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David Seah

This is Week 16 of a Year of Living Productively

This week I tested whether David Seah’s daily ritual could improve my productivity. While David met with a friend via chat at 7:15 every morning, I connected with a friend via email sometime during the day and committed to doing a task for 15 minutes. Like David, I then reported back when the work was done. We took Sundays off. Scroll down to the bottom of last week’s post for details.

How David’s 7:15AM Ritual Saved My Sanity This Week

  • Got me going on tasks I’ve been avoiding because of the social pressure. One of the rules my friend and I adopted was that we would only commit to tasks that we wouldn’t otherwise do. Thus, showering and eating lunch weren’t options. I did some work on a book project, but after that worked on my project for the week. Knowing that my friend would do her work made me feel compelled to do mine.
  • Gave me a structure for completing less urgent work. If I hadn’t been doing the ritual, I don’t think I would have done anything on the book project, because it isn’t pressing. I think this is a huge concern in productivity as most of us are perpetually putting out fires.
  • Helped me see someone else’s perspective. It was interesting for me to see someone else come up with tasks and report back on how it went. While I am working on my own productivity, I would like to be helpful to others, too. My friend said she liked the ritual, but she had some issues with it.

How David’s 7:15AM Ritual Made Me Crazy This Week

  • Difficult to choose tasks. My friend especially found it challenging at times to decide what to do. I also felt like if I actually wanted to do something that maybe I was cheating. I’m not sure that we were being faithful to David’s intent in this, however. He didn’t say you could only do work you were resisting.
  • 15 Minute time limit is limiting. My friend found that she often wanted to stop after 15 minutes simply because she could. She felt this could be a real problem for work like writing that would only have you in the groove by this point. I only quit after 15 minutes once. I liked the time limit because I was tired this week and it got me off the couch. Once started, I felt I wanted to keep going.
  • Our timing didn’t match. My friend didn’t think this would work for her if she were working a regular job (she’s off now). We might have found it more beneficial if we had committed and worked at the same time, but as it was, it worked. There were times that I committed and didn’t work until much later, but still that commitment drove me to finish the work.

Did the 7:15AM Ritual Help Me Get More Done?

Yes. It really gave me a much-needed jumpstart on my summer projects and helped me work even when I didn’t feel like it. I don’t see continuing to do it day after day, but it’s an excellent way to get unstuck. Because my friend and I are starting Body for Life, we will be checking in regularly on that. Accountability works.


While I don’t use any of the specifics of this ritual, I do have a small group of bloggers I check in with every week. Even though not all the bloggers participate regularly, the ritual of posting my goals and writing how I did on them is enormously motivating for me. Accountability is super important for my productivity.

The Productivity Approach I’ll Be Using for Week 17


This week I’ll be testing Another Simple and Effective Method by Mark Forster. Yep, he’s been at it again and has created another list gamification method. The method involves creating a list of tasks of any size, choosing a task to do, doing it, and crossing it off with a line that extends across the paper. You next do a task from each section that’s been created and repeat. Tasks that are worked on and need to be continued are crossed off and added to the end of the list. Urgent tasks are just done regardless of the list.

The concept. The method seems to encourage working on tasks that would otherwise languish on the list and also divides the work into many small, more manageable lists.

If you’d like to join me this week, here’s what you do. Read Mark’s blog post on the method. Choose your means of making a list. Paper seems to make the most sense to me, so that’s my method. Make a list of tasks you’d like to complete. I may add some of my remaining backlog tasks, just to see how the method handles them. Choose a task to work on for as long as you like. Cross it off completely and re-enter if needed. Choose a task from the first section, work on it, and so on. I will use adhesive flags to help me remember where I left off. Dots and paperclips would also work.

To see how my week with Another Simple and Effective Method went, click here.

If you’ve tried David Seah’s 7:15AM ritual to increase your productivity, please vote in the poll below.

Here are the links to the productivity hacks I’ve tried so far:

A Year of Living Productively

Week 1: Paper To-Do List

Week 2: Covey’s Quadrants

Week 3: Routines

Week 4: Paper Planner

Week 5: SMEMA

Week 6: Guilt Hour

Week 7: Envision Ideal Day

Week 8: Do it Tomorrow

Week 9: Pomodoro

Week 10: Time Warrior

Week 11: Scheduling

Week 12: The Repeat Test

Week 13: Personal Kanban

Week 14: Eat That Frog

Week 15: Vacation