I noticed the first four hours I spend at work hold 80% of the value I deliver daily. According to Cal Newport’s Deep Work, four hours is how long we can get into deep work in one productive day, which ties in my previous statement.
If I want to have an optimal day at work, I have to complete my most important tasks during the first four hours. No Youtube, no music, no mindless browsing, no one to disturb me, only focused work. I call it my 4 Hour Rule.
I now have five micro-habits I need to get done to consider it a day: writing 200 words, reading enough to deliver 200 words in notes, push one commit to my code base, answer all support requests, and send a personal email to five users about how to improve 200 Words a Day.
I wake up, I sit down at the computer with a cup of coffee and I start getting those five things done as quickly as possible. It’s a race against time, there is none to lose during those four hours.
I can take it slower once the time is up. In a sense, my work day is four hour long. That’s how I’m able to not take days off in my delivery schedule without burning out.
The number 4 is considered bad luck in China, maybe I should make it 3 instead?