What’s Your Productivity Hack? One Executive Says 4 a.m. is the Key

work from homeLinkedIn’s latest Influencer series got us thinking. What’s your productivity hack? Does it entail tackling the most challenging item first on your list? Limiting phone calls and messages until the afternoon? Creating clear boundaries between your work and home lives or intertwining them instead? Waking up at the crack of dawn?

Sallie Krawcheck, business leader at 85 Broads, mentions in her post the “most precious commodity in business is time.” The executive has discovered her highest peaks of productivity occur in the early morning. And we do mean early.

While in corporate America, she attempted to schedule blocks of time for various activities such as leaving a few Fridays every month meeting-free. Emails caught up with her and indicating an addition to “the rush of endorphins” by receiving a batch of emails, it was incredibly challenging to shut off.

Her trick now or productivity hack, if you will? Working while others are sleeping. She writes in the piece:

“I am never more productive than at 4 am. I brew a cup of coffee, I keep the lights pretty low, I sometimes light a fire in the fireplace, and I let my daughter’s cat sleep next to my computer. My mind is clear, not yet caught up in the multiple internal conversations that we all conduct with ourselves once we gear up for our first meeting of the day.”

Plus she points out there’s peace of mind by knowing her family is safe and sound upstairs while she’s downstairs starting her day.

We know what you’re thinking because we thought it, too. How early does one have to go to bed in order to be up and at ’em at 4 a.m.? She admits she has to go to sleep earlier but hey, who is really productive after 8 or 9 p.m. at night anyway? Recognizing any work attempted after that time isn’t up to her standards, she gives herself a break and enjoys that time to be with her children and socialize and “to get to sleep so that I can start again at 4 a.m.”