Productivity is a tough skill to learn. Between time management, attention to detail, and understanding what your mind and body needs, there are a lot of cogs in the machine. Organizing your day to fit with these needs will help you to become more productive.
Science has stepped in to prove it. Many studies show what time of day it is best to do certain activities, and if you aren’t following these rules, you might be wasting precious time or energy. Here is a breakdown on how to make your day the most productive, and when to focus on each activity.
Morning: Things You Don’t Like to Do
1. Get the boring tasks out of the way
The best time to pay your bills or clean the house is first thing in the morning. Why? A Cornell study shows it’s because early morning is when we are at our most happy and positive. So you can use that happy peak to your advantage and complete the meaningless or mindful tasks you’ve otherwise been avoiding while you’re still in a good mood.
2. Make appointments as early as possible
Whenever you have to see a doctor or dentist, you should go ahead and make the appointment for the first available slot in the day. The obvious reason for this (for anyone who’s made the mistake of booking an afternoon appointment) is that you’re less likely to wait in the morning–the office hasn’t gotten backed up yet. But there’s another reason, too: studies show that doctors are most likely to miss something in their examination as the day goes on and they become more and more tired.
3. Complete any detail-oriented tasks
Any work that you might have that requires attention to detail should be tackled in the morning. A Penn State study proved that people are more alert in the A.M., and therefore more focused and more accurate.
Afternoon: When you need a Pick-Me-Up
4. Drink coffee
That morning coffee might not be doing you as much of a favor as you think. In fact, the caffeine is your morning coffee is wasted, because you are already your most alert. Hit the coffee shop right after 2:00pm, which is one time of day that your body naturally begins to feel tired. (If you need caffeine in the A.M., the best time for coffee is after 9:30.)
5. Do any creative work
After you’ve finished all of your detail-oriented tasks, the afternoons become the perfect time to let your mind think more freely and creatively. If you have a problem without a clear solution, this is the perfect time to work on it. Creative problem solving comes much more naturally when you’re feeling more tired, according to an Albion College study.
Evening: Routine, Routine, Routine
5. Take your medicine
Specifically, if you’re taking heart medication or blood pressure medication, the effects are more positive when the pills are taken at night. Your blood pressure is naturally at it’s lowest between midnight at 4:00am, so adding the pill to your nightly routine will keep you covered all through the day (even when blood pressure is at it’s highest in the afternoon).
6. Work out
There are a ton of benefits to completing your work out in the late afternoon or night time. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, you will be at your peak performance after work hours, because your body temperature is at it’s highest. That also leads to more muscle mobility, which means you’re getting the most out of your efforts, and you’ll have a lesser chance of injuring the muscles.
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