Timing can make or break your day. How? Studies show that when it comes to getting stuff done, the time of day can really make a difference.
What Is Circadian Rhythm And Why Is It Important For Personal Productivity
The human body is influenced by the circadian rhythm, a natural cycle of physiological and biochemical processes that occur in approximately 24-hour intervals.
This cycle is regulated by the body's internal “clock”⏳ and is affected by environmental cues, such as light☀️ and temperature🌡️.
During the day, the body increases its alertness, focus, and productivity as the daylight increases. However, as the day progresses, the body's ability to focus and stay productive decreases. This is why most people feel most productive in the morning.
But then, things get more complex. According to research:
Individual differences in circadian variation in mood reflect several factors, including an endogenous rhythm in energy, the distribution of social activities throughout the day, and the person’s awareness of their own energy level.
It implies that people tend to be more productive when their circadian rhythms are in sync with the time of day.
Below, there is a selection of productivity hacks that have been verified to work for morning, afternoon, and evening. They can assist you in:
- finding the right approach for your individual productivity needs
- making your work more enjoyable
- promoting a better balance between your job and personal life.
How To Increase Productivity In The Morning
The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour... All memorable events, I should say, transpire in morning time and in a morning atmosphere. – Henry David Thoreau
Having a morning routine that works for you is key to having a productive and happy day.
Here are some ideas to help you fill your morning routine with activities that foster happiness, productivity, and wellness. These include:
✅Waking up before sunrise (discard it if you are an evening person).
✅Stretching (some experts suggest that improving mobility is more beneficial for knowledge workers).
✅Making your bed.
✅Avoiding technology in the first hour of your day.
✅ Meditating and practicing gratitude.
✅Beginning your day with a healthy breakfast and staying hydrated.
✅Utilizing a daily productivity checklist to ensure that you always know what’s on your plate.
Effective performance is preceded by painstaking preparation. – Brian Tracy
✅Taking the time to prioritize, so you can be sure to get the most important tasks done first.
Focus on being productive instead of busy. – Tim Ferriss
✅Blocking out time for deep focus tasks and use that time to get your most important work done.
✅Planning breaks (regular breaks will help you stay focused and productive).
✅Setting milestones (even if you reached a deadline for the task, reward yourself – will help you stay motivated and on track).
✅Eliminate distractions and try monk mode: Turn off your phone, close social media tabs, and focus on the task at hand.
In Numbers: 40% of the population belongs to the chronotype that we define as early birds or early risers.
Big Picture: If you want to be more productive, don't just focus on trying to manage your time better. Think about how you use your energy instead.
Top Technique: Timeboxing is a technique for optimizing deep work by setting a specific amount of time for a task. It involves breaking down a task into smaller chunks and setting a specific amount of time for each chunk. This helps to keep focus and prevent procrastination.
Additionally, it can help to apply a time tracker automating all the calculations and to take regular breaks to stay productive.
How To Increase Productivity In The Afternoon
To create a productivity-rich climate in the afternoon, the focus must be shifted to organizing and adjusting your environment. It will facilitate an unbroken workflow, and prevent burnout.
✅Get Up and Move: Taking a break to walk outside can help you recharge, refocus and increase productivity.
✅Eat a Healthy Snack: Eating a well-balanced snack (fruit, nuts, or vegetables are great to get through the afternoon slump as they can provide energy and focus). If you consider a cup of coffee, try to do it before 3pm not to disrupt your sleep.
✅Take a Power Nap: Taking a short nap during the afternoon proves to help restore alertness and productivity.
✅Declutter and organize your work area: Spending a few minutes each afternoon to organize your workspace and prioritize tasks can help you stay focused.
✅Listen to music or ambient sounds: Choose music that is calming and uplifting to help you stay productive.
✅Experiment with scheduling your meetings: Tuesday, at 2:30 p.m., is the day and time of the week when most people accept meeting requests.
✅Apply a tracker: the point of time tracking is to help you set healthy boundaries on work and make work life maintenance an easy-to-accomplish task. If you're juggling multiple projects, try using a timer that integrates into task management tools.
✅Change your environment if you feel overwhelmed: Working in the same place all day can be draining. Try changing the scenery by working in a different room.
In Numbers: At work, employees experience a productivity slump at 1.27pm, followed by another at 2.06pm.
Big Picture: The most effective way to manage your time in the afternoon is not necessarily to focus on the most urgent tasks, but to build a productive environment to get clarity for the most efficient allocation of time and resources throughout the day.
