You may refer to yourself as an early bird or a night owl. These ideas come from the fact that each of us has a peak time in our day in which we are the most productive. But, do these vague titles really cover exactly what we are? I mean, maybe you are a night owl, but you never seem to be able to complete anything from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. so are you, in fact, a night owl or a 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. owl?
The phenomenon behind us having peak times of productivity comes from your Ultradian Rhythm which occurs throughout the day and is cyclical in how and when you are productive.
You may be like “How will I know when I am most productive?” Because, up until now you probably have not really noticed exactly when you put out your best work, but there is a quick way to do this.
Take note: For the next thirty days, dictate every hour you are awake. This sounds tedious, but after a month it will have the ultimate payoff in allowing you to focus in on your “productive times” during the day.
Review findings: After a month, see where you fall on the spectrum of the day. Maybe you thought you were a night person, but seem to put your best work out at lunch time. You may surprise yourself as to your most productive times.
Make your most productive times focused: The Pomodoro Technique comes into play here. Simply, you have 25 minutes of uninterrupted work–no cell phone, no music, no distractions, followed by a short break to allow your mind to focus, re-cooperate and then go back to work again in cycles. This will ensure you are focused and productive during your best times and won’t fall victim to distractions.
Allow room for error: Some days, you just aren’t feeling well. You may have slept bad, are sick, or are just “off”. This should not be looked at as a failure or a statement of your productivity, so do not worry if you are somehow not doing good work when you normally are. People who try to multi-task, or perfect their work tend to burnout, so it’s best not to dwell on a bad day and do what you can.
When are you most productive? Let us know!
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