Monday. Ubud, Bali.
I jumped out of bed at 8. Checked the time on my iPhone, chugged a liter of water and took an ice cold shower. Threw on some shorts, a t-shirt, and was in the coffee shop for 8:30am.
So far I’ve written approximately 4500 words.
Pretty good output?
Here’s what I’ve consumed:
- 2 liters of water
- 1 cup black coffee
- 1 modafinil tablet (200mg)
That’s my ultimate productivity diet.
Modafinil, coffee and intermittent fasting will make you a productivity machine.
Intermittent Fasting Regime
I fast every day on a flexible schedule. I just eat whenever I feel like eating. On average the first meal is between 12 and 2; sometimes earlier, sometimes later. I like to listen to my body and do what feels right.
Often I eat because I have maxed out my productivity period and need to get away from working for a little while. I can’t work for more than 3-4 hours. I start to lose focus and get fidgety, needing to change environment, take some down time and allow my mind to re-focus.
I do tend to eat dinner quite late, so it’s around a 14-16 hour fast usually.
Fasting is an integral part of my morning productivity for two reasons:
- I want to get up, go through my morning routine and get straight on with something useful. Waiting around for breakfast is a recipe for flicking through social media, getting distracted and generally doing nothing of purpose all morning.
- When I start eating, I start being hungry every couple of hours. By compressing the eating window I am able to actually do things without stopping to eat all the time, and it’s super easy to stay lean.
This is the routine that works for me. You might be different, so give it a go and see how it works for you. Not everyone responds to fasting the same way.
Intermittent fasting and coffee
Coffee is the most important meal of the day. No, that isn’t a joke.
Victor Pride wrote a nice little ode to coffee (and cold showers) recently which I liked. Coffee is an essential part of my productivity and happiness.
It’s a simple pleasure. A good cup of coffee will always make me happy, no matter what else is going on in the world. Maybe that’s just me? Lucky for you, it also suppresses your appetite, so it makes fasting much easier and enjoyable. If I don’t have coffee for some reason, I end up with a caffeine withdrawal headache and hunger pangs, within a few hours.
Black coffee works best. From the fasting points it’s obvious that milk and sugar is not actually fasting. From the productivity point, I would hypothesize that it is along the same lines, the blood sugar fluctuations derail the smooth flow of productivity.
If I didn’t drink coffee, I wouldn’t fast. It’s that important to the process. I also like to work in coffee shops and resent paying coffee shop prices for a glass of tea I don’t even want. That’s probably just my British tight-ass ways shining through.
As for how coffee actually interacts with the body when fasting, I don’t know or particularly care. I’m a man of action. If something works I’ll do it. If it doesn’t then I’ll cut it. Coffee and intermittent fasting works. I spoke about it a little bit in this post: coffee and intermittent fasting for fast caffeine metabolizers.
Modafinil, coffee and Intermittent fasting
Adding modafinil in to the mix gives an incredible level of focus and productivity that cannot be matched. The three factors interact (for me) in a way that just puts me on a different level.
They say the average person can focus intensely for about 20 minutes before their mind starts to wander. With practice you can become better at this, and I can generally do about 40 minutes if I’m working on something I enjoy or that captivates me.
Today I did about 2 hours before I came up for air at all. Went to the toilet and got another 90 minutes , before I started to lose focus. That is an incredible difference in ability to focus, allowing me to get through a large amount of work.
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I went to the gym (read my post about training when taking modafinil) and got the work done. I always work on a split schedule. Few hours in the morning, then eat, chill for a bit before the gym. Shower and eat, then a few more hours in the evening of work.
I have a natural low in the early afternoon, which is why I don’t even try and do any work. I know that it isn’t going to happen and I’m better served regenerating to come back and hit it when I get my natural focus and creativity back in the evening.
It’s now 9pm as I wrap this post up. After the gym I:
- wrote another 500 words
- checked in on facebook ads for 3 of my clients and made adjustments as needed
- answered email and messages (the joys of living 8 hours ahead of home – no need to respond to people until the evening!)
- set up a couple of new ads
- made some adjustments to landing pages and website bits and bobs for said ads
- wrote this post, 906 words and counting…
A pretty epic day of getting shit done, all in all. I might start another post now.
I wouldn’t recommend doing this more than once every week or two. You start to become resilient to the effects of modafinil and then get annoyed at yourself when you can’t focus. Planning an easier day the following day is a good idea. You might not need to take it, but you might have a bit of a comedown and not want to do so much work. It’s probably best not to have too much that requires being done.
This is a strategy that I use when I have a lot to do, or simply want to get through a huge amount of work in minimal time. I also tend to group the things I don’t particularly enjoy or will usually procrastinate on. I do this because I don’t need any help to be productive doing the stuff that I love doing, so I let my natural desire work on that and enhance myself for the bit I don’t like so much.
If you want to read my review of the best modafinil store online, click here.