PP00: Miscellaneous – Your mileage may vary

(Part of the series: 12 Favorite Productivity Principles)

00. Miscellaneous – Your mileage may vary

Here are a few miscellaneous productivity tips that I have found useful for myself. They may or may not work for you, but they are all worth trying.

– Key naps (the pause that refreshes)

If I’m tired in the afternoon or early evening, I will often take a key nap. I lean back in my easy chair, grasp a key between my thumb and forefinger, rest my arm on the arm of the chair with the key positioned over the floor, close my eyes and wait to fall asleep. The moment I fall asleep, my thumb and forefinger relax, and the key falls to the floor waking me back up again.

It’s just a micro-nap, and yet I wake up feeling refreshed and alert. Even though it’s only for a split-second, I often hit such a deep state of sleep that when the key hits the floor, I wake up momentarily disoriented, not knowing where I am, not even sure what the sound was that woke me up.

A key nap in the afternoon or evening doesn’t disturb my sleep schedule at night. And it is usually all I need to stay alert until bedtime.

– Shave twice

I dislike shaving, so I do it twice a day instead of once. It is quicker and easier to shave in the morning when you shave the night before. And it is easy to shave at night when you’ve already shaved in the morning. This is an application of the “little but often” principle which works well with any task that grows in complexity the longer you leave it undone (such as trimming the hedge, paying the bills, etc.)

– Daylight savings time

I always have a hard time adjusting to Daylight Savings Time when you change the clocks forward an hour in the spring. So now, instead of changing the clock forward one hour on Saturday night, I change it in ten-minute increments starting the week before. I only do this with the bedtime clock, and I adjust my bedtime and waketime accordingly. (See article: How to Beat Daylight Savings Time)

– Wipe shower

One common productivity tip you often hear about is to make the bed when you first get up. This is called an anchor discipline. An anchor discipline is a simple task you do each day without fail that helps reinforce the other disciplines in your life. Plus, you always have a bed that is made!

I don’t make the bed when I first get up (mostly because my wife is still in it). Instead, I wipe the shower. When I finish showering, I take a minute to wipe down the shower. I use a separate towel for this than the towel I use for myself. I wipe down the shampoo bottle and put it away. Then I wipe down the walls and especially the edges and corners where the water gathers.

I use this as my anchor discipline which helps reinforce my other disciplines for the day. Plus, I always have a clean shower!

Back to the series: 12 Favorite Productivity Principles


  1. David Newton says:

    Thank you for these 12 productivity principles. I am new in my ministry position was looking at your sermon on Psalm 126 when I came across them. They are just what I need right now. God bless.

    David Newton

  2. Ray Fowler says:

    David – You’re welcome! I am glad you found them helpful. All the best in your new place of ministry!

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