Workout When You’re Least Productive: Productivity Tip from Evan Williams

Takeaway: You’ll get more done if you work according to your circadian rhythm instead of working 9-5pm. 


Evan Williams isn’t at work in the middle of the day. You’ll find the founder of Blogger, Twitter and Medium at the gym instead. 

The potential for productivity fluctuates at different times of the day for different people. Clue into your energy changes and then plan your work schedule so that you’re doing your most important work during your most productive times. 

I used to go to the gym first thing in the morning. Exercise is, of course, great for energy levels and I believe it makes me more productive no matter what. But energy and focus naturally ebb and flow throughout the day.

My focus is usually great first thing in the morning, so going to the gym first is a trade off of very productive time. Instead, I’ve started going mid-morning or late afternoon (especially on days I work late). It feels weird (at first) to leave the office in the middle of the day, but total time spent is nearly the same with higher energy and focus across the board.

This only happens to work because our office is across the street from the gym (which is part of the reason the office is there). If there were more travel time involved, it might not be worth it (or it might be worth switching how you exercise). 

More productivity tips from entrepreneurs:

Erin McKean: Schedule Easy, Small Tasks as Work Breaks
Loïc Le Meur: Meditate – It’s the Productivity Trick People Are Afraid to Talk About
Chris Messina: Build Tiny Habits: They Can Be Surprisingly Powerful
Joel Gascoigne: Optimize Your Daily Routines
Buster Benson: Experiment with New Habits Regularly
Marshall Kirkpatrick: Hack the Science of Behavior Change

All of these entrepreneurs have built habits with Lift. 

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