Could David Seah’s 7:15AM Ritual Help You Get More Done?

Could David Seah’s 7:15AM Ritual Help You Get More Done?

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.

**UPDATE**

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

mark-forster

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

 

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Could Taking a Vacation Help You Get More Done?

Could Taking a Vacation Help You Get More Done?

beach

This is Week 15 of a Year of Living Productively

This week I tested whether taking a vacation could improve my productivity. I’ve actually been testing it for the past two weeks. Scroll to the bottom of this post to see my plans for this test.

How Taking a Vacation Saved My Sanity This Week

  • Focused my efforts before leaving. Getting ready to go on vacation made decisions about what to do so easy. I had a wonderful closed list of tasks to work with and I finished them all.
  • Restored my motivation. While on vacation, I had plenty of time to read and think about my goals for the summer and next school year. I have returned as a woman on a mission with a lot more energy to boot.
  • Gave me time to focus on what matters most. The time with my family gave me a better perspective on the tasks I face each week. So much of what I worry about just doesn’t matter.

How Taking a Vacation Made Me Crazy This Week

  • Couldn’t avoid everything. Being a blogger and a mother of six means you can never really “go dark.” I had to do some work while I was gone, but thankfully it was minimal.

Did Taking a Vacation Help Me Get More Done?

Yes! And I think I will realize the benefits of it for several weeks. One thing I did that made this an excellent vacation was plan nothing for the day after I returned. I was able to clear email, handle a few urgent tasks, do laundry, grocery shop, and more.

**UPDATE**

Vacations are still saving my sanity. I usually take a vacation with my whole family once a year and with my husband, too. Even more importantly, I take a vacation every Sunday now. The break motivates me so much for the upcoming week.

The Productivity Approach I’ll Be Using for Week 16

David Seah

This week I’ll be testing David Seah’s 7:15 AM Ritual. Every morning at 7:15 AM, David chats with a friend or two online and commits to a task he wants to jumpstart for 15 minutes. When the 15 minutes are up, he reports his progress and experience. I considered doing an online chat with a friend who is in a different time zone. We agreed that making an email commitment to our 15-minute task and then reporting back will work better for us. We’re afraid that a chat would become just that!

The concept. David’s ritual leverages the power of accountability, timed work, and routine. I’ve tested the power of timed work and routine and find both to be invaluable. I haven’t yet tested accountability, though I would argue that this blog series is all about it! While most people are willing to drop their commitments to themselves, few are comfortable with dropping the ball when a commitment has been made to someone else. I’m willing to bet that accountability doesn’t require face time.

If you’d like to join me this week, here’s what you do. Read David’s article. Recruit a friend who is willing to do the ritual with you. Decide when and how you will touch base each day.   Daily commit to a task that you want or need to do; spend 15 minutes doing it; then report back to your accountability partner.

Click here to see how my week of David Seah’s ritual went.

If you’ve tried taking a vacation 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

 

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