I have been experimenting with weed for the last few weeks. A passion ignited by the results of my little Marijuana Productivity Experiment a few months ago.
My finances finally caught up to my desire to learn more about this, and I can now buy the materials (namely, marijuana).
The practice I have put into place starts with a morning wake and bake (built into a meditation inducing activity by my careful and flawed rolling of the day’s joint).
I relax back in my reading chair, breath in the joint, and just sit.
The results are as follows:
Every single day starts almost exactly the same. I follow a Tim-Ferriss-esque morning ritual, which is why there is purposefully so little variation in the beginnings.
First, invariably, I will slowly get hit with a gleeful and forward looking mindset. I see the day in my minds eye as I wish it to unfold, and set about making it so.
I grab my bag (pre-packed after breakfast) and head out the door.
On the walk, I listen to a podcast and my brain flies along with it. I do not really see the world around me.
Second, I descend into the subway system. The noise of the trains drowns out my earphones, and the speech inside them becomes just noise.
I am amazed at the sheer and gigantic sameness of the tunnels. The train takes a full minute between entering each platform and leaving it, yet the doors are only opened for 10 seconds.
As it flows past you, all you see is a long, flowing, beam of sameness. The pattern just flowing past you. In the back is the wall. Lined with unending, artistically placed, pressure distributing, troughs in the cement wall. Below, countless rows of small square tiles. Above, a vaulting ceiling filled with meter deep cement carvings.
The subway doors open, and I enter yet another strange world inside.
This exact same thing happens every single time I start the wake and bake. The differences from day to day are minute.
But, as the doors close behind me, and I look around at the cramped and completely unsocial capsule I have entered, my paths diverge.
Sometimes, I will pull my hood over my eyes, so I cannot see the other people, Then I will get comfortable, feet resting, on a pair of chairs, pull out my Kindle, and lose myself in reading.
Other times, I will stand around looking at all the people, amusingly trying to get them to make eye contact, and searching for someone who unafraid of making eye contact, and will connect with me.
Today, as I contemplated the sameness of the tunnel, was in a reading mood, and yet had no available chairs to get comfortable, I chose to measure the time between the subway doors opening and closing. I was curious to know how long the doors stayed open at platforms, and how long each trip in between platforms took.
For those interested in these results, it’s 15 seconds time for passengers to board, and an average of 1.25 minutes between stations.
As I leave the subway at my station, I continue my activity of either people watching or podcast listening while walking to my workstation for the day. Usually, I go the the Notman Entrepreneurs house. Today, to the Pikolo cafe.
I sit down, and work begins.
Now this is where the real experiment begins to show results. I am still high (and will be for the next 8 hours or so, as this is strong Canadian weed & I am a lightweight), and I can now see the results of the weed on my productivity and creativity.
I schedule my days to fall into one of two focus types. The type where I have one to three focuses in my day (which I much prefer), and one where my focus changes every hour or less, and is greatly scattered throughout the day. We will call the 1-3 focus days; Deep Focus days. And the <1/hour focus days; Quick Focus days.
On the days of Quick Focus, weed is a nuisance. Every time I stop one activity, and begin to move a new one past inertial rest, the marijuana unfocuses my mind. I often wander around, either becoming distracted or else being stuck in a place of not starting.
But on the days of Deep Focus, the weed works to my advantage. The same effects that caused a wandering mind on the Quick Focus days, causes a deep and absorbed mind in the Deep Focus days; that is, the effect of losing awareness of time.
On Deep Focus days, weed is a productivity booster. It drops me into a my chosen task, and nothing can distract me. Even people talking to me can rarely get a body language response, much less a portion of my actual attention.
I schedule my work so that I am at full rest every 50 minutes, and spend 10 minutes in a total disengagement. Usually listening to well worn speeches, or captivating music, and looking at something with pattern.
This ensures that I do not burn out my focus, and am able to rebuild it every hour without losing it.
On these days, I come out of a trance about 8 hours later, when the weed has nearly worn off. I pack my bag once more, put on warm cloths, and head home to watch an inspirational movie, read a great book, or just be alone. I would be more social, but I don’t have much of a social network here, and am too exhausted to go about building it once my day is over.
Then it is bed, to be repeated the next day.
Side note: Don’t worry, friends who know the dangers of repetition. I assure, I am not in this cycle out of comfort. This is no rut. It is a battle to build a life I want, a life I do not have access to now. My shower is lukewarm at best, my house temperature is only a few digress above freezing temperature, my bed is lumpy, and my food is gross. I am in my cycle so I can leave this place and never have to come back. Once I leave, I will explore and enjoy, not persist as a workaholic.
Results & Conclusion:
So here we have a result that has been discovered in my ongoing Marijuana Productivity Experiment: Marijuana is a great tool for Productivity so long as you are focusing on creative work that lets you get into a multiple-hour-long flow state.
Of course, every tool must be used properly, or it will only do damage. Marijuana, I’ve learned, should be used on days when you know exactly what you will be doing and have it planned out before you smoke, and know that you will have hours of focus on singular items (like writing, or painting, or planning).
Go ahead then, plan a day and roll up a joint. Smoke up tomorrow, and create good shit.
For more assisted productivity experiments, check out The Adderall Productivity Experiment.