3 cool upcoming productivity experiments, and an update on my experiments in progress

by | Nov 19, 2013 | Productivity Experiments

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes, 32s. It’s very skimmable, though.


Here’s an update on the productivity experiments I have coming up, and have in progress!

3 upcoming experiments

Being a complete slob for a week: November 25-December 1

It might sound odd, but this experiment might be the most difficult one yet (I’m wired to feel guilty when I’m not productive). For a full week I’m going to:

  • Not work out
  • Not worry too much about my personal hygiene
  • Eat a ton of garbage
  • Move around as little as possible

And more, while still trying to be as productive as possible.

Work on Spanish time for 21 days: January 6-26

If you take a stroll through Spain after lunch, most shops, businesses, churches, and museums are closed for an afternoon siesta, so workers can go home and maybe even take a snooze during the day’s hottest hours.

I’m fascinated by this ritual, and want to explore how taking a midday siesta for 21 days affects my productivity. Instead of working my usual hours (8-5), I’ll be working from 8am-1pm, and then 4pm-8pm.

Eat only Soylent for 14 days: January

A snazzy and what-not for my Productivity Pants experiment!

All snazzy and what-not for my Productivity Pants experiment!

Soylent is a complete food substitute “intended to supply all of a human body’s daily nutritional needs, made from powdered starch, rice protein, olive oil, and raw chemical powders”.1 I’m going to live off only soylent for two weeks in January, and measure the impact it has on my life and productivity.

In Progress

Productivity Pants

  • I just finished my Productivity Pants experiment on Saturday, and have collected a ton of thoughts (850 words of rough notes), and data (my focus/motivation/energy levels for every hour of the experiment). I’m currently piecing together and analyzing the data I collected, and should have a kick-ass feature article up early next week, at the latest.

Waking up at 5:30

  • Right now, for the final leg of this experiment, I’m waking up at 5:30 every weekday for a month.
  • I think that for many people, the idea that waking up earlier will lead you to become more productive is complete bullshit. After all, what if you’re the most productive after 8pm, when you have to start getting ready for bed?
  • For my ‘Productivity Pants’ experiment, I’m charting my energy levels throughout the day. I’m curious to crunch the numbers to see what time of the day I have the most energy/motivation/focus–I think that might be an interesting way to calculate just how much of a morning bird/night owl I am.
A few staples of my body composition experiment: protein powder and Purple-K creatine.

A few staples of my body composition experiment: protein powder and Purple-K creatine.

Lowering my body fat to 10%, gaining 10 pounds of muscle

  • Since starting this experiment I’ve made a number of changes to my diet, workout plan, and the supplements I’m taking. I’ve also had some pretty great results.
  • Diet changes: When I started this experiment I had a rule that I wouldn’t consume any carbs or alcohol. I now consume some complex carbs (though still a low amount), and have the occasional drink, though I definitely haven’t routinized drinking alcohol.
  • Workout changes: I started the experiment working out with a large number of repetitions (8-12), and have now transitioned to working out with a very small number of reps (3-5), but very slowly, and at my max weight. I’m doing the same exercises as I did before, just a different way.
  • Supplements: I started taking Purple-K, a pH-balanced creatine supplement. This is the only supplement I’m taking. I started taking it because a friend offered it to me for free, and because the product has virtually no side effects. I’m noticing great results with it so far!
  • Body changes: I’m having incredible results with this experiment, but measuring exactly how my body composition is changing is a bitch. I’m noticing that my body fat percentage is dropping (and a 6-pack is even peeking out!), but the ways my nutritionist and I are measuring my body fat aren’t as accurate as we’d like. I have a scale that measures my body composition via electrical impedance, and my nutritionist has a (much more expensive) machine that does the same. We’re working hard on getting more accurate numbers so I have something to report back with!

Writing 200,000 words over one year

  • On track with this one, give or take a few hundred words!

Send me a crazy idea for an experiment!

Running crazy productivity experiments on myself is no doubt one of my favourite parts about AYOP (even though some experiments can be difficult to slog through).

If you have an idea of an experiment I should do, send me off an email! The crazier the idea the better.

  1. Source: http://bit.ly/17GPhBA 

Written by Chris Bailey

Chris Bailey has written hundreds of articles on the subject of productivity and is the author of three books: How to Calm Your Mind, Hyperfocus, and The Productivity Project. His books have been published in more than 40 languages. Chris writes about productivity on this site and speaks to organizations around the globe on how they can become more productive without hating the process.

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