Get the ABCs of the PPP (Peak Productivity Period)

By Kathy Zucker

I just finished eating a meal, brushed and flossed my teeth, and put a load of laundry in the dryer. My baby is starting to wake from her nap, so I have a bottle ready to go as I sit down to answer emails and start the creative process.

PostIt-thumbnailIt is 6 a.m. and I am smack in the middle of a Peak Productivity Period, a.k.a. “PPP”.

What is a Peak Productivity Period? Simply, it is one of the times of day when the stars and moon align. My three kids – ages 7, 6 and 1 – are all otherwise occupied, my mind is keen, and I am able to sit down at my computer for two hours and walk away with a real sense of achievement. My to do list for today includes writing this column, printing notecards on the color laser printer that is the love of my life, compiling flexible spending receipts so we can get every last dollar before the March 31 deadline, and filing income taxes.

I organize my life around PPPs. They don’t happen every single day, and some weeks (or months) they don’t happen at all. But I know the conditions for setting up a PPP – pick the kids up after school, hand them a piece of fruit, and take them to the nearest playground/indoor playspace/museum and let them run around for two hours. Hand them more fruit and a bagel for dinner, bathe them, and then hand the two older kids off to their dad and head to bed with the baby around 9 p.m.

Going to bed at 9 p.m. means waking up at 4:30 a.m. I eat the dinner I skipped the night before, fire up my laptop, do a few household chores to get into a work routine, and then hit the keyboard.

How did I identify this PPP? By paying attention to situations when I was extremely productive and then working to replicate the circumstances leading up to them. I schedule major projects for PPPs – it makes it easier to accept work engagements when I know how many PPPs to expect in the coming weeks.

Related – Becoming an Accidental Entrepreneur

Kathy_roundKathy Zucker, CEO of Metro Moms Network and Managing Editor of Metro Moms Magazine, mother of three young children and New York Life Keep Good Going Shorty Award winner and judge, writes about juggling career and family in an urban setting. She blogs at, tweets @KathyZucker, posts pics on Instagram, gets down to business at LinkedIn, cracks jokes on Facebook and gets outdoors on Youtube. Email is Kathy@MetroMoms.Net but the fastest way to get in touch is Twitter or Facebook.

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One Comment

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