The Science Behind Office Productivity: Part 2

city-office-viewIn our previous post in this series, we outlined how the most reputable researchers would tell you how best to spend your mornings to optimize your productivity for the week. While starting the day off right will set the tone for how your afternoon and evening continues, the schedule gets a little bit trickier as you head into the ladder part of your day, with missteps having big consequences to how you sleep – and ultimately upon the rest of your week.

12:00-1:00 pm – Take a dedicated lunch. This is the time for you to be social and relax. You should check your personal emails or social media, if not socialize in-person with coworkers over a snack. This break will help you keep the focus and drive you built up during your morning grind in check and help keep plenty on reserve for when you tackle the projects on the docket for later in the day.

1:00-2:30 pm – Power hour (and a half). Right after you wrap up lunch, dive right back into a final 50-90 minute grind session that picks up from where you left off in the morning. Based on circadian rhythms, humans reach peak alertness at noon and 6:00 pm, so working within an hour or two of those windows will help you build the most focus into your morning.

2:30-3:30 pm – Slow down, and recharge. Right around 3:00 pm is the least productive time of your day, so combat the drag by taking this period to sip some coffee and reflect while you recharge your batteries. The end of the day is in sight, but you still need that last little push to get yourself on the road to success.

3:30-5:00 pm – Start tackling the backburner. All of those less important items that you didn’t need to prioritize for your morning chug can be picked up and toyed with during the last few hours of the day. Don’t be completely unfocused and unproductive, but allow for this to be the part of the day where people can interrupt your workflow, plan meetings or even have impromptu work pow-wows. Since you frontloaded the big stuff for earlier in the day, it’ll be easier to put a bow on some of your less important projects with the added boost your gained from your midafternoon coffee/meditation.

5:00-5:30 pm – Start planning for tomorrow. Rather than leaving it to the morning when you’ll need to harness your focus and build up your energy reserves, make mapping out tomorrow an activity for the end of the day. This will put you in the right mindset when you get ready the next morning knowing exactly what you’ll have to face for the day ahead without major surprises.

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