May 8, 2008

When Are We Most Productive?

I recently read a post on productivity and considering the natural cycles of society, it makes sense that we're likely the most productive during the same hours that coincide the best times to post a blog post or post an article to our website.

How can I base this? Because this is when people are in the most focused, intense "work" mode.

Amazingly enough, the best time to post a blog post is 10:30 a.m. PST to 2:00 p.m. PST Tuesday through Friday. I'll stretch that a tad, but based upon this I'll state the peak productivity time, in general, for employees and workers is between 10:00 a.m. PST and 3:00 p.m. PST.

What I'm talking about is how to maximize things that so many people struggle with, ranging from time management to productivity skills, doing first things first, managing the "7 Habits of Highly Successful People", and other time/management/productivity concerns.

Considering the schedule I've proposed, I have to ask: are you taking LONG LUNCHES? If you are, you're cutting into your most productive time during the day. I'd suggest that you either eat a lighter lunch or take a late lunch, that way you'll be maximizing your highest productivity hours in each week.

If you've failed to consider the most productive hours of a day, and claim that late night is your top time (I've been guilty) or claim that morning is also your most productive time (been guilty of that, too), well, here's the wake up call: most people are in work mode during Tuesday through Friday. They start to "check out" at 2:00 p.m. because many have kids they need to tend to. School schedules usually release children around 2:00 pm or 3:00 pm, and amazingly, this is also when productivity begins to wane among adults, too. After 5:00 p.m., we're thinking about dinner. After dinner, we relax and digest our food. During the weekend, we're relaxing and having fun from our hard work during the week. However, I will also point out that if we use Internet data for our assumption, then we need to consider that many people are East Coast-based and therefore 2:00 p.m. PST is 5:00 p.m. (EST) to them.

Peak Productive Time?

When is your peak productive time? If you're like many others, you probably take a half hour to settle into your work. In addition, you probably unwind for the last 15 minutes each day, too. On top of that, you'll need at least two 10 minute breaks, and at least 30 minutes for lunch. Take all of that away, you're probably going to have your peak productivity start to kick in around 8:30 a.m. and then wind down around 4:45 p.m., if you maintain an 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. schedule.

Make the most out of it!

The 80/20 rule will apply, too, so that peak time during the middle of the day is critical to your ongoing success. Don't waste it! Your best time for a meeting is likely on Wednesday or Thursday right around NOON. So, make the most out of these time slots!

Maximize the time when you can reach the most people, impact them the most, and focus your efforts to be your most productive self between Tuesday and Friday between the time frame of 10:30 a.m. PST and 5:00 p.m. EST. Schedule your most important meeting each week at Noon on Thursday. That is when you'll get the biggest bang for your time slot.

When you practice solid time management skills, you will fare better. Ideas I have to refresh for you with this article include:

Time Management Tips:

  1. Focus on one thing at a time.
  2. Complete a task, then move on to your next item on your priority list.
  3. Start with one global or long-term goal, then a short-term easy goal, each day. This will make sure you don't avoid the most pressing thing, and also ensure you don't ignore your long-term goals, either.
  4. Set a goal for the amount of time to break, eat, and break throughout the day.
  5. Don't get side-tracked with items off of your list.
When we instill a sense of discipline into our work day, we get more things done. See if renewing your focus on your peak hours, and by putting your list of things-to-do into the core of that time-frame, you're bound to be more successful.

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  1. Social Network Web DesignMay 13, 2008 at 12:03 AM

    Very informative and insightful post. Thanks for sharing. :)