Jeremy Abroad

Ideal Work Schedule

September 27, 2018

We all have our own conception of the ideal work schedule. Some like to work out first thing in the morning, others like to meditate and do yoga, others like to go to co-working spaces.

Here’s mine:

9:45: Wake up

9:45-10:00 Gain consciousness. Maybe a light snack. Avoid checking phone or going on unproductive time sucks like Facebook/Instagram, though Hacker News, a good intellectual subreddit is fine, or the (non-sensationalized) news is fine (I like Reuters).

10:00-12:00: Work

12:00-13:00: Lunch. At this point I leave the apartment and walk outside to get food somewhere. If I were cooking for myself that’d be fine too, but I think it’s important to leave the house for a bit.

13:00-17:00: Work

17:00-18:30: Gym + Shower

18:30-19:30: Dinner, preferably with friend

19:30-01:00: Do whatever you want. Now is the time to respond to all those messages and talk with your friends, hang out, do something random, or even work if you feel inspired. This drowsy state is actually a great time to be creative.

01:00-1:45: Get ready to go to sleep. Reading a book is ideal, but I’m pretty awful at doing that lately.

One doesn’t need to be a Nazi about being on schedule, but having some semblance of a routine is important for being productive. The reason is because we are a product of our habits. The less energy you have to consciously devote to wasteful questions like “what should I do next?”, the more energy you can devote to getting things done.

One of the most important things is to start your morning off on the right foot, because your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. I recommend avoiding checking your phone, messaging apps, and social media in the morning because it can distract you and pull you down into that unproductive reactive dopamine-addicted state. Once you fall down that hole it’s hard to climb out.

The morning is also when most people are at full mental capacity to get work done. Don’t waste this.

I’ve noticed that the morning seems to be the best time to knock out logical tasks that are most “unpleasant” (eg. coding something difficult but not fun), whereas later afternoon is better for more creative tasks that are enjoyable (eg. writing). I’m still forming my thoughts on this though, so don’t take it as gospel. Will update as I update my views.

Jeremy Bernier

Written by Jeremy Bernier who left the NYC rat race to travel the world, work remotely, and find the meaning of life.