Summary: I’ve found that when trying to find when you are most productive is sometime really hard to find, as each day looks different. It’s all about finding that pattern throughout your day and optimizing it. Here is a way that would make it easier for you to find when is your most productive time of day. You can then start tweaking from there.
Not all times of day are (born) equal. On some times we are more productive, on some we are certainly not productive.A study has shown that 2:55 PM is the most unproductive time of day while 10:26 AM is the most productive.
Regardless of this study, it’s very hard to find when is your best productive time. Also, even if you are at your most productive time of day you still need to fight all those distractions happening during that time.
Anyway, we still need to understand when is our best time of day to work. I define 2 different types of work: Ongoing work and creation work.
Everything under ongoing work, is task driven, daunting tasks that you have to do: You need to get those emails out, you need to send out that PR message, you need to send a proposal to that client and so on.
These are all actions, for things that triggered you and happening around you.
Sometimes there are tasks we can outsource to someone working for us. Since you are not “leading” by doing those tasks if you can let someone else do it. Outsource!
The other more important work is creation. This work is the one that enlarge your business and client base, and when doing it you feel you’ve created something new, made some progress.
I really love that moment. It’s the moment that I just finished and published a new blog post to my readers, it’s the moment, I finished and launched a new campaign, It’s the moment I finished designing a new landing page. All of these are small things but are so powerful! “I’ve created something new!”
Which mode are you at right now?
I define those two work types as two modes you can be present at: Push mode & Create mode. That’s it!
So before you try to achieve and analyze a more complex array of your work time, try to distinguish only between these two modes. It’s easier distinguishing between only two types of modes than 6 as example….
The more important one of these two modes is the Create Mode of course and this is the one you should pay attention to.
The moment you are on “Create mode” is an easier moment to distinct. For me, it’s when I’m most productive and creates something (How do you measure productivity anyway?! – Tweet this).
How can I be sure I’m on the “Create Mode”?
Apart from the actual task that you do, which is creating something new, there is another good way to distinct this mode from other work times.
On “Create Mode” even if there there are distraction coming up like text messages, phone calls, somebody comes to “just ask a small question” , it’s still easier to get back to creating. I agree this might still bother you, but at least you are able to keep working on your task.
So, If it’s not hard getting back to your task and create after being distracted it’s a good sign. Some people would say then that you are in the “Flow”
Mapping your most productive times of day
So, after we know it’s easy to find when you are on “Create Mode”, it’s now time to start mapping these times and try to find a pattern for then.
Here is what you should do:
Take a pen and a paper, or open Evernote if you are more of the tech person and write down when those “Create Mode” moments happen.
Try to answer these questions with each new entry you put in:
- What I have created?
- How long was I able to stay on create mode?
- what time of day is it?
- what I have done just before that?
- What made me stop creating?
As said, the idea is trying to find patterns of your behavior and map them.
Try recording this data for 3 weeks and when each week ends try to look for the pattern. Tell me how it worked for you. Share that on the comments.Did you succeed finding your productivity pattern? I’m still working on mine, must say.
My creation time for the last coupe of weeks was dedicated towards this new service I just started.
It’s a distribution service helping foreign companies bring their mobile application to China and get exposure to 400M+ more smartphone users.
Now Over to you
What other ways you use to find when you are most productive? Have do you make yourself more focused on your work? And most important, how do you measure your productivity? Share that on the comments.
Image credit by Steve Corey