We all have a natural body clock, one that depicts whether we’re a morning or evening person and when our energy and attention is at optimum level. But, as small business owners, how many of us actually look to plan our working day around those levels? And how many of us try to make our working day 9-5pm when it really may not suit us?
The natural rhythm of your body dictates when you’ll be most energised, how alert you’ll be and when you’ll be most productive and this goes for everyone, including your clients and colleagues. Therefore, working out what tasks are best suited for the different times of day can be hard especially when some people are most productive in the morning and those who are evening people, peak later in the day!
Look for the averages
Just before we wake up our body temperature starts to rise. It will continue to rise until just after midday, before falling back down again. This will affect concentration, alertness and memory capacity, so dictates when we’ll be at our most (and least!) productive.
Therefore, as a general rule of thumb, there are average optimum timescales that fit in with an average person’s body clock. These include the following:
- Memory, alertness and concentration gradually improve throughout the morning.
- Our attention slides between 12 midday and 4pm.
- Our attention will slide after eating.
- We all tend to feel sleepy around 2pm.
- Our mind will wander most in the early evening.
- Emotions tend to rise at 10pm, just before bed.
Use this knowledge to your advantage
You can use these averages to help you schedule in tasks around these natural peaks and drops. For example:
- Email people first thing (between 8am and 9am), as this is when you’re at your most up-beat.
- If you have any cognitive work to do, such as problem solving, learning a new skill or creative-related tasks, you’re best scheduling them during late morning.
- Plan to take a nap, if you need one, after lunch!
- As your mind wanders in the early evening, it’s a great time to schedule in thinking time, especially for problems that require a novel or open-minded thought process.
- Schedule Facebook posts to show up at 8pm as this is when most people are relaxing and spending time on social media.
- Avoid posting on Twitter after 10pm, as the focus switches to more emotional-led tweets that are more agitated and irate!
These averages can be used to help you ascertain the best time to interact with your clients and schedule in your own work-related tasks. However, if you take the time to find out your own body clock times, you’ll be able to create your own unique and optimum working pattern that best suits you.
Do you schedule in tasks around your body clock? Do you know your natural ebbs and peaks or are you fitting in your work around an average 9-5pm working day? Why not share your experiences in the comments box below!
Images Olly & iQoncept/Dollar Photo Club