Takeaway: You can plan your daily schedule so that different habits support each other, maximizing the benefits you receive from all of them.
Joel Gascoigne, the founder of Buffer, is famous for strictly adhering to his morning and evening routines. It’s because Joel knows that missing his 10pm bedtime means he’ll sleep late (and lose his most productive work time) or skimp on sleep (and reduce his effectiveness at work).
Habits produce effects that linger on long after you perform them. If you recognize this you can schedule your day so that benefits are optimized and detriments are minimized. Also, just like Joel you can refine your routine through experimentation and iteration.
My habit of going for a walk every evening before bed is the most powerful and life-changing habit that I’ve built in the last couple of years. I’ve moved a lot in the last few years, but I always make rebuilding this habit quickly a priority when I am in a new location. It is a simple 20 minute walk (in SF it’s just walking a loop of a few blocks).
When I do this habit consistently, it gives me a chance to disengage from my day. As a result I sleep on time and have a better sleep overall. The habit is crucial to my early morning routine (5am daily currently), which is important because I find that I am the most productive in the early hours.
More productivity tips from entrepreneurs:
Evan Williams: Workout When You’re Least Productive
Erin McKean: Schedule Easy, Small Tasks as Work Breaks
Loïc Le Meur: Meditate – It’s the Productivity Trick People Are Afraid to Talk About
Chris Messina: Build Tiny Habits: They Can Be Surprisingly Powerful
Buster Benson: Experiment with New Habits Regularly
Marshall Kirkpatrick: Hack the Science of Behavior Change
There is one thing that all of these entrepreneurs have in common: they’ve all built habits using Lift.