I‘ve always been an early riser. I find I get more done before lunch than any other part of the day. Listening to our body clock may be more important than we thought. Science tells us that 80% of us are more productive and effective in the morning (the other 20% are nocturnal!). To the majority of us who are more effective at the onset of the day, why is this?
The sun isn’t the only thing shining brighter in the morning. Our mood and performance are impacted by hidden patterns found throughout the day. According to Daniel Pink, we move through three stages in our day—a peak, a trough, and recovery. Each of these stages are optimal in performing specific tasks.
The morning is considered peak time for performing more analytical and strategic tasks. During the beginning of our day we have a greater ability to pay attention and overcome distraction. In my world of real estate, this would be an optimal time to work on a CMA (comparable market analysis of a property) or real estate statistics. Maybe you reserve morning peak time for financial and/or business planning, regardless of the business you are in, it’s the time of day reserved for tasks requiring the most brain power and focus.
Are you familiar with the mid-afternoon slump? Yep, it’s a real thing. Siesta anyone? The early to mid-afternoon trough is likely your most unproductive time of the day. This is when you would work on more administrative responsibilities. Routine activities like catching up on file management and paperwork, routine emails, or easily executed tasks and busy work.
As the day winds down our moods tend to rise and we relax a bit. This part of the day is known as late day recovery. It’s a more creative space when your spirits may be up but your guard down, you’re less vigilant than in the morning and possibly more open and insightful (aka: relaxed). Work on more creative projects like brainstorming a new marketing idea or business concept.
Regardless of whether you’re a morning person or a night-owl, pay attention to how and when you are spending your time. The difference in improving the quality and quantity of your productivity could be as simple as rearranging your schedule to optimize your energy and ability to focus.