Have you noticed that you’re better at work task during a particular time of the day? Maybe you do your best work from 8am to 12pm. Or maybe you’re a night owl who’s most creative and productive in the late evening.
Pay attention to when you feel those spurs of productivity. They may occur once or even twice a day. And there are probably some times during the day when have more mental energy and other times when it’s easier to do physical work.
We all have natural rhythms of times when we’re alert and active and other times when we’re not. And we have low points in our day when all we want to do is lay down for a nap. While doing that isn’t usually an option when you’re working a regular 9-5 job, there are ways to take advantage of both highly productive periods of time and those times when you can’t focus.
If you’re a morning person, get into the office early and work on everything that has to be done right away. Focus on tasks that take a lot of energy and brain power during that time. If you don’t really get going until about 10am, use the first few hours at your desk to check email, do some research and plan your day. Once you feel that your brain is getting into gear, shut out all distractions and get to work.
Save the busy work for those times during the day when you’re not feeling productive. Laying down for a nap my not be an option, but you can catch up on filing and other fairly mindless tasks during those few hours.
Paying attention to your body and when you work best isn’t just limited to work hours. If you find that you don’t have a lot of energy by the time you get home from the office, start that laundry before you head into work in the morning. Get up a little earlier and take care of a couple of household chores before work instead of after. Or head to the gym if you have more energy and willpower in the morning than in the evening. Take advantage of the flow and ebb of your personal energy levels throughout the day and listen to your body. Trust me, this works much better than relying on coffee, sugar, and other stimulants to help you get through your day.