You need Productive Downtime


Want to produce daily? Rest.

Are you a producer? A production engine? You know you want to be. You want to be someone who adds value with every interaction, right? But you can't do that when your tank is on empty. You can't do it when you're exhausted or distracted.

That's why it's critical that you know when you check out. That's right, every day there's a point where your brain decides it would rather sleep. You may not be asleep, but that doesn't mean your brain hasn't taken a break.

You know what I'm talking about. You feel sluggish. You have trouble concentrating. Maybe it's the hour before lunch. You're hungry. Maybe it's the hour after lunch. You're too full. I don't know when it is, but I know it happens for you. Because it happens for me.

My Daily Schedule

I start most of my days at 6:30 am. I get on phone calls and do most of my management, team calls, decision making, and client meetings all morning until around noon. I do other work-related tasks until about 2:30. That's my work day, every weekday.

Normally around 4 pm I start my daily blog writing and have finished by 5 or 6 pm.

Around 6 I hang out with my family for dinner and catching up on the day. That lasts until about 8. Then I head to my home office to read, write, research and do my coaching calls. I head to bed and get ready for my next day.

Every day it's the same.

What about 2:30 – 4 pm? That's my Productive Downtime.

If you were looking over that schedule wondering about that part of my day that wasn't accounted for, it's because that's my productive downtime. See I know that my brain checks out. I limit the calls I take during that time. I sit in my big leather chair and take a nap. Or I watch some tv. Or I just sit there. But I don't work. Because I know I'll be sluggish and make poor decisions.

Mostly what I know is that my body checks out around that time. So I've scheduled my day around it. Some people have it at 11 and others at 4. One friend joked that his was from 9-5. But getting that rest in the middle of my day charges me up for the rest of my afternoon and evening.

And I don't know if you caught it but I schedule my most important things (work & daily writing) right after I've woken up from rest. I go into those times charged up and ready to produce.

So when is your downtime?