My surprising productivity hack discovery

Adam E. Badenhorst
3 min readMay 27, 2018
@Anna888 via Twenty20

We all strive to become productive. It’s something we are all striving to do. I wonder if Jesse Kerema agrees with me about that. As individuals, we search for different ways that work for us. Now, let me set the scene about my circumstances to explain why I needed to improve my productivity.

My circumstances

Currently, I am working a full time job that includes manage projects for brand new clients. As you may imagine this demands a lot of time. I spend time answering many questions and ensuring the project goes well. After all, a first impression is a lasting one. Next, I am doing freelance writing and other freelance work to supplement my income. On top of that, I have a family consisting of a wife and three kids under the age of 3. It’s quite busy and full of surprises every day.

What I was doing

First thing I tried to do was plan and fit everything into 1 day. I would aim to finish everything and work around the family duties. I was neglecting my family trying to finish up the work I had to do. In fact, I was working 12–16 hours a day to finish. I was getting to bed and sleeping 4–6 hours.

A 9–5 routine doesn’t suit here nor does it allow me to get what I need to get done. It’s simply impossible. Bottom line.

Time for change

Based on the circumstances, it’s not sustainable in the long-run. I needed to find a way to fit everything in including taking care of myself. Now, here comes the productivity hack:

Plan my tasks with strict deadlines and work more effectively by waking up earlier or going to bed later

What does that mean for me:

  1. It means that I need to try dividing my day into time blocks. For example, I need 2 hours for a task and aim to complete that task in 2 hours. When 2 hours comes to an end, and I see that I would need another max 30 minutes then I continue. If more time is needed and it’s not critical then move on to something else.

In this way I am changing up my day and not doing the same thing all the time.

2. I have certain start and cutoff times where my full time job has to stop

3. I decide either to wake up at 4am and work or stay working until 1–2am when it’s quiet and I can focus.

4. Some things have to wait until the next day — all in one day doesn’t work and isn’t always feasible.

5. I need a To-Do list to keep track of what I’m doing and where I’m spending my time.

6. Some people may get upset, because I am not available or won’t answer them today.

7. People need to learn that I have boundaries and they will need to respect these boundaries.

I should stop for a second and highlight that a bit of luck comes into it. My full time job and other freelance work provide me some flexibility.

How it’s working for me

If it wouldn’t work for me, then I wouldn’t write this piece. I can say that it takes dedication and time to take its root. Like anything else, consistency trumps all. You can’t master something unless you work at it every day.

In the end, I am achieving me, because I work more effectively and get things done.

You have to find whatever works for you. I can say this works for me and requires continuous improvement. It keeps me in check and helps me to focus on what needs to get done.

Call to action:
I challenge you to try it out and see how your productivity is during a 2 week period.

Oh and if you’ve enjoyed reading, a clap or two would be greatly appreciated to share it with others!

About me: I am a copywriter and storyteller who also manages various projects. I enjoy writing and always looking to improve and collaborate. I am an avid freelancer and looking to become a full time entrepreneur. You can follow me here on Medium or connect with me on LinkedIn.



Adam E. Badenhorst

Enterpreneur. IT & Heritage Consultant disrupting industries. AI, blockchain, SaaS, ERP.