My Number One Productivity Hack

This is definitely going to surprise you. The way I get the most done is by being under pressure. I am always almost missing deadlines and occasionally I miss them. But I end up doing some incredible amount of work when the deadline is crushing me. It is my number one productivity hack.


The only way I have been able to write a blog post per day is because I have a deadline of 8:00am. I must get the blog post done and posted by 8:00am or my blog subscribers won't get my blog post for that day. And you know what? I can't count the number of days I got it done at exactly 8:00am. In fact, my brain wouldn't work, blog post-wise, till it is 7:10am. Then the blog post ideas that didn't come all throughout the night would start flooding in and my race against time would begin. And it often get worse on some days that I become sure that I would miss the 8:00am deadline. Days when I would struggle to get out of bed at 7:10am and get settled on my laptop at 7:15am only to find out that my internet is not working. I instantly become fully awake and start thinking crazy fast. In the midst of fixing the internet issue I would even get two or more blog post ideas. And by 7:30am I get the internet to finally work and start typing as fast as I can. It makes me feel like a Formula 1 driver. I always meet the 8:00am deadline, and then feel exhausted and sleepy again.

Yesterday, I had a training. Our monthly Excel training started yesterday and will end today. And as usual my alarm rang at 4:40am. I took an extra 2 hours 30 mins to get out of bed. My brain didn't switch on till the 8:00am deadline looked impossible to meet. Then after managing to meet it, I felt like sleeping again. Yet I had a training class to facilitate by 9:00am. It was a struggle to put myself back into the rush mode. I managed to leave home by 8:20am. Just when I drove out I remembered that I had forgotten one of the main training materials. I had to rush back. And unfortunately all my training participants got to the hall way before 9:00am. One of the participants is a Chinese lady from IBM and she wasn't at all happy. The other participant is from Nestle and wasn't a bit bothered. I drove like I was practicing for Formula 1. And kept sending update SMS to the participants: "I'm 5 mins away", ... 

In the end they were all extremely satisfied with the training that we all became instant friends and gisted about our personal lives. Today, I am writing this blog post at 6:00am because I had promised them that I will get to the training hall before them.

I can't remember anything I have completed way before the deadline in the past two years. And satisfaction rate even when I miss the deadline is 100%. It always compensates for my procrastination. Somehow, I can't get my brain to work well without the threat of a deadline being missed. And the amount of work I get done in just hours and minutes to deadline are incredibly enormous.

So now I have resigned to my fate of chasing time and getting chased by a deadline, and I even consider it as my number one productivity hack. 


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