When I think about a super-intelligent person who’s good at productivity, I see a hyped-up American guy working from 8 am to 10 pm, crushing his TODO list. At 4 pm, he looks at his TODO list with satisfaction: he has finished work for the week. He decides to treat himself by finally turning on his phone and completing his Anki reviews (he’s learning Chinese).
It turns out that it was false!
Productive experts take breaks and work on the right task at the right time.
I’ve read somewhere that working on the right task at the right time can enhance productivity by 500%. Who would say no to doing 500% more stuff?
If you’re interested, follow along with this small guide to start planning your days according to your energy
Warning: I’m dumb + this is only from research I’ve done this morning.
|Name||What you feel like||What you should plan here||Beware!|
|Peak||Alert, high mood, you feel like crushing down work. Time feels super fast||Plan intensive, analytical work||If you put shallow tasks here, you might over-focus on trivial matters.|
|Through||Not concentrated; the legs feel heavy and the minds muddled. Time feels slow||Plan administrative work||Beware of trying tasks that are too hard for this energy level|
|Recovery||You get an energy lift after being a bit down. You get more enthusiastic but not hyper, like at the peak.||Concentrate on tasks that benefit from greater insight and broader perspective||Beware of using this time on stuff that you don’t like; e.g., if you are a programmer, it’s better to put work on a side-project here; or a part that you like|
Determine your Chronotype
The order and time these energy levels manifest depend on your chronotype.
A chronotype is the behavioral manifestation of the underlying circadian rhythm’s myriad of physical processes.
It’s the curve that says when you want to watch YouTube, reorganize your Obsidian vault, or renovate the kitchen.
There are different modelizations of chronotypes; the one I picked includes three:
|Name||Order of energy levels|
|Lark||Peak, Through, Recovery|
|Night Owl||Recovery, Through, Peak|
|Third Bird||Peak, Through, Recovery|
When do stages happen?
These three stages happen throughout the day for me, but I’m still trying to figure out when. Is the chronotype I’ve picked for myself even the right one?
Instead of endlessly ruminating, I’m recording what I feel on my calendar and using these to determine my energy levels. Today is the first day, so don’t ask me how it went just yet
Some ideas of events to note down
|Event||What it indicates|
|Waking up refreshed without an alarm clock||Normal beginning of your day|
|Time passes super fast, and you feel like working on something super deep||Peak|
|Your energy is dipping, and you want to get some lunch||End of Recovery/Peak|
|You feel like messing with your calendar and writing on the Beeminder forum||Recovery or Peak|