Modafinil’s main effect is increased focus and concentration, along with a touch of euphoria for many users. Those effects make modfafinil perfect for getting work done, whether you have an exam to study for or a deadline to meet. There are ways to make your modafinil day even more efficient, so let’s take a look at what you can do to maximize your productivity on modafinil.
Plan your day
If you’re going to take modafinil, chances are it’s because you have things to do. A normal light day doesn’t really call for a full dose. So before you take a pill, consider what you’re going to be doing. Set up a day where you can stay in one place, get your work done, and call it quits. Modafinil is great when you aren’t going to be disturbed, so you should try to find a space where you won’t be bothered to do your work. Decide in advance when you’ll stop for lunch or a break, because it’s easy to lose track of time when working on modafinil. It’s important to stay hydrated and keep eating as you normally would, even though you can easily forget to. Set alarms in advance and you’ll be able to plow through your work, take your breaks, and get right back to it.
Make a to-do list
For the actual work part of the day, make a list of what exactly you have to do. For instance, I might set aside a couple of hours to write, followed up with some time for university homework, and then an hour to clean the apartment. By breaking your activities down and putting them in order, you’ll find that you move cleanly from task to task. Modafinil makes your mind like a train on rails, it doesn’t have as much freedom to roam. That’s not a bad thing, just make sure that you map out where your train needs to stop.
Cross items off as you go, keeping your list up to date. If something new appears in your day, try to allocate a space for it, preferably after you finish whatever you’re currently working on. Having a list prepares you mentally for what you need to do and you’ll find that you can focus more on your tasks. When you don’t have a plan, your mind will tend to wander and think about when you should start doing something else. Organize first, modafinil later.
Choose the right activities
When I write creatively I avoid modafinil because I find it better to take breaks to ponder new routes available to my story. I write in short bursts, meander a bit, and then get back on track. When I write non-fiction, like this article, I benefit from modafinil because I can do research more efficiently and I tend to write more concisely and analytically.
The point of this example is that some tasks are better suited for modafinil than others. When I need to clean the house, I have a dose and scrub every nook and cranny with the precision of a surgeon, whereas on a normal day I’d probably ignore that corner that has been accumulating filth for weeks. I find that I do a much better job working on things I hate doing when I take modafinil, and that’s why I’d advise people to line up your least favorite tasks for a modafinil day. Whether it’s boring paperwork for my job, a vicious cleansing of the bathroom, or checking a stack of my students’ papers, I find that I’m more likely to power through the job at hand and do it well when modafinil is on my side.
Figure out what type of activities suit your modafinilised self.
Time your dose right
Modafinil takes a little while to take effect, so you should plan accordingly. I start work around 8 AM, and I like to get up and dressed early. I wash my modafinil down with my morning coffee around 7 AM, and by the time I’m out the door at 7:30 I can feel it working. By the time I start work, I’m ready to go. That also matters for the end of the day. Since you can count on about 12 hours of solid effects, sleeping in that time period is difficult if not impossible. I know that I need to be in bed by around 10 to get my precious 8 hours. Ideally you want your dose to kick in when you start working and you don’t want it around when it’s time for bed. Make sure you plan accordingly. It might be tempting to take a dose midday when a lot of work is on your plate, but you’ll likely pay for it later in a bout of insomnia.
Those are just some suggestions for how to make your modafinil day more productive and more satisfying. If you have any others, leave them in the comments. Remember that your experience may differ from others’, so be open to finding whatever methods fit you best.