GTD Insight #16: Peak Hours for Productivity

I read Brian Tracy's Eat That Frog a few years ago, I was like most
productivity thinkers: skeptical.  I wanted to build my daily schedule
so that it would be fun, engaging and full of creative moments.
Unfortunately, I live in the real world and that initial plan hasn't
come to fruition.

Tracy's genius is not so
much a rugged "get it done" mindset as much as a smart way to
counteract procrastination and human nature.  A friend of mine once
said, "Give to God your best time of the day," and I think there's
something to that.  When I get into the zone before 10a.m. my day
generally runs smooth. 

Stephen Smith
has a nice experiment going, measuring his own productivity.  One key
is again this element of using the morning hours wisely.  I've found
that it helps to use those first hours to get things done, but also to
eliminate unnecessary steps in the process.  When I arrive in the
morning at work, there are a few things that I could do but have
stopped doing as it slows me down early in the day.  These include:

  • Turning on extra building lights

  • Opening up public office doors

  • Checking paperwork that I could check later in the day

I'm mindful of St. Francis of Assisi who said in the 13th century,
"Start with what is necessary, then do what is possible.  Eventually
you'll find yourself doing the impossible."  How are you spending your
first five hours of the day?  By tackling one difficult task, you'll
have more energy to accomplish it and you won't have "productivity
guilt" later in the day.  Go for it!