The Productivity Series are getting to the bottom of all things productive with our in-house expert Sam Chillcott.
To make these series the most useful and inspiring to you as possible, we will be sharing your own stories and struggles with productivity while nomading, starting businesses, or doing remote work, and we will also lace it with a serious dose of good advice straight from the professional on the topic. Meet our CWCer Sam Chillcott.
Hey I’m Sam from England and I work as a Productivity Coach. I came to Las Palmas to escape the British winter and to kill a few months until I returned to Medellin, Colombia but fell in love with life here. Nomad City (put on by CoWorkingC) and the whole digital nomad/remote working community here in LPA was a major factor in that decision.
Although most of my work with clients is around the macro psychology of productivity (limiting beliefs, fear, expectations, societal conditioning), the foundational micro-tactics are equally as important. Here are a few approaches I personally use to keep me productive each day.
Wait. What? Kicking off a list of productivity tips with sleeping? Yes. It’s not just about time management, it’s about energy management. Best way to get more energy? Improve the quality of your sleep. Use a sleep cycle alarm to get woken up at the most effective time during your sleep cycles.
I use Sleep Cycle (for iPhone and Android)
- Less But Better
Being productive doesn’t mean doing more things. It’s doing more of the right things and doing them better. Rather than taking on all tasks just to feel busy, what can you delete, delegate or defer? This frees up more time and energy to do the things that will really have the impact you are after. Everything else is just a distraction.
Having another human know what you plan to do is a great source of motivation. If you are a remote worker or digital nomad you don’t have that person over your shoulder.
I use FocusMate for virtual coworking sessions.
- Track and Discover Your Energy Levels During The Day
If you start to track your mental and physical energy levels you will start to see patterns of what times during the day you find yourself more productive and what times you are sluggish. With this new info, you can ideally plan your tasks so the ones that need more focus or deep work can be done when you are at peak levels. Admin and shallow work can be done during the sluggish periods.
- Take Breaks
This is often listed in productivity articles but rarely understood or adhered to. Mental capacity is finite during the hours you are awake (it gets replenished each night – see number 1). If you are working solidly for a long period you will burn out quicker. Just because you are not moving from the desk don’t be fooled into thinking you are not using energy. Your brain is a muscle. You wouldn’t do a massive sprint in real life, so take the same approach with your brain. Give it a breather every hour. And don’t keep using it during your breather by checking your phone.
I use Marinara Pomodoro Chrome extension set to 50-minute sprints, 10-minute breaks then a long break after 3 sprints. Find what works for you.
Looking forward to share more tips and productivity exercises with you along the way.