Bootstrapping hashtagify pro: How I doubled my workweek productivity

Creating a startup while working a full time job has its pros and cons. Among the pros, you don’t have to use a lot of your time minding your investors (or looking for them), and you can devote your energies to just make the best possible product. Among the cons, progress is slower and it is very difficult to be productive on workdays, when you already spend 8 hours or more on your day job.

But a week ago I read a comment on HN (edit: thanks to raju in the comments for pointing me to the exact link)┬áthat inspired me to rethink how I’m organizing myself , and with one simple change I doubled my productivity on workdays. How? Instead of working on hashtagify at nights, after getting home from my day job, I’m starting my day two hours earlier, and doing 2 hours of programming in the morning, before going to work.

I’m usually a night person, and have always been very productive at nights, since when I was just a student. But after eight hours of work, it is difficult to have that kind of focus that you need to program, and the two (or two and a half) hours in the morning have been much more productive than the equivalent time in the evening.

After coming home I still do some lighter work, and don’t go to bed without having scheduled a task to do the next morning; this way when I wake up I don’t have to think what to do and I can be immediately productive.

So, the bottom line is that work on hashtagify pro is proceeding very well: now I’m making as much progress during the workweek as I usually make during weekends, while before I only made major progress outside workdays. This means that soon enough I’ll be able to release the first beta. Stay tuned!

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  • Keeran

    Congrats on the timeshift :)

    Be careful not to fall into the trap of seeing this as the Big Win. You’ve told the world now, ship something while you have momentum :)

    • Anonymous

      Thank you Keeran! Actually, I made this half-announcement also to force myself to ship early, and not to give in to my perfectionist part ;)

      • Chris Stewart

        Coffee is for shippers!

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  • raju

    Great article. Was it this comment? http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3110632 ???

    I ask because it made me think about my workday too …

    • Anonymous

      Yes, exactly, and thank you for finding it for me! I wanted to thank the guy, I didn’t go to the same length but he really gave me a shot

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  • Glen Elkins

    I recently made the same switch and agree. After 8-10 hours of work it’s difficult to stay productive after I get home. Another subtle benefit of starting early is that I don’t feel like I’m ignoring my friends and family at night anymore. Good luck to hashtagify!

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, and good luck with your project!

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  • Ima

    Getting a solid 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, and not getting up earlier, makes me more productive than anything else.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t sleep less than before – I still have my 7+ hours. I go to sleep earlier, and rise earlier. I just moved 2 hours of work from the night to the morning…

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  • Mike

    I had never thought of that before, I’m gonna try. Though it may mean that the last hours at your day job are now less productive…

    • Anonymous

      I’m a little more tired at work, but not so much… you can just try and see how it works for you

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  • recroad

    Stupid me for clicking on the HN link thinking that I’d read advice that would apply to someone with kids.

    • Anonymous

      Actually I do have a daughter… why wouldn’t this apply if you have kids?

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