In the mid-nineties, I worked with a colleague who was a published romance author. She did most of her writing in the evenings, her most productive time. My night owl friend arrived in the office as late as possible while I came in early. Despite my being the morning person and her night gal, we worked well together and stayed in touch after leaving the company.
Transitioning from Sleepyhead to Early Bird
I discovered my penchant for early hours at the start of my career. Of course, there was a time when I couldn’t imagine waking up at or before 7:00 a.m. That happened way back when I was a typical teen. In high school, class started at 8:00 a.m., and I slept walked around the house in the morning and somehow made it to school on time. By the time I went to college, my body hated the 8:00 a.m. class. Somewhere between that class and the first job, the body clock changed its ways. And I heard it.
It makes sense to exercise as early as possible for a burst of energy to carry you through the day. I don’t workout until the afternoon sometime between lunch and 3:00 p.m. because I save my mornings for work when I’m most effective. Besides, if I workout in the morning, I feel guilty thinking I should be working. By the time I step onto a cardio machine or pick up dumbbells, I do it with a clear conscious.
On weekends, I exercise before lunch so I can enjoy the rest of the day without a drop of guilt.
Finding Your Peak Time
Morning, afternoon, night. It doesn’t matter. Identify your high and low energy times based on the needs of your mind and body. Most of us can figure out when we’re most and least productive. However, if you’re not sure, track your work for one week. Pay attention to when you finish the most work and when you drag that it takes you longer.
Also be aware of the types of tasks you do. For example, you may discover it’s easier to make phone calls in the morning because you’re more alert and social than in the afternoon. For me, I do the bulk of writing in the morning saving admin tasks and editing work for sluggish times.
Knowing my peak time is in the mornings, I avoid scheduling appointments and meetings during that time. I also try to schedule them toward the end of the week when I feel more relaxed having accomplished a lot of work for the week.
When are you most productive? Least productive? Are you a morning or night person? Have you always been that way?