When Are You Most Productive?
How To Maximize Your Peak Productivity Time
Have you ever looked at someone and wondered “How do they do it?” Whether it’s a busy working professional who makes every task look effortless, or a stay-at-home parent who never seems to have a sink full of dishes or piles of laundry to fold and put away (admit it, you secretly despise those people!).
In my previous life as an executive recruiter I spent a great deal of time working with successful salespeople. Heck, I was one! Most salespeople love to talk and be in front of clients, but when it comes to prospecting for new business, administrative follow ups, and other “housekeeping” tasks, many professionals struggle to keep up.
This should come as no surprise. There is nothing fun and glamorous about cold calling or data entry. Similar to doing the laundry, it may not be exciting, but it’s a necessary part of the job; you can only ignore it for so long before it starts getting in the way of your productivity.
Motivating someone to tackle any task that is perceived as a chore is not easy, but it is do-able. The first thing you need to do is ask yourself these simple questions:
- What time of day am I at my best? Are you a morning person? A night owl? or do you get a burst of energy mid-day?
- When am I at my worst? Are you the type that doesn’t want to be spoken to before you’ve had half a pot of coffee? Or are you the type that is asleep on the couch by 9pm from exhaustion?
- What daily tasks do I enjoy? Which do I procrastinate doing?
Once you’ve answered the first 2 questions you now know what I refer to as your Peak Productivity Time.
My Peak Productivity Time is first thing in the morning. Does this mean that I can only be productive during that time? No. What it means is that I structure my day accordingly, leaving tasks that require less brainpower and energy for when I am at my weakest.
You will often find me answering emails, doing research on new products, or reading articles in the evenings because that is when I am least productive. Those tasks are part of my job and cannot be neglected, but I don’t want to waste valuable time during the day when I could be out seeing clients, writing an article or developing a program like my upcoming Clutter Clinic.
So you’ve determined that you’re a morning person, now what? Take the answers to number 3 to figure out where in your day it makes sense to complete each task? If something requires a lot of time and energy I advise tackling it when you are at your best. Save the boring and mundane tasks for when you are winding down or on the weekends. The important thing is to dedicate some time to getting them done.
You’ll quickly find that you are able to chip away at things you have been putting off, leaving you with a newly found sense of accomplishment and motivation. Before you know it, you’ll be the person others look at and wonder “How do they manage to get it all done?”