To help you get the most out of your day take advantage of your peak performance time.
Most of us have heard the “night owl” or the “morning lark” labels for people who stay up late or get up early. There is a ring of truth to these labels and most of us know which category we fall into naturally. But did you know that within your day there are hours when you will be significantly more productive than others?
During this peak period is the ideal time to tackle the harder tasks, the ones requiring the most attention to details or the most creativity. For me, a night owl, my most creative time during my normal workday is from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. When my coworkers are fading from their afternoon doldrums I’m just hitting my stride. I can also be very productivity after 8:00 p.m.
If you aren’t already aware of your peak time, reflect back on the last several days and ask yourself:
- When did I get the most done?
- When did I get the least done?
- When did I feel most creative?
- When do I struggle to concentrate on the tasks at hand?
As you look at the answers you will find you peak productive times. If these times fit in to your normally scheduled workday you will be most productive if you can plan your day to use these times for the most demanding tasks on your list. Use the none peak times for the routine tasks that require less focus, such as returning calls, answering emails, filing, or other similar tasks.
If your peak time is outside of your workday, then the challenges are tougher. Can you shift your schedule to take advantage of your best times? If not, what are your best times during your work hours? Treat those as your work peak hours and plan the difficult tasks during that time.
Your peak performance times that occur outside your work hours are great times for tackling tough home projects or exercising. The same principles of using your best times for the demanding or creative tasks helps you be effective in your personal time as well.