Don’t Waste Your Most Productive Hours

In addition to big celebrities, like noted moustache Ron Swanson, sometimes experts and leaders in their field show up for AMAs, which describes Dan Ariely to a T.  The Duke professor, behavioural economics expert, and Chief Behavioural Officer at Timeful dropped by Reddit for an AMA as part of his promotion of Timeful. The app, if you haven’t used it, is a calendar/to-do list that intelligently nudges you into getting stuff done.

How to get stuff done without help of an app? Well, Dr Ariely says that one of the biggest mistakes he sees people making is wasting their most productive hours on foolish tasks. According to Dr Ariely, it’s the two hours after you’ve fully awake (i.e., after you’ve eaten breakfast, had a shower, done some yoga—whatever your morning routine) that are your most creatively productive. Unfortunately, the first thing people do when stepping into the office is check email, read the news, or some other non-taxing routine. According to the good doctor:

“One of the saddest mistakes in time management is the propensity of people to spend the two most productive hours of their day on things that don’t require high cognitive capacity (like social media). If we could salvage those precious hours, most of us would be much more successful in accomplishing what we truly want.”

So there you have it. Book those most important two hours for things truly important—email can wait.

Photo courtesy of flickr.

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