In an earlier post, I wrote about how getting some fresh air by taking a walk outside or opening the windows does wonders for my productivity. Another example of the circumstances under which I perform well is after a late afternoon exercise.

I wake up around 6AM, and start working by 7. As a result my brain has been heavily taxed by 4 or 5 PM in the afternoon. When my mental energy starts to decline, an hour long workout helps boost my performance. I keep this hour long late afternoon slot open in my calendar unless I have an important meeting. This happens maybe once or twice a week. It’s also harder to schedule the workout on those days when I’m traveling.

The physical and mental benefits of exercise are documented at length elsewhere. In addition to these long-term benefits, exercise gives me a short-term mental boost. This helps me get another 2 to 3 hours of productive time out of the rest of the evening. I get a lot more done in one hour of exercise and 3 hours of work than 4 hours of work without exercise.

The right timing, duration, and breakdown of exercises will change from person to person. But I think it’s well worth experimenting with. Once you find what works for you, making it part of your daily routine can produce a step change increase in your productivity.

Also published on Medium.

  • Ersan Bilik

    I’ve had spent quite time for experimenting exercise routines for me and found out “paleo cavemen” approach is the best.

    Basically, the first thing you do when you wake up is “to hunt” – training after waking up in fasting state – (Highly Intensive Interval Training approach is best to mimic hunting)

    Then you have to pickup, clean and cook your catch which will take quite time (2-3 hours of fasting after training, you won’t feel hungry since your body is in “ketosis” state) then having your protein rich first meal (at noon).

    First week is hard when you apply this routine but then it creates wonders since your very own nature “remembers”

    Have a great 2017.