In The Pursuit of Wow by Tom Peters he discusses the value of knowing when you are most creative, most energetic and planning your work accordingly. This is not a novel idea but a good one. Like Peters my highest energy and creativity is early in the day. For me it is between 5:00 AM and 11:00 AM. When I can control my time completely I use that time period to write, to think, to plan and to create. Those are the hours when I am most creative, most accurate, and most productive.
Between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM my performance drops though I can still churn out some serious work. During this time I focus on the more mundane chores and activities and crank out work that is less demanding.
After 3:00 PM I do what I have to do but my performance is lower than earlier in the day. Conversely I know others whose top performance is mid-day, or late afternoon, or even late night.
Unlike Tom Peters and many self-employed people most of us do not have the luxury of limiting our productive hours to our peak metabolic time period. Most employers are not interested in catering to your bio-rhythms. They want a day’s work for a day’s pay. They want the doors open from 8 to 5 or whatever business hours may be and they expect performance all day long. Meetings, presentations, conference calls – these all happen when time and schedules allow, not just when it is convenient for us.
So how do you exploit your most productive time? Most of us have some control over our time and work, even at the office working for others. To the extent you can use your most energetic time period to do your best work use it. To the extent you can ask to schedule activities in line with your best performance periods, do it. If you can move your schedule around then take advantage of that to use your most productive time for the most important, creative and demanding work. If you are lucky enough to have the freedom to flex your work time take advantage of that as well.
If you are self-employed and can do so, schedule your peak activities during your peak energy periods. It will pay off with better job satisfaction and better performance.
If you are an employer and you want to get the best work from your employees then accommodate serious efforts on their part to work during their maximum energy time. It will pay off.
Daniel R. Murphy
Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.