Photo: Quasic via flickr
If you feel as though you always have too much to do and not enough time to do it, perhaps it’s not about your workload.Instead, this is because you haven’t figured out how to sync your biological clock to obligations in life.
What does this mean?
Apparently, your internal clock has a lot to do with how productive you will be at different times in the day — and everyone’s clock is different.
Some people are early birds while others work best as night owls.
Maria Popova at Brain Pickings writes that your internal clock is actually “traced down to the genetic level, with individual ‘clock genes,’ ” which basically means, why try to fight it when it’s genetics?
You’d be a lot more productive if you try to understand this clock of yours, use it to your advantage and basically, beat your own system. Figure out when the best time it is for you to perform most efficiently at different tasks throughout the day.
“Most people organise their time around everything but the body’s natural rhythms. Workday demands, commuting, social events and kids’ schedules frequently dominate—inevitably clashing with the body’s circadian rhythms of waking and sleeping.”
For example, when it comes to “doing cognitive work,” most people perform best at this in the late morning, Steve Kay, a professor of molecular and computational biology at the University of Southern California, tells Shellenbarger.
Sleepiness is also highest around 2 p.m. so this is a good time to nap if you can; distraction hits most people between noon and 4 p.m.; eye-hand coordination is most on point in the late afternoon so this is a good time to play sports that require this skill.
You should also eat during your “peak” hours so you can burn the most calories and prevent weight gain.
If you want your emails to have a higher chance of being read, send them before 6 a.m. since people are more likely to check their emails at the start of the day. Morning tweets are more enthusiastic than late night tweets “where emotions heat up just before bedtime, between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.,” Scott Andrew Golder, a doctorate candidate at Cornell University, tells Shellenbarger.
Furthermore, if you’re working on a creative project, it’s best to brainstorm when you’re most tired since “fatigue may boost creative powers,” says Mareike Wieth, an assistant professor of psychological sciences at Albion College in Michigan.
But all of these times only apply to most people and not everyone, which means figuring out how your clock ticks will help you reach your highest productivity potential.
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