Through the years, I have tried to make time to achieve my work and goals. I thought that setting a time frame was the most important element to reach a goal. Although I still believe that this is important, I have discovered that time allocation to achieve a goal might not be the best factor for reaching a target efficiently. What is more important is deciding on the energy level needed to achieve an aim. This means that when I want to work on an important and challenging task (deep work), I need to select the time when I have the highest energy level in my day. After observing my energy levels throughout many days and weeks, I discovered that from 8 to 11 a.m. was the best time for me to do deep work. Schwartz and Loehr explain in their book “The Power of Full Engagement” that energy is the main factor of deciding when to choose your hardest work. Scott Young, a famous blogger whom I follow, explained “Why Managing Your Energy, Not Time” was the most important way to work.
When I took the course “Top Performer” taught by Cal Newport and Scott Young, I started to plan my whole life around my energy levels. I started scheduling my meetings (if I can) right before lunch and at 2:00 p.m. when I have the lowest amount of energy in the day. After lunch, I selected to do boring work like answering collateral emails. My best time to exercise is usually after dinner around 6:00 p.m. I usually socialize with my family in the last two hours of the day. Before going to bed, I read for an hour or so. It is true that sometimes I don’t stick to this schedule because like anybody else, I am not always disciplined to do my work.
Focusing on my energy levels to practice deep work as well as non-important work has created a great navigation system for me. Currently, my deep work includes preparing for a standardized exam in project management and learning Natural Language Text Mining. I use my deliberate practice to increase my knowledge in the two fields. What I discovered is that after finishing my deep work hours of deliberate practice, I am not that tired. In fact, although the work may have been painful (sometimes I need all the motivation to do it) it was enjoyable after it finishes– similar to running five miles. It is painful during the run, but it is very rewarding after the run because your body produces endorphins which interact with the receptors in our brain to reduce the perception of pain. Endorphins usually induces a positive feeling in the body, After doing deep work and feeling the pain of deliberate practice, the feeling you get is really wonderful– similar to having endorphins in your system, complete satisfaction of doing something meaningful.
Finally, if you have not tried to plan your day around your energy levels, it is time to do it. The benefits are really tremendous.
Thank you for reading my post. I would love to hear from you (Sufalkhaldi@futureandsciencehacks.com). This post is usually written on Saturday.