You can become more productive and stopped having to work at night by capitalizing on the two most important hours of the day.
One of the biggest time management mistakes is spending your most productive hours on things that don’t require high cognitive capacity (like scrolling social media).
3 Step To Optimizing Your Schedule
I have adopted a few time-management tricks based on expert’s piece of advice, and used them to rearrange my day with more intention.
1. Select one challenging task from you to-do list the night before.
I started deciding on the piece of writing I’m going to work on before I go to bed at night, so morning guesswork doesn’t set me back.
2. Jump right into your most mentally challenging task (after a cup of coffee).
Because the act of writing takes the most cognitive energy to accomplish, I spend my most productive hours — first thing in the morning — writing. I always set my coffee pot at night, and sit down at my computer immediately when I wake up.
3. Stack the rest of your to-do list.
I also stack my tasks from most to least difficult, so, as my executive energy wanes into the afternoon, my work is getting progressively easier to complete anyway.
Lark or night owl? Finding your most productive hours
Those earliest morning hours worked best for me in terms of productivity, but Expert’s says that might not be everyone’s most productive time. “Researchers have identified highly variable circadian rhythms, roughly grouping people into ‘larks’ or morning people and ‘night owls,’ those who do their best work at night, with lots of sub-varieties,” . While I am seemingly a lark, the best hours for productivity and alertness are probably “not universal. “Most people know when their most productive hours are, but trial and error can help you learn if you don’t know.
Even if you think you know your top hours for productivity, you might still want to track when you’re accomplishing various tasks most efficiently. Expert,’s says they learned different times of the day are best for different parts of work. “Morning are thier best time for writing nonfiction, or editing, but they find late afternoon a good time for working on fiction — or at least the creative or inventive aspects of that,”. Likewise, I naturally seem to gravitate towards different tasks at different times of day. While I spend my morning writing, drafting and structuring stories, I typically transition to more creative work like brainstorming and drafting new pitches in the afternoon.