24 Hours to Improving Business Productivity

24 hours productivity


Every morning, you have 24 hours in front of you to be the most productive worker you can be. What do your workdays look like? Here is my suggestion on how to divide your workdays, what my typical workday look like and some ideas to ponder.


Everyday, I suggest you should have:

8 hours of sleep

Eight hours every single night may seem a big number to aim for. Yes, I know, some people “work” on way less than that every night, but studies suggest that eight hours is the sweet spot. It’s been said that sleeping less than eight hours a night soon have some devastating effects on your attention span and reaction time. This is not good for productivity. Don’t think you can catch up during the weekend, it doesn’t have the same effects as steadily sleeping your eight hours every night. Just go to sleep! I’m a big sleeper, I usually put my head on the pillow for a good nine hours.


1 hour of planning

In order to be productive and avoid procrastination, you have to know what you have to do and actually plan it. Take some time during your day, I prefer a couple periods, to sit down and regroup. I do one session before starting my day and one after lunch.


7 hours of work

With the hour of planning, we end up with 8 hours of work a day, five days a week for a total of forty. You may think you should work more hours tan that but just like the eight hours of sleep, 40 hours of work a week also seem to be the sweet spot. We’ll get back to the busy versus productive conundrum in a forthcoming article.


1 hour of sport

Do I really have to advocate for the multiple benefits of sport on productivity? As they said, just do it. I do at least an hour a day and I’m aiming for two to three when possible.


3 hours of eating/hygiene

It sounds like a lot you think? Think again! You need to nourish your body if you want it to be productive. Eating drive-thru in the car doesn’t count as eating. Scarfing down vending machine bought stuff at your desk doesn’t count either. You should stop what you were doing, take the time to prepare a meal from fresh produce and sit down to eat it.


3 hours of family/social time

This is the time you spend out of the office, enjoying life with the ones you love. You need to stop thinking about work. Thinking about work all the time is actually not productive. It can be bathing and reading stories to your kids, drinking a pint at the pub with your buddies, visiting your mother at the long-term care facility or anything else that involves loving human contact.


1 hour of unplugged quiet time

The most important part in this hour is for it to be unplugged. No phone, no tablet, no television, I’m not kidding, unplug! You can do meditation, read a great book, listen to music, take a bath or again, whatever feels good. I keep the unplugged time for before bed since putting the screens down a couple hours before bed improves sleep.


Here is what my workdays look like lately:

8AM: Waking up (Not a morning person!)
8AM to 9AM: Shower/Breakfast
9AM-9:30AM: Planning my day
9:30AM to 1PM: Work
1PM to 2PM: Lunch
2PM to 2:30PM: Planning and refocusing
2:30PM to 4PM: Work
4PM to 6PM: Sport
6PM to 7PM: Dinner
7PM to 8PM: Family/Social time
8PM to 10PM: Work (This is when I’m writing this blog!)
10PM to 11PM: Quiet time
11PM to 8AM: Sleep


A note on commuting

I hear you asking: where is your commuting time? I don’t have any since I work from home. If you have to fit one, a couple or a few (!) hours of time spent in the car, train, metro or bus, you may want to reconsider your work-life balance. Commuting is incredibly tiring and can’t be good for productivity. If you can’t get rid of the commuting, consider public transport and use this time for planning, reading or catching up on emails.


I must confess, I live a life where it is easy to be productive. I work from home, I don’t have young kids and I work and live at walking distance from where I practice sport. Don’t tell me I’m lucky, I made choices! What are the choices you made in order to amp up your productivity?



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