us to take up to 500% more time to accomplish even the most basic tasks let alone the important ones.


To accomplish anything of value our brains need Clean, Uninterrupted Blocks of Time. Think about those situations when you are doing your best work. You are in what we refer to as “the zone” or as social scientists call it a state of flow. Everything we do is effortless, and we are truly at our best.


The thing is it takes time for us to enter this state of awesomeness, we don’t just turn in on whenever we choose to. Think of it like the stages of sleep. It takes a while for us to get into that stage of REM sleep where our mind and bodies are in full recovery mode. If we get woken up for some reason, we can’t just close our eyes and get back to that REM sleep, we have to go through the process yet again.


The same is true with concentration. When we are in that state where everything is coming to us effortlessly, and we get a buzz on our smartphone, a bing on our computer, or the “pop in” to our office, well that distraction disrupts our state of flow. Once we are distracted it takes our brains up to 20 minutes to re-engage at the same level of productivity. That doesn’t mean we can’t go back to work, just not at that highest level we had been a few minutes earlier.


The only way to get these clean uninterrupted blocks of time is to Schedule It. If you are like most people in the workplace these days, then if it doesn’t exist on your calendar it doesn’t exist in your world. Make an appointment with yourself on your calendar and do your best to honor that time.


That’s it!

Productivity Hack #3

Schedule Clean Uninterrupted Blocks of Time


Cheers to you and scheduling an appointment with yourself

One Quarter Turn at a Time