Keys to Productivity
Being up and moving while others are asleep can be increase productivity. While the rest of the world is dreaming, you can use these hours to make your dreams come true. Of course, it is tempting to spend these peaceful moments surfing the internet or watching TV. But if you’ve sacrificed sleep, you might as well use it to your best advantage.
The real benefits of early morning/late night hours are:
Quiet: The phone isn’t ringing, no one is knocking at the door, and the leaf blower from the neighbor’s yard isn’t booming.
Peace: Typically, these are the only “interruption free” hours of day when no one is demanding anything from you or clamoring for your attention.
Calm: When the day is in full swing, everything is an “emergency,” drawing you away from the important to tackle the urgent.
When considering how to optimize your time, choose items from your “to do” list which can be best accomplished in this environment (or which you struggle to accomplish during the flurry of the day,) such as:
Reading: Not necessarily magazines or pleasure reading, but the contract you must review in detail, the schoolwork that requires focus to understand, or the paperwork you must read/complete/schedule.
Planning: There is no better time to prepare for the upcoming day/week than the stillness before it begins. Always review the next 24 hours in detail (mentally walk through the day) and familiarize yourself with the 3 day horizon.
Writing: Many writers find they are most productive in the wee hours when they can fully engage the mind. Writing and multitasking simply don’t play together well.
Exercise: Have you ever heard someone say “If I don’t exercise first thing in the morning, it never happens”? This may be a better choice for the early riser than the night owl, but checking exercise off the list before the demands of the day start mounting can be the best way to ensure it doesn’t get forgotten.
Creative Endeavors: Creative pursuits flourish when they are not bound by time. It is challenging to schedule creativity; ever struggle to come up with a creative idea exactly when you need it? In contrast, the pre-dawn/late night hours, when you can relax, exhale, put on music and reflect often get the creative juices flowing.
Prayer & Meditation: When the day is in full swing, it can be difficult to pause and nurture the spirit. Good intentions often get shoved aside to face the loud, clanging gong of life’s stresses. Taking even a small portion of the still, quiet window to reflect and center equips us to face whatever is waiting in the day ahead.
If being awake while the world sleeps (whether by choice or necessity!) is a part of your life rhythm, look at it is a blessing. These hours may turn out to be the best part of your day.
Submitted by Seana Turner, founder and President of The Seana Method.
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