For me, a Productive Hour means 60 minutes of uninterrupted deep work with a full focus on the given task. If I’m interrupted or just pause (answering team mate’s question, lunch, etc), then I’m stopping the timer for this task and track it as a “not-productive” time. My daily average for development is around 4.5 productive hours and I can push myself to do 8 – 9 hours when doing a less mentally demanding activity.

Immediate benefits of using the productive hour for tracking your work

Normalization and objectivity – now you have a unit which can be compared (for previous days/weeks, or with different persons), you can measure your productivity and figure out ways to improve (earn more money).

Effectiveness – new KPI – I track “non-productive” time as well. So, I can introduce these metrics:

  • Time in the office = productive time + not productive time
  • Effectiveness of work = productive time / Time in the office

My average productivity is 76%. This means, during 1 hour spent in the office, I’m productive for 45.6 minutes. I can use this information in multiple ways:

  • I can optimize my productivity, so I work 50 minutes instead of 45.6.
    • By being roughly 9% more effective, in theory, my income could be higher
  • I can track the influence of my behavior on my effectiveness. There are various things which can impact on this, such as; sport, meditation, ketogenic diet, drinking coffee, green tea, nootropics, consumption of alcohol and partying etc.