I’m assuming you’re expecting some long elaboration on the title of this article… maybe I’m talking about work, production processes, maybe fitness? Nope.
This is something I realized, not sure how, not sure why, and I’m not really sure when I actually implement it. But sometimes, just sometimes, I realize that I’m just not moving as quickly as I could be. Emptying the dishwasher, for example. Going down the stairs to put the garbage out, or even just getting ready in the morning. Sometimes if you just take a second to realize the speed at which you’re doing stuff, you’ll realize that you could be going a hell of a lot quicker, and there’s simply no loss. It’s not even more difficult most of the time!
I get the feeling that a lot of people will read this and think “uhhh, yeah no sh** dude” but I find that it occurs to me at random times, and when I do speed up, things go impressively quickly. Then I imagine what life would be like if I just did all of my monotonous tasks quicker than usual, and I think about how much time I would save. Anyone who knows me knows I’m huge on efficiency and doing things the right / logical way, and this is just an example of my realization that we simply don’t move as quickly as we could.
Counter-argument, you say? I’m tired! I’m lazy! Yes, those are valid arguments. But the biggest thing that I’ve noticed, is that it actually doesn’t feel like it takes more energy to speed up just a little bit. Just enough to give you those extra five minutes in the morning, enough to let you take an extra minute at the coffee machine (do people have watercoolers anymore?), enough to get you to bed just before that time where you look at your clock and you say “Damn! Past ___ o’clock again! I really need to go to sleep earlier.”
So, my friends, my message is simple. Think about it a couple of times when you’re doing simple, generally monotonous things, and just speed up. Juuust a lil bit. Try it sometime… either I’m a bit OCD and a productivity-freak or maybe it actually makes sense.
I’m not a morning person. I was never a morning person, and I’ll never be a morning person. I had a hard time waking up to go to school by the time I was 13, waking up for high school. When I started high school, I had a long bus ride to sleep / to wake me up if people were loud, and I arrived mostly awake. As time went on, I found that the early classes started to give me less and less, and by university it was almost worth skipping them and reading the material later because I couldn’t keep my head up at an 8:30am lecture about thermodynamics. AND, this is with over 7 hours of sleep per night.
Some people just aren’t cut out for being productive at 8am. I found that I was learning well and retaining information when I would study around 11pm until 1-2am, and generally a happier person. When I worked as an engineer, I’d get to work around 8:45 or 9, and found that it was alright but my productivity certainly picked up after 10.
Now that I’ve started my company (with my two other co-founders), we get to work at 10am and leave around 6pm. Same sort of nine-to-five hours, just a little pushed back. You wouldn’t believe the increase in productivity; the second I come in I’m ready to go, working and focused. I feel refreshed when I wake up, I feel fine when I get to work, and life is just generally better. I think that people who work flexible hours or have a more lenient schedule would agree, but I’d love to know your thoughts on the matter. I’m pretty sure the average person isn’t super productive at 8am, especially not the average person in their twenties. I know that as a team, my colleagues and I work better with this more relaxed schedule, and I’m quite confident that they enjoy the extra sleep.
I should add, however, that I really love my current job. I was motivated at my previous one as well, but now that I’m working for myself I feel a much greater sense of responsibility and pride in my work, which I think probably contributes to my productivity as well. What do you think? Are you more productive later in the day? Do you think the norm is shifting to a later workday? Is that a good or a bad thing?