#1511 Two Awesome Hours

How Are YOU Using Them?

In our last +1, we took a quick look at Kevin Kruse’s 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management.

You do your quick inventory on how YOU’RE doing with those and find at least ONE way to move from Theory to Practice to Mastery?

If so, high fives! 🙌

If not… LET’S GO! 😉

Today we’re going to talk about two awesome hours in the morning and make sure you’re getting the most out of them.

Let’s get straight to work.

Kevin tells us: “After identifying your MIT [Most Important Task], you need to turn it into a calendar item and book it as early in your day as possible.

Dan Ariely, a Duke University professor of psychology and behavioral economics, suggests that most people are most productive and have the highest cognitive functioning in the first two hours after they’re fully awake. In a Reddit Ask Me Anything, Ariely wrote:

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.

Why do we do this? Why do we spend our best hours on our least important tasks?

Many of us jump into our day trying to take care of all the quick and easy things. Responding to all those overnight emails, sorting our stack of mail, signing off on purchase orders.... it all feels so productive! Look, it’s only 11:00 in the morning, and I must have done 50 things.”

When I read that I immediately thought of another Ariely gem and one of the most powerful things my old coach Steve Chandler taught me.

We talk about this Dan Ariely wisdom in our Notes on Manage Your Day to Day where he says: “So if your e-mail is running and it is telling you that a message is waiting for you, that’s going to be very hard to resist. In your mind, you’ll keep thinking about what exciting things are waiting for you. Now, if you never opened your e-mail, you would do much better.

It would probably be best if managers went to the IT department and asked them that e-mail not be distributed between eight and eleven every morning. The idea that the best way to communicate with people is 24/7 is not really an idea about maximizing productivity.”


In that same Idea, we quote Mark McGuiness who tells us: “The most important change you can make in your working habits is to switch to creative work first, reactive work second. This means blocking off a large chunk of time every day for creative work on your own priorities, with the phone and email off.”

Which leads us to some of the most powerful wisdom Steve Chandler ever gave me in the few years we worked together. He told me that the words “creative” and “reactive” have the exact same letters in them but OH the difference the order of those letters makes!

Note: I’ve hit “Creative Before Reactive” every day but a few times times in the 375 days since we launched the Heroic app.

And you know what I did every single one of those times?

What I decided was the most important task or my WIN (What’s Important Now!) for the day.

This is, combined with my Energy practice (which is Kevin’s 15th Secret), is my #1 practice that most allows me to cultivate my Heroic Productivity.

You couldn’t PAY me to blow my brain up with not-most-important stuff in the morning.


All of which begs the question...

What do YOU do with the best two hours of YOUR day?

Pro tip: Activate your Soul Force by Focusing your Energy on WIN, Hero!


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