We all have an internal body clock that influences our ability to think and concentrate over the course of a day. As time passes, our energy levels and mood tend to rise and fall. Our cognitive abilities rise and fall as well.
There is some variation among people. Around 80% of the population consider themselves to be “morning people,” with the remaining 20% feeling more alert at night. But despite these differences, scientists have found that the majority of people follow a certain pattern of cognition. And based on that, author Daniel Pink has determined the best daily schedule for you to follow for optimal results.
So according to research, if you’d like to be happy and productive, this is what your daily schedule should look like:
- Early morning – Develop an early morning routine, and stick to it. This might involve having some breakfast, exercising, and/or cuddling with your cat. Figure out what makes you feel happy and awake, and then do those things when you get up every morning.
- Morning – This is the time when the majority of people feel the most alert and mentally sharp. Up until lunchtime, most people tend to be focused, efficient, accurate, and productive. This is when people are best able to tackle complex problems and make good decisions. So this is the time when you should schedule important meetings and work on your most challenging tasks.
- Afternoon – The “post-lunch slump” is a real thing! People’s energy levels tend to drop in the afternoon (with the most tiring time of day being between 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.). So this is a good time to do routine tasks, like checking your emails, returning phone calls, or running errands. This is also a good time to do creative work that doesn’t have a concrete deadline. But what if it’s not possible for you to work on routine or creative tasks, and you have to continue working on a challenging project? If you find yourself in this situation, try to wake yourself up by taking a short break (or two). Go for a walk outside and get some fresh air, or chat with a coworker about anything other than work.
- End of the workday – Before you leave the office, take a few minutes to appreciate everything that you’ve accomplished during the day, and put together a list of things that you intend to do the following day. This will help you to feel good about what you’ve done and prepare you for what’s to come.
Brueck, H. (2018, August 13). The best time of day to do everything at work, according to science. Business Insider. Retrieved from: https://www.businessinsider.com/best-time-day-work-according-to-science-2018-5