Another way I doubled my productivity
I’ve written before about improving productivity by optimizing tasks for maximum leverage. Once the high-leverage tasks are identified, I do one more thing: group tasks by creative energy level required.
High energy tasks require higher-level thinking, analysis, and creativity. Writing (code and words), working on distribution strategies, negotiating with potential partners, are examples of high energy tasks.
Low energy tasks don’t tax the brain and are generally less creative and more mundane, such as doing errands, cleaning out spam emails, reading industry news, and so on.
The high energy and low energy categories correspond roughly to the act of producing and the act of consuming, respectively.
I alternate high energy and low energy tasks depending on the time of day. Early morning, when I still have a lot of creativity and a clear head is for high energy tasks. Right after lunch,late in the evening, or the middle of my commute are good times for low energy tasks.
I’ve found that this method, optionally matched with splitting up tasks into Pomodoro units, lets me work almost nonstop for fairly long periods of time.
The real reason we check the news or read blogs to take a break from work is to turn off our brain and switch from producing to consuming. It seems that taking a break by doing an important, but still low-energy task, is just as effective.