To be productive when we want or need to be is everyone's dream. Just to sit down and start writing and creating something. But unfortunately our productivity doesn't start at the push of a button.
Sometimes we are more productive and sometimes less. Luckily, there is a way to recognize when you are most likely to be at your peak of productivity and optimize it.
It's true that the productivity levels will always benefit from good time management, but it will get an even bigger boost when you know which part of your day is most optimal for working on the most challenging and creative tasks.
Humans have an internal 24-hour "clock". That's why we usually sleep, wake up, eat or rest at the same time every day.
Humans have an internal 24-hour "clock".
The times may differ from person to person, but the cycle is universal. We go through 90-minute block periods of greater concentration and productivity.
The beginning of each period is the time when the brain has the most energy and is most concentrated. After that, the energy is slowly depleted. At the end of each period you can continue working, but you will not be as effective. Your brain needs some downtime.
How do I find out when I'm most productive?
Get ready to do a little test. For one week, record your concentration levels, enthusiasm and energy levels every hour or so of your working day. Likewise, write down any triggers. Did your productivity fall the moment you opened Instagram? Or did it actually boost motivation?
Work on your data
Now that you know when you are likely to be at your peak of energy and attention, it is up to you to optimize those time periods to be moments of uninterrupted work or creation.
Plan your day around your findings:
8:00 a.m.: Your data shows that you tend to initiate a productive period. Sit in front of the computer and concentrate on your project for 90 minutes.
9:30 a.m.: Time for a break. Take a break. Walk around. Walk your dog. Have a coffee.
10:00 a.m.: Another productive cycle begins. Get to work!
11:30 a.m.: Instead of stopping, you can take care of more automatic jobs that do not require your concentration
3:00 p.m.: End of the afternoon (or evening or midnight, depending on how you work best), with a final 60-minute productivity cycle.
Find how long you can focus for and set up your day accordingly.
If you notice that you stay focused for 60-minute spells, then work for 55 minutes, then take a 5 minute break. Remember that a 4-hour full-on day is way more productive than 10 hours of alternating between being bored and replying emails.