When is Your Most Productive Time of the Day?

September 26, 2011

One of the keys to being productive is knowing when you reach your peak productive time state during the day.  Do you know when this is?

Productivity can be described in a variety of ways, including when you are focused, energetic and driven to take actions and cause results.

Everyone of course is different, so the time of day will vary when people reach this optimum state.

When are you most productive?

Consider your day was broken up into the following time segments.  Which would be the time slot that you would be at your peak productive time state?

If you are unsure when this is, consider your last week, when did you find it easy to take actions and produce results?

When did you struggle to do any work at all?  You may like to list the order in the table, with 1 being your most productive time segment.

Although you may not work all time segments, list them all, as this will allow you to see whether you are also in an optimum state outside of work as well.

Time Segments Peak Productive Time State (list 1 being the most productive)
<7am
7 – 9am
9 – 11am
11 – 1pm
1 – 3pm
3 – 5pm
5 – 7pm
7 – 9pm
>9pm

Knowing when you are in this most productive state, it is a terrific idea if you can, schedule your work around these times.

Schedule important meetings, tasks or events in your life where possible when you are in this peak state, and the easier tasks when you are perhaps when you are least productive.

For me, I am not an early morning person and I am fortunate to have control over when I work.  My peak productive time state is 3 – 5pm, therefore I schedule my day to optimise this time and also to ensure that my two other most productive time segments are also being maximised.

Know when others are productive

Not only is it important to understand when we are in this optimum state, it is also important to understand when this is the case for the people around you.

You may of course not feel comfortable asking your Manager, colleagues or stakeholders when they are most productive, so perhaps observe their behaviour to gain an awareness of what works well for them.

For example, have they been more responsive in morning meetings as opposed to afternoon meetings.  Be mindful of this, particularly when you want others involvement in what you are doing.

Know what impacts your productivity

There are many endless factors that come into play whether you are productive or not.

For example your health and well-being will impact your productivity, the scheduling of your work, your working environment and other stressors you have in your life.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am useless if I’m hungry.  My blood sugar levels become too low and I lack focus and become irritable, even if I’m in my peak productive time state (as you can imagine I’m a lot of fun lol!).  The fact that I’m aware of this, means that I prioritise my meal breaks, otherwise my productivity (and no doubt relationships!) would suffer.

Be aware of what you need to do for yourself to be in your peak state – enough rest, having regular breaks, fresh air, food, environment, stress levels, regular exercise etc.

Know how to boost your productivity in your least productive time

Let’s be honest, despite the fact that we’re not always operating in our peak productive time state, we need to be productive majority of the time.

For times when you need more motivation and energy, determine what you need to do to boost your productivity – whether it’s going for a walk, listening to music (perhaps with some earphones as you may need to listen to such dance tracks to keep you going!), schedule your meal break at this time, change your work environments or schedule some easier tasks then.

I look forward to hearing when you are most productive and hope this article helps you to get more out of your work and home life by operating in your peak performance time state 🙂

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