WHEN I GET THE MOST WORK DONE & WHY

san francisco based lifestyle blogger shannon silver of essellesse talks about her most productive work hours • photo taken in Manhattan, New York

This has been a question that’s been on my mind lately. I find it SUPER interesting to ask since everyone has a different answer

Over the weekend, Erik & I went on a double date with my friend Colette & her beau and we all went around the table sharing ours.

SO- I figured I’d share mine here.

What I find really interesting is that it has stayed the same from job to job – regardless if it was a strict 9 -5 in an office, working from home, or working in a flexible work environment.

I also think knowing this is important. Not only does it set you up for success, but it helps you really plan out your day to your strengths & manage your time optimally.

Even though I’m about to share mine, EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT! So don’t use mine as a model, instead, I’m just kissing and telling! { ps – if I made this post back in 2015, I would of said 10:00p – 3:00a… oh how I miss my 20s lol}

Some people are morning people, some people are night people, but I’d actually call my self an afternoon person.

I find I get my most heads down, hyperfocused work done between 11:00a – 7:00p.

Not to quote Daft Punk, but work is never over. However, that work completely varies.

As a blogger, content is my backbone so during these hours is when I really work on strengthening that. Basically, this chunk of time is my heads down, no interruptions work time & I can really knock it all out! With any career or profession, there’s the CORE work you need to focus on, so this is that time that I realllllllyyyy focus on that.

Depending on the day, this heads down work variesbut I try and stack my tasks according to day. So one day, it’s all written content. The next it’s all shooting… the next is editing…. you get it. Each day really has a theme and I use those hours to really focus heads down. I also always take a quick break around 3:00p to make myself a cup of tea.

Now, that’s not to say my day starts at 11:00a. That’s just when my day goes into hyperspeed & full force. In fact, if I get an early start on things since I woke up at 4:00a or something, I find almost everytime I feel myself getting REALLLLLYYYY in the groove, it’s at 11:00a, no matter how long I’ve been working prior.

I have a pretty rigid & long Patrick Bateman-esque morning routine, & I wake up earlier these days than I ever did before. So I try to get my whole routine until the last part done by 8:00… 9:00a at the absolute latest. By the time I go upstairs for coffee & journaling, I’m 100% ready for the day.

The last part of my morning routine transitions into work, which is my bullet journal. My entire calendar is written down – NOT virtual – so to complete my morning routine & transition into the work day, I write down all my tasks that need to get done that day over coffee. I also comb through the day before and see what was NOT done & write exactly why it was not done & add it to the current day. Once my coffee & to do list is finished, it’s about time to start the day! I find easing into it like this vs diving right in helps me a LOT.

For the hours where I’m not at my strongest, I use that for housekeeping tasks. For the most part, it’s endless e-mails, SEO, cleaning up my desktop, researching the industry, promoting content, respond to comments, updating my virtual calendar {I use this solely for events to keep me on time! those reminders are everything lol everything else is written down}, anything left over from the day before, social media & anything else I’m not thinking of.

…And when I was working in the office, I’d do the same thing – even at a non-flexible hours investment banking environment. I’d get to work around 8:00, make my coffee, catch up with my lighter tasks {& blogs! I read a ton of blogs back then and so I’d do it first thing in the AM so it didn’t interrupt with my day}. Then, it’d be all gas no brakes. Off topic but if we are being honest, I miss those days of blogging as a reader. So many have jumped ship from their blog to the gram or only update once a week and it makes me kind of sad – I really loved catching up with blogs in the morning over coffee.

It’s also important to note the best environment where you can be the most productive. For example, working from home, I jut cannot work from coffeeshops or restaurants. I tried but it’s not for me – it’s too busy, distracting, drains my energy & ruins my productivity. I work the best from my office & desk downstairs at home with my playlists on {Work Chill is my current fav & I love this tropical house one}. A work playlist is a MUST FOR ME.

That said, I work best when it’s just me by myself.

A challenge I am working on is being productive when Erik works from home! Also, this may be strange, but I work VERY well from planes. Even if the wifi isn’t working, there’s plenty of things to do that internet is not needed for.

That said, it’s easy for me to stay in & NEVER get out of the house so I do try to get lunch dates in with a local bloggers when I can. I used to do this with Katey before she moved & what was so nice is that you can talk shop as if you are in the office and then be heads down and get work done. It’s super helpful because you can get on the spot tips and tricks… as if you are in an office environment.

Whenever I feel myself “fading” from my work, it’s almost always 7:00p. If I still have work to do, I have a rule to pour myself a glass of wine… or scotch, depending on the day – ha. But I do try to wind things down by 7 so I can get dinner started and ready right before Erik gets home which is usually around 9.

And like my morning routine, I have a “decompress” routine.

I think it’s important as it separates work from life. My favourite way to decompress is to cook & prepare dinner to my sunset playlist {& a lil indica doesn’t hurt a flea}. I just find it so therapeutic & it keeps me inspired. I also always change into sweats the second I’m done working.

By the time Erik is home: dinner is ready, work is over, the kitchen is clean, & we focus on our night and each other.

SO that’s when I get the most work done & why… as well as a sneak peek to a “day in the life”. In fact, maybe I can do a full-blown one and break it down task by task and hour by hour.

How about you? When do you get the most work done & why?

x Shannon

Fun Work Playlists

+ Work Chill :: totally vibey & not distracting

+ Work Vibe :: a lighthearted tropical house playlist

+ Work Flow :: a feel good playlist to work to

+++ many, many more playlists here


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