Benefits of splitting a day

Michael Sliwinski — №12 with Jason Womack

Mornings are just for me

Running a company requires lots of my time and I can find myself replying to emails all day long. By dividing my time to morning time and afternoon time I can focus to create and set strategy from my company in the morning. I really need that time for myself.

This way I can concentrate and work free of any interruptions — write, sketch, draw, plan, brainstorm… and I’m guaranteed to get things done this way. I try to get my three main rocks (three most important tasks for the day) done by noon.

Afternoons are for people — especially my team

First I reply to my team. I make sure everyone gets some feedback from me. I try not to fail at this but at times when I’m very busy folks need to be patient with me. I hate it when I don’t have the time to get back to my team and test things they’re working on. That’s why I focus on this first.

Meetings come in the afternoon, too

Following this rule I schedule meetings (usually Skype calls) between 12 and 4 pm (with exceptions for my American friends as I live in Europe).

@mail and @phone contexts

The rest of the day I spend replying to email and calling people and taking phone calls. Actually phone is still a pretty powerful tool. I call people up if I want an answer fast. I don’t mind interrupting people at this time with my phone call as I assume everyone’s like me and has already done their most important things for the day :-)

Working standing vs working sitting

The noon also usually changes my working style — in the mornings I’m working standing and at noon I take my laptop, get a cup of coffee and go sit on a terrace or in the living room. This way I can benefit from sitting nicely and start replying to people :-)

The benefit of splitting the day is FOCUS

That’s the most important thing — splitting the day in two gives me focus and time to work. I love it. Running a company of 12 (as of today) requires lots of attention and can come down to constant emailing and responding to others’ requests. When I split my day I have the time for me and I’m constrained to responding to folks only for half of the day.

This approach reminds me of a story about a CEO I read that when he showed up in the office he’d have his door closed until noon… and would open the door shortly after to signal to his teammates that now they can approach him. I do the same… only as we have no office, I just don’t reply to email, skype or any other form of communication. :-)

Photo: Flickr / troycochrane CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Michael sliwinski

Michael Sliwinski

Michael Sliwinski is your chief editor of the Productive! Magazine and the host of the Productive! Show. Every day he’s trying to help people get more done with his web application Nozbe — now also available as a native Android, iPhone and iPad app, as well as for a desktop PC and a Mac.

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