advertisement
advertisement

10 ultra-productivity habits from Hollywood’s busiest Muslim actor

It takes some serious organizational skills to remake Hollywood from the inside. Here’s how Riz Ahmed gets it done.

10 ultra-productivity habits from Hollywood’s busiest Muslim actor
[Photo: Christina Ebenezer; Groomer: Tara Hickman using Armani Beauty at Carol Hayes Management]

Time he wakes up

7 or 7:30 a.m.

advertisement
advertisement

Productivity apps he uses

“So much of productivity is about keeping all these productivity tools, like Slack, Whats­App, and Brainbox, at arm’s length. I use Freedom, a web blocker that stops you from going online. It shuts me out after 8 or 9 p.m. until noon [the next day].”

His relationship with social media

“I don’t check my accounts. Anything that needs to be posted I send to my assistant, and she posts it for me. [Social media is] a necessary evil because it is the way that so many of us are connected. It’s how we can shine a light on good causes and make a social impact. [But] we’re all addicts in recovery at this point and we need to create safeguards.”

Trick for maintaining home/work separation

“I use a phone safe—a timed kitchen safe you can buy on Amazon for $30—to put my phone in overnight. I lock it in at 8 p.m., and I’m not getting it back till 2 p.m. the next day. The days I do that, I feel freest psychologically. When I really need to go into lockdown mode, I also remove Safari from my phone and give my wife or a friend or family member the ScreenTime passcode so I can’t just re-download it—or Instagram or Twitter. I don’t have access to that passcode even now.”

advertisement

Definition of productivity right now

“A lot of us were trapped in a kind of unsustainable workaholism. Getting to the top of that capitalist mountain did not save us from the pandemic. Individualistic ambition is limited. It can get in the way of [the kind of thinking] we need more of right now, which is a community-oriented thinking.”

Best habit

“I don’t let much slide.”

Worst habit

“I’m quite good at beating myself up over things. I’m trying to be better at giving myself a break. Taking holidays and not feeling guilty about it is part of productivity. Almost every holiday I’ve taken has been with someone else or a group of people. [And] they have to spend a long time convincing me to join them.”

advertisement

One thing he’s done this year to try to improve himself

“I started cooking. Before [the pandemic], I was trying to throw as many ingredients as possible into a NutriBullet and throw them down my neck on the way to do something. Cooking was something I did not take time to do. Still, you definitely want to avoid eating [any] meal that I’ve cooked if you can.”

Last thing he does at night

“Journaling always makes me feel better. I’ll do it four or five days a week. It’s a way of processing what I’ve experienced and understanding how I feel about it. I think you have to [use] pen and paper because you write slower than you think. It’s a way of forcing yourself to sit with each thought. There’s something cathartic about putting [thoughts] onto the page. That’s what started driving me to write lyrics.”

Time he goes to bed

“Ideally, 10 p.m., but in reality it’s closer to midnight.”

advertisement

Read more about Riz Ahmed’s productivity secrets, particularly how he copes with insomnia, and check out the Fast Company winter cover story about how Riz Ahmed is working to increase Muslim representation in film. Also, check out the Secrets of some of 2021’s Most Productive People.

advertisement
advertisement
advertisement