A Jamaican Woman Changed My Life.

How I unlocked my productivity potential.


The Problem

Earlier this year I moved to Copenhagen to work as an EiR at Startupbootcamp. Pretty soon into the program I was swamped with things on my to-do list. I was working with 10 startups, all at different stages, with 19 founders who all had varied backgrounds. I wasn’t alone, we have a great team, but staying on top of everything was proving to be a challenge.

Once we started getting into the swing of things I had a really long Wunderlist and a nasty Google calendar (see above). I was getting stuff done, but I felt that I was performing far below my potential. I knew I could do more. The applications I was using weren’t giving me a clear vision of my day, and more importantly they weren’t holding me accountable.

I knew there had to be a better way to help me get shit done and there was.

Her

If you haven’t seen Her, you should. Joaquin Phoenix plays a guy sometime in the future who falls in love with his operating system. The cool part about the movie, in my opinion, isn’t the futuristic love story but the conversations he has with his OS. I really liked the concept of having someone know things about your life and help you out throughout the day without ever actually meeting.

This reminded me of something my friend experimented with about a year ago. He hired someone to call him every day to help him wake up #1stworldproblems. Naturally the conversations turned to “so what are you going to do today?” The next day she would ask him “were you able to do x,y,z yesterday?” Genius! All of the sudden he found himself being more productive. He had a clear vision for the day and a plan of action. Everything he told her he was going to do, he did. In his own words:

It’s more than just a wake up call. It’s a personal assistant who helps me organize my day and holds me accountable to what I need to accomplish. Talking to her gets my day started and lays it out in front of me so I can effectively manage my time.

Experience

I decided to give it a go. I hired a woman in Jamaica to call me every weekday morning and it changed my life. I’ve used productivity apps in the past, but they all pale in comparison to my Morning Person (that’s what I started calling her). I was getting more done, staying on top of my calendar, and waking up on time.

A typical conversation usually goes like this:

D: Hello?
MP: Good morning, Dave! How did you sleep?
D: Great, thanks. What’s on the schedule for today?
MP: Today you have a meeting at 10:30 with Noisli, then a meeting with Truly Social at 13:00, followed by a sales call with Woomio at 15:45. It also looks like you want to finish a press release, work on your landing page, and call your sister today. Were you able to complete the market research for Weadeo yesterday?
D: Sounds good. Yes, I was able to complete the market research. I also want to work on hiring a marketing intern today so let’s put that on the list as well.
MP: Perfect. By the way it looks like there is a 50% chance of rain today so you might want to bring a jacket. Have a great day!
D: Thank you! Bye.

In 30 seconds to a minute I know what I have to do, where I am supposed to be, and because I told someone I am going to complete a task I am going to complete it because I know she is going to follow up. The magic is in the accountability I feel because of the follow up.


Morning Person

I loved having someone call me and go through my day. I couldn’t stop telling people about it. Pretty soon people were asking me to set them up with morning calls. That’s how Morning Person was born. It’s a platform that helps facilitate task accountability and productivity through verbalizing your day.

We’re currently still in development and private beta but if you’re interested in being included in beta, please add your email to our email list here. If you want to know when we’re going to be available to the public follow us on twitter or join our email list. If you have any questions feel free to tweet me @davfry or shoot me an email at hello@morningperson.co