Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Power of Energy

I'm flying back from a business trip right now.  My intent was to read during the two hour trip, and instead I spent most it passed out in my seat. Thankfully I woke up long enough snap that photo of the clouds hovering over Oregon [and write this post].

And then I got to thinking about energy and productivity. So here come some thoughts while cruising in an airplane... Tired...

I don't know about you, but I have clear energy patterns, which I leverage to be productive.

1) I'm a morning person. I'm WAY too chipper at 6am. I'm positive and can take on anything. Therefore, I try to structure my day to get the important things done in the morning. I even go as far as waiting until the afternoon to workout and shower to not waste that morning energy, and give me an afternoon boost. The apartment project doesn't allow for that, but that'll end... Eventually...

2) I can handle minimal sleep for 2 nights in a row. And by minimal I mean less than 7. I have never pulled an all-nighter, and don't want to. I got close last night with only 2 hours of sleep thanks to a late working session combined with an early flight. The previous night was also minimal (5 hrs). I already know that I'll be fine today and can continue to push myself once I land. However, I also know that I absolutely MUST go to bed semi-early tonight, or tomorrow will be bad. Low Energy introduces lots of mistakes on my part.

3) I need to change my setting regularly. For some reason, after 2 weeks of working in the same place, I start to goof-off and get less done. A LOT less.  I find that if I change my setting, even just slightly, my productivity jumps back up. For example, I move from working at my desk to on the couch. I change my chair from a ball to a regular chair. I use a monitor, I don't. I work from home, and then in the office. I only have to do it for a day, and I reset. Again, it's a noticeable amount. That's weird, right?

I learned these patterns by testing and paying attention. In college, I experimented with waking up crazy early to study instead of staying up crazy late. I learned that I read twice as fast in the morning. So waking up 1 hour early was the equivalent of staying up 2 hours later. This was easy math and I started going to bed at 9pm and waking up between 4am and 5am when I had a lot of homework.

4) Being too busy is a function of over committing.  I still need to get better at saying no. I also need to get better at delegating tasks. The apartment project has been a huge learning experience. For example, even though I was away on business, the guys kept working & Jessi gave me regular text updates. How cool is that?! I need to do more of that. The book I'm not reading right now is called "Landlording on Autopilot". So my intentions are good. I just need to somehow be less busy so I can focus on being less busy... Going back to delegating: The trick, is to have the task be valuable enough that you can afford to split the reward with someone. You also need to be in a place of authority to make that decision. Being an employee doesn't allow for it. Running a slim-margin business doesn't either.

Well... It's time to store my device for landing. Thanks for reading! Do you have any weird things you've noticed that affects your productivity?

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