To achieve your maximum productivity, you must have a plan. The secret is simple, discover what your best time of day to work. The idea is to use your energy and time to do more and better work.
The first step to discovering your best time is to make a careful self-analysis. This is not to establish a strict schedule, but to find the longest part of the day you’ll be more productive. When during the day, you have the most energy and concentration? When you feel more alive, energetic, creative, optimistic and enthusiastic? When you have the least amount of interruptions and distractions?
Productivity also means being able to exclude distractions that hinder your concentration. When you know when you have your energy highest peak, determines what your main distractions. These are the times when you should avoid scheduling your activities. More »
Now that you’ve identified the phases of energy, it is time to select one to three periods of 90 minutes. These 90-minute sessions are your productive engines.
Why 90 minutes? Research work cycle has shown that most people work best in cycles of 90 minutes followed by a break.
This principle is based on the rhythm of our body, and it is in vain to fight it, even with artificial stimulants like caffeine and sugar intake. As Drake Bauer wrote for the magazine Fast Company, “The 90-minute cycle works.”
Obviously, it is not necessary to set a timer (unless it will help). Instead, it uses the 90-minute period as an approximation to measure your energy efficiency.
What happens between each cycle? That depends on you and your particular situation. What you should not do, however, it is to work – or at least lower the level of work you’ve been doing the last 90 minutes. You must take a break – A solid ‘Get up and walk’ rest.
Not all work is the same. Different types of activities require different levels of energy efficiency. Some jobs can be stressful mentally. Other types of work can be energizing and exciting.
You must do the most demanding tasks during your time of increased energy, and distribute your less demanding tasks on your time remaining energy.
It may seem incoherent to do the hardest and most difficult tasks first, since you can think of that will leave you tired for the rest of the day. But not, as Brian Tracy explained in “Eat That Frog” complete most of your activities earlier in the day is not nerve-racking, but exhilarating.
You have a life, and that you should consider in your production area. There are children to care for, attend meetings, meals to eat, and maybe take naps. How these interruptions are best adapted to your work?
As we said, it works best in cycles of 90 minutes. Do not try to use all your energy together in the day. Use your duty cycles to incorporate disruptions at the right time.
There is a universal limitation we all: The day has 24 hours. Within these hours we must find our most productive time. If you find that the traditional schedule from 9am to 5pm is your productive zone, so be it. However, there are more hours in addition to conventional work this period that might work better as a productive time for you. Face your limitations, then discover your best.
Some people super-productive sleep late, sit around half the day, and enter into productive area around 8 p.m. Then 9 p.m. to 02 a.m. have their peak managing to reach an enormous amount of work.
What works best for you? More »; be creative.