Top Technique: Figuring out the types of tasks and then picking the best time for them is the best way to manage your time, instead of just doing the most urgent thing first.
How To Increase Productivity In The Evening
There are lots of good ways to use up an evening but first, it's worth discussing why some people feel more productive in the evening.
Why are some people most productive in the evening?
Unlike morning people whose energy levels are highest and for whom distractions are at their lowest in the morning, night owls perceive evening hours as the most productive.
By defining them as evening people, we mean they naturally feel more alert and energized in the evening.
To discover whether you are a definite evening or a moderate evening person, you can try AutomatedMEQ.
Night owls can reverse their daily routine by starting with simpler tasks and then transitioning to more creative tasks in the afternoon or evening.
Here are a few 'fit-all' ideas for feeling more productive:
✅Allocate learning a new skill with an online class or a tutorial vid. Listen to a podcast or watch a doco to increase your knowledge.
✅Get your thoughts down on paper in a journal or blog.
✅Get creative and do painting, drawing, or crafting.
✅Set aside a bit of time to get ready for the following day. You could lay out your outfit, stuff your bag, or prep your food – it'll help you stay on top of things and reduce morning stress.
✅Schedule your meditation session or do mindfulness exercises.
✅Get out in nature: it proves to help beat stress and make you feel better. Epel believes that you can reduce stress just by being around nature, in any setting. Being in the great outdoors can help us recover from overstimulation and stress caused by our day-to-day lives.
✅Set up a comfortable environment for yourself to help you relax.
✅Avoid creativity-robbing social media. Disconnect from technology at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
✅Not to lose control over your sleep, try the following: Instead of setting an alarm for waking up, set an alarm for sleep. You can use a sleep time calculator to help you get exact numbers for your sleep bedtime and build a healthy routine stress-free.
Chronotypes and Healthy Sleep Routine
People differ in their chronotypes, or their natural sleep patterns, based on a variety of factors. These include genetics, age, lifestyle, and environment.
Aside from the traditional classification of morning-intermediate-evening people. there are other categorizations. In particular, there is the concept of bear🐻, lion🦁, wolf🐺, and dolphin🐬chronotypes.
It was first proposed by Dr. Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist and sleep specialist. He identified four distinct chronotypes based on the circadian rhythms of individuals, which he labeled as the bear, lion, wolf, and dolphin. Each chronotype is associated with a different sleep pattern and lifestyle.
It should be noted that people's chronotypes can also change over time, as their lifestyles and environment change.
Why It Is Important: Understanding your sleep patterns is essential in order to make the most of the advantages and limitations of each chronotype. Knowing one’s chronotype can help to optimize sleep and lifestyle habits. Furthermore, it can be crucial for maximizing your time and energy.
Another Important Hack
The business practice of outsourcing can be applied for increasing your productivity throughout the day.
Tips for outsourcing:
✅ Utilize automation: Automation can help streamline processes, reduce errors, and free up time to focus on more important tasks.
✅ Outsource non-core tasks: Outsource tasks that are not essential to your core operations.
✅ Set clear expectations: Establish clear expectations when you outsource tasks including deadlines, quality standards, and communication protocols.
✅ Take advantage of Google Calendar time tracking: a perfect way to create, schedule and manage tasks, meetings, and events.
✅ Monitor progress: Monitor the progress to ensure the agreed-upon expectations.
✅ Foster collaboration: This way, you will not lose track of tasks.
✅ Provide feedback: Positive feedback will be a building block for effective communication in the future.
You can assess your personal productivity lifestyle, which can be helpful in defining the direction you need to take for feeling more productive throughout any day.
Do you find that your productivity is different in the morning compared to the evening?
If you do, it's fine: there are differences between productivity in the morning and evening time due to the influence of the circadian rhythm.
When Is The Most Productive Time To Wake Up?
The best time to wake up depends on the individual and their lifestyle. Generally, the ideal time to wake up is between 6 and 8 a.m. to make the most of the day and ensure that you have enough time to get enough sleep.
Why Am I Not Productive In The Morning?
It is possible that your lack of productivity in the morning could be attributed to a number of causes, such as inadequate rest, unhealthy eating habits, insufficient physical activity, too many distractions, or lack of incentives.
What Are The Best Productivity Hacks For The Day?
In the morning, it's essential to set goals, make a game plan, and get yourself organized. At night, you should look back on your day, think about what went well and not so well, and plan out your next day. Plus, make sure to get enough shut-eye so you can be productive tomorrow.