Bob Dylan had it right in 1964 “the times they are a changin'”. Actually they’ve changed it just depends if you’re keeping up with them. I remember reading years ago Tim Ferris 4 Hour Work Week and thought…seriously?! There is no way I could pull that off even if I worked for myself. My mind is too ADD with OCD. The concept was ideal for those that ‘could’ do it.
Fast forward to yesterday I read (and shared) an article from FastCompany with the title THE EXACT AMOUNT OF TIME YOU SHOULD WORK EVERY DAY. This isn’t someone’s opinion. This was scientific. Here is their breakdown:
- Schedule breaks into your daily calendar. Ideally every 52 minutes.
- Set a timer to remind you when to take your break and when to return to work.
- Make realistic to-do lists. “We often bog down our to-do lists and make them not feasible for us to accomplish [plus] we underestimate how long it’s going to take us to do something,” says Sexton.
- Prioritize tasks. Choose three major tasks to focus on for the day and add other tasks as they pop up throughout the day to a separate list, readjusting your priorities throughout the day if required. It’s a lot easier to look at a list of three tasks than 30. Once you knock off the first three items, choose your next three priorities from your lengthier list.
Let me just point out the the one that stood out to me: 52 minutes. This is rather specific. Those of us who look at code 52 minutes can turn into 3 hours. It happens.
One of the companies I am constantly amazed at is that of Automattic. This morning I saw an article from Amiee Groth where she writes about The makers of WordPress learned years ago that the ultimate office perk is not having an office. WordPress powering over 20% of the internet and the majority of the company doesn’t clock in at 8am? How is this possible? </sarcasm>
In the article Matt Mullenweg gives a great quote, ““We have this factory model, and we think someone’s working if they show up in the morning and they’re not drunk, they don’t sleep at their desks, they leave at the right time. But that has so little to do with what you create. And we all know people who create a lot without fitting into those norms.”
Just because you clock in doesn’t mean you’re productive.
I know I personally finding myself thinking of a project at midnight and end up knocking out a problem in 20 minutes that I’ve been working on all.freaking.day.
Bottom line: when do you find yourself most productive?