I recently asked Rohan if he would answer 5 productivity related questions and he generously agreed to do so. Thanks Rohan! If you don’t know Rohan, be sure to check out his website at A Learning A Day dot com. He posts something new everyday. He definitely knows a thing or two about being productive. I hope you extract some valuable information from his answers, since I know I did.
1) How do you maintain a high energy level (Ex. Healthy foods, specific hours of sleep, caffeine, exercise, sugar snacks, meditation, etc)?
- Sleep 8 hours
- Eat as healthy as I can and stay hydrated with water (don’t do caffeine)
- Have a steady morning routine
- Exercise most days (typically 5/7) – but stay focused on walking lots and keeping up a healthy lifestyle
- Love my work (with love being a work)
- Meditate 3-4 days a week for 15 mins via Headspace
Of these, I’ve found sleep to be most critical.
2) What’s your thought process when deciding you’ve done enough for the day? In other words, how do you decide when it’s time to call it a day and go to bed.
Generally routine driven. Try to be in bed by 830 pm- 9 pm so I’m up by 5 am.
3) Some people start their day by checking their email, while others advise against it. Do you think starting your day off by checking email is a good thing? Why or why not?
Hard to say. My main distinction is whether I look at email first thing when I wake up. I think I try to go straight into meditation. But, it doesn’t always happen. I’ve noticed I don’t start with email if I get up before 530am. Maybe it is because I feel more relaxed if I do that vs. feeling behind and wanting to catch up.
Once I’m up and out of bed, I am very relaxed about email. I don’t see it as a bad thing and generally have some very meaningful interactions via email. So, I tend to welcome it.
4) Do you place more emphasis on quality or quantity (in relation to the tasks on your to do list)? Is there ever a time when one should be more important than the other?
Generally quality. Fewer things done better is what I try.
However, when I get started, I often try to knock out a few quick wins. 🙂
5) How do you differentiate between being productive and being busy? A lot of people seem to think both are interchangeable.
Any action that helps make progress towards your goal is productive. So, anything that helps me make progress towards my most important priorities – for the day, the week or for life in general – is what I consider productive.
I’ve written about how I think about “the goal” here.