Ahmad Awais

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So, This Is What the Most Productive MONDAY Looks Like for Me?! 🔥👌😲

Ahmad AwaisAhmad Awais

Mondays, as we know it, are not fun at all. Having a productive Monday is a godsend let alone the Most Productive MONDAY™ — which is what I had yesterday. I can’t shake the feeling of how awesome it felt.

I wanted to write this article yesterday but didn’t wanna jinx it. So, here it goes. Not only was yesterday the most productive day I had in 2018, but a cherry on the top it was a Monday. See, I know! 😲

This is what the day looked like:

🌘 I slept at 1 AM Sunday’s night.

☀ And woke up at 4 AM on a Monday morning (intentionally).

I’ve been meaning to make a drastic change in my schedule for quite some time now, but my time is hardly my own when I’m interviewing for a position at a few companies. Wrote about it in my 2017 Year In Review.

⚡ I meditated for a while and began my work at 5 AM.

📺 I’m recording my new online course → VSCode.pro nowadays.

📹 In the next six hours, I recorded about ~10 videos and that’s a lot of work.

🚀 My recording workflow is currently a work in progress. It’s changing faster than the speed at which new JavaScript frameworks are being released. I do a lot while recording a single video — call it over-engineering but it’s how it is. Here’s a gist of it all:

  1. First of all, I prepare a topic, thinking about what I am going to talk
  2. Then I switch on recording in Audio Hijack (custom workflow thanks to Brian) — this stops any noise and too loud voice print from getting recorded. Which results into a generally clean audio recording from even a USB mic like mine (details about what I use)
  3. Then I loop this audio via Loopback to create a custom audio device within my system that is my main audio device
  4. Then I use SwitchResX to change my screen resolution to 1280 x 720 with HiDP to record at 16:9 which is a good standard
  5. After that I switch on recording via Screenflow — my screen and the Loopbacked audio from AudioHijack (which is in turn recording my audio via Rode Podcastor)
  6. Then after recording a single video, I create a folder named after the lesson I just created, then I save it as a 1-REC-RAW.screenflow file then I make a copy of it and rename it to 2-REC-Proccessed.screenflow — from which I export lossless audio and save it as 3-Audio-RAW.aiff
  7. After that I open Adobe Audition CC 2018 and start a predefined preset for a multitrack (thanks for Joshua who helped me build the preset) — inside this preset I import the Raw audio file from the last step, I process it a little, and then export the entire multitrack session which I in turn export as a 4-Audio-Processed.mp3 file
  8. This new processed audio file is what I import in my 2-REC-Proccessed.screenflow file where I process both the audio and video files — trim down long puases, mistakes, umz and aaz
  9. Finally, I export a 1920 x 1080 video file called 5-Video.mp4 from screenflow ready to be uploaded at my Vimeo pro account with custom export template
  10. Then I play the video to see if it’s good and upload it to Vimeo pro

🙈 That’s a lot of work for one single video recording, that you’ll watch in what 2 to 5 minutes. I wrote more about this workflow and over-engineering in my 2017 Year In Review.

👌 So, when I say that I recorded and post-processed ~10 videos in six hours, that’s an achievement — I am so proud of. Highest I could ever go.

☕ Drank a cup of coffee after a couple of weeks. Trying to do away with coffee-addiction for a couple of years now.

😴 At 11 AM I watched my daily dose of English TV Series and slept again.

☄ Woke up again at 3 PM and was pretty fresh to start the work again.

🤖 Then a couple of developers wanted consultancy and support so I took an hour off my schedule to jump on a call and helped them with a project.

❌ On the last Saturday, I arranged this #GlobalAzure meetup and lost my memory card with all the pictures in it. Wrote an email to send to the attendees about what had happened. All I was left with were these Instagram Stories my wife recorded while I was talking about Azure Cognitive Services with MongoDB Atlas project that I have been building. Give it a watch →

🔥 At around 6 PM I recorded a VSCode hot tip to share on Twitter. I then deployed the hot-tip via pug based static site builder I wrote which generates hot tips for me that I build with Azure functions and deploy with Netlify.

🕌 I also managed to meditate/pray five times on Monday — incredible AH!

🍵 Then I took a cup of tea with a few kebabs thanks to my wife Maedah.

💰 Had to deal with a few taxation issues out of the blue. Pretty strange!

🗑 Wrote a small open source library and managed a couple of issues/PRs at GitHub. With over hundred GitHub #OpenSource repos I do that almost daily.

💪 Finally, at 8:30 PM I was at the gym. Spent an hour on cardio/treadmill, and then about 45 minutes exercising for biceps/triceps and shoulders, including a few aerobic exercises.

🍲 Came back home to eat dinner, watched an episode of Billions and went back to bed by 1 AM. What a day it was.

I slept twice in 24 hours and worked for ~10 hours, with 3 hours of exercise and other stuff. Never imagined a Monday could be so productive.

👇 Here’s what my RescueTime data looks like. Pretty sure it was more than 85% productive — but I’ll take 85 any day of the week.

Ahmad Awais Perfect Monday

🤔 Humph, that was a lot! Even to write about.

BTW. I loved the idea of sleeping and waking up twice in 24 hours. It’s the best way to maintain positive energy. I used to follow three different schedules early on in my career but this one just might be the answer to it all. If I could do that 15 days every month, I’ll be three times more productive as I am now. That focus would do wonders.

🕰

I just wanted to write this blog post to serve as a reference to tell the future me — never compare this day with a bad day. It’s completely fine to even take a day or two off and avoid burn out. Days like these are anomalies. Enjoy them as they pass. Don’t restrain yourself with timelines and schedules but instead get better at setting the right expectations for yourself.

I hope someone finds this useful.

Peace! ✌

📨

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