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The Asian Efficiency Work Day

By | 10 comments

We’ve talked a lot on Asian Efficiency about finding the right rhythm to your day, and about doing the most important thing first every day.

Do we practice what we preach? Damn right we do!

One of our readers asked what our work days look like at Asian Efficiency. Here’s mine.

Keep in mind that the times listed are a schedule. Obviously, there is some flexibility for emergencies, social events during the week and all that good stuff. And in case you’re wondering, yes – I eat a lot (:

– Aaron


07:00am-07:30am: Morning Ritual.
07:30am-08:00am: Meal.

Hero Time

08:00am-10:30am: Work. Most important task.
10:30am-11:00am: Meal.
11:00am-12:30pm: Work.


12:30pm-02:30pm: Gym or downtime.
02:30pm-03:00pm: Meal.
03:00pm-05:30pm: Work.
05:30pm-06:00pm: Meal.

Second Wind

06:00pm-07:30pm: Work.
07:30pm-08:30pm: Monthly sprint.
08:30pm-09:00pm: Meal.
09:00pm-10:30pm: Work on Personal Projects.
10:30pm-11:00pm: Evening Ritual.

Questions? More Explanation? Want to share what your day looks like? Comment Away!

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Posted by JT  | October 4, 2014 at 12:24AM | Reply

Hi Aaron, been lurking in your blogs for some time and recently back when i saw the agile results series. Awesome posts!

i’m not a personal trainer or doctor of any sort however looking at making my day more productive.. i’ve implemented Intermittent Fasting which allows me to eat twice a day instead of the usual 3-5meals as you and i have done. It took a while to get over the hunger pangs and learning to eat bigger meals however now found i have more time and my hero hours are the morning without breakfast (was dizzy in the 1st 2 weeks) and no more thinking about food either. ;)

There are many versions out there; however is the original source. RippedBody summarises the science and makes it practical. Just a thought. Good luck.

Posted by Michael Aaron  | June 9, 2012 at 7:09AM | Reply

One of the things I’m having a hard time reconciling with this schedule is meetings. I know that meetings must be minimized if possible, but they are a reality in my line of work (and often the most efficient way to get things done). Do you put them in the 3:00-5:30 afternoon block of time for “work”?

Also, do you mark these things as “busy” or “free” on your calendar? If people need to book meetings with me, and my entire calendar is busy, that’s not going to work. Thoughts?

Posted by Aaron Lynn  | June 11, 2012 at 3:25AM

Hey Michael – it sounds like you work in a larger corporate setting.

Personally, I hate meetings (emphasis on *hate*). That said, we have 2 team meetings at the start and end of each week at Asian Efficiency, scheduled for 4-5pm my time.

Assuming that everyone in your office uses their calendar properly (which I haven’t found to be the case with companies we’ve done consulting for), I would do this:
1. Put in your schedule as “free” in advance, the way you want it.
2. Each week or each day, plan out the times that you want to time-block to work on important tasks uninterrupted – tasks that you won’t delay for meetings that other people book. For example, if I know that I’m working on systems documentation this morning from 8am-10:30am, I’ll mark that slot as busy but keep the rest as free for meetings.

Posted by David  | June 5, 2012 at 12:25PM | Reply

Hi Aaron,

Can you give us an example of your activities that you do in the monthly sprint?

Keep the good work your writing are really inspiring.


Posted by Aaron Lynn  | June 11, 2012 at 3:18AM

Thanks David!

There’s an article scheduled about Agile Sprints scheduled for the end of this month, but the short version is: anything you want. It can be something for fun, something related to your other outcomes, something that can help you in your business or career… or just something that you’ve always wanted to try.

A quick sampling of some of mine from this year:
* Learning to squat properly (at the gym).
* Read Learning Python the Hard Way (my current sprint).
* Learning to cook efficiently…. which become The Asian Efficiency Eating System(tm).

Posted by Marcos W  | June 1, 2012 at 3:00PM | Reply

I see that you separate work on 1:30 chunks. Do you work these straight or do pomodoro breaks?

What about time to spend with girlfriend (don`t know if you have one). I have a hard time dealing with the demands of mine. If you do have one, how do you allocate it? (If that`s too personal feel free to skip it)

Posted by Aaron Lynn  | June 4, 2012 at 9:04PM

Some are 1:30, some are 2:30. Sometimes I use pomodoros, sometimes I don’t. If I don’t, I find that I naturally get up to grab water/tea and take a short break anyway.

Girlfriend time management – could be an article in and of itself. I’ll shoot you an email and we’ll talk more =)

Posted by Vince  | June 1, 2012 at 11:57AM | Reply

What a beast…admirable!

Posted by Karl  | June 1, 2012 at 10:32AM | Reply

That seems pretty hardcore work day. I can’t get myself to work more than 5 hours a day (I lose focus).

How many days in a row do you work like that? How do you deal with burnout?

Posted by Aaron Lynn  | June 4, 2012 at 8:59PM

Monday-Friday mostly. Friday evenings I usually do something social though, so the day ends around 6-7pm.

Avoiding burnout – that could be an article in itself, but the main ones off the top of my head:
* Drink lots of water.
* Take breaks every 30 or 60 minutes.
* Make sure I do the downtime chunk at 12:30-2:30pm.
* Get enough sleep.
* Exercise.

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