Go around and ask everyone in your office this question: Are you more productive in the morning or in the afternoon? Chances are, you’ll get a different answer from each person. Surprisingly, there is no exact answer, as it depends on your biological clock. Here are cases of where early birds and night owls have their own advantages.
Mornings: Cognitive Work
For professions that involve research and writing, mornings are a more productive time than afternoons. According to research published in the Wall Street Journal, mornings are more productive for cognitive work because the body’s temperature gradually rises through midday leading to better memory, alertness, and concentration. This leads to noon to 4 p.m. being the times where people are most distracted.
With chaotic morning schedules for most people, they find it tough to settle in and find enough time to be properly prepared for meetings. According to business consultant Andrew Jensen, 3 p.m. on Tuesdays were the best time to hold meetings as it gives employees enough time to complete tough tasks and also gives them plenty of time to prepare. It’s also early enough where employees aren’t quite counting down the hours yet to head home.
Mornings: Work on Top Projects
Uninterrupted mornings allow for people to give their best focus of the day on their top task, and allows for them to settle in before getting started. Some people may even work from the comfort of their own home early in the morning before others are up. Giving your undivided attention on your largest project first thing will free up more time towards the end of the day for smaller tasks.
Afternoons: Getting Organized
Within the last ten to 15 minutes every workday, take a look at your inbox and sort through your to-do list. This will save you time in the morning, allowing you to attend to your most important project. If you know you have an early meeting, spend a few minutes preparing for it and save a file on your computer that you can open up the next morning.