At what time of day or week are you most effective and productive? Every person is different. Individual productivity patterns can also vary from day to day.
This article will show you how to determine when you are most productive and how to apply that knowledge.
Table of Content
1. Defining Productivity for You
1.1. Actual Work Done
1.2. Quality and Focus
1.3. Personal Motivation and Energy
2. What Does Science Tell Us About Time And Productivity?
3. Six Factors Affecting Productivity
4. Four Ways to Calculate Your Productivity during the Day
5. The Last One
Defining Productivity for You
Before we go any further, it’s worth noting that the definition of productivity varies from person to person. If you want to benefit from an assessment of your productivity, you must adequately define productivity and know what you want to improve.
It would help if you thought about
Actual Work Done
How much work is done? Is there a certain number of words to write? Do you finish after a certain number of pages? Do you complete a certain number of tasks or make a certain number of phone calls? Sitting in a chair for eight hours does not meet the definition of “productive work.”
Quality and Focus
The subjective quality of the work and the degree of concentration can also play a role. For example, if you attend a meeting, will you be able to absorb everything that was said at that meeting? And can you remember – you may have completed three tasks, but did you complete them? Or did you leave them unfinished?
Personal Motivation and Energy
Remember personal reason and feel energized. Even if you have completed tasks effectively, you may not feel productive if you feel sluggish, tired, or exhausted by your current responsibilities.
For many people, productivity is a combination of these concepts.
What Does Science Tell Us About Time And Productivity?
Now let’s go back to the original question.
When are people most productive?
Science gives us the answer.
It’s a joke: in science, there is knowledge. But as you can imagine, this knowledge is very complex.
According to one study, lunch is the most productive time of the day. A survey of 500,000 exams taken by British university students found that their performance tended to improve around 1:30 p.m.
What about the day of the week? According to a significant human resources study spanning several decades, the most productive day of the week is Tuesday, with Monday coming in second and Wednesday in third. Understandably, many people are less effective as the week progresses.
Of course, there are various problems with estimating these data. The number of subjects was small and not exceptionally diverse, and the range of tasks tested was limited.
In addition, the expectation of the objectively optimal time of day to be productive is fundamentally a matter of moderation, as it varies from person to person. Numerous scientific studies have shown that whether you are an “early riser” or a “late sleeper” depends mainly on genetic factors.
In other words, your genes are essential in determining when you are most productive.
Six Factors Affecting Productivity
We also know that a person’s productivity fluctuates throughout the day and is primarily (but not solely) dependent on time-related variables.
These variables are complex but usually affect productivity in some way.
If they are neglected, it can result in wasted time without you realizing it.
If you can master them, you can reach a new dimension of productivity.
There is a scientific consensus that sunlight is beneficial to health and productivity.
You have probably experienced these effects, even if you don’t know the underlying causes. When you are in the sun, you feel good, but when you are not in the sun, you feel tired, depressed, and sad. There are many reasons for this, including that sunlight affects our circadian rhythm and that vitamin D is absorbed by sunlight.
However, most people are more productive when surrounded only by natural light during the day.
Productivity is also significantly reduced when people are tired or sleep-deprived. If you stay up late and don’t get enough sleep, you will feel exhausted and lethargic in the morning.
Many people who are more productive in the afternoon do so because they are still sleeping poorly, and when they try to start work in the morning, coffee, food, and morale get them through the day.
Coffee is all about caffeine. Caffeine acts on adenosine receptors and masks the feeling of fatigue that can affect performance.
Coffee drinkers consume more caffeine in the morning and less in the afternoon (although some drink coffee throughout the day). This can also affect productivity time.
While most foods provide an immediate energy boost, some provide energy over a more extended period. Either way, what you eat and when you eat can affect your productivity throughout the day.
Most of us feel sluggish in the late morning before lunch, but after lunch, we feel revitalized and energized to tackle the second half of the day.
Some people feel less productive during stressful or difficult activities as the day progresses.
Stamina is not unlimited so anyone can be tired after a long day.
Of course, the sequence of events can also significantly impact productivity. If the day starts with tedious or tiring work, it’s hard to keep going after that.
If you have complex tasks to complete at the end of the day, you may be tense, which affects your performance at the beginning of the day.
Four Ways to Calculate Your Productivity during the Day
You’re a night owl by nature, but come lunchtime, you feel a surge of energy (because who doesn’t?).
So how do you know when your productivity is at its peak? And how do you know if productivity increases or decreases throughout the day?
1. Email analytics
Email Analytics is an email data visualization and analysis tool that allows you to see how many emails are sent and received per day and how that changes over time.
It can also be used with several other metrics, such as email response times, to accurately predict how things are going over a day or week.
2. Preferred project management software
Project management software allows you to track the number of tasks you have completed and the number of jobs you have done.
It’s a simple way to measure your work.
3. Time Tracking Software
You can also use time-tracking software to measure and plan your work. Time is not always a good indicator, but you can measure how long it takes you to complete tasks at different times and days of the week.
Do you work faster in the morning? Can you work more slowly on Fridays?
4. A Journal
Also, consider keeping a productivity journal during the day. How do you feel and why? Do you feel energized at the beginning of the day, or do you get saturated in the middle of the day? And if so, when?
The more you record your behavioral patterns, the better you understand your work behavior.
The Last One
What about you? When are you most productive? Are you one of those people who gets up early and works in the morning or are you a night owl who is groggy and lethargic until the afternoon?
Do you go to work in a good mood on Monday or do you usually arrive on Thursday, when your activities are at their peak?
The best way to find out is to measure your productivity with a tool like the EMS software monitoring tool. You can use it to find out the busiest times and days of the week, response times, the average duration of email flows, etc. Sign up for a free trial now to see it in action.