When do you think your most productive time of day is? Go ahead, take a guess. Mornings, evenings, before lunch, late at night?
Got your answer? Great. It’s a starting point. But here’s the problem. There’s at least a 50% chance that you’re wrong. I used to think I was a night owl, doing my best work after the rest of the world had gone to sleep. Turns out I actually do my best work before noon.
How do you go about figuring out when your most productive time of day is? You do it by keeping a timesheet. Start by deciding how you’ll measure your output. A lot of my work is writing. Emails, blog posts etc. It made sense to track how many words I write in a set period of time. For you, that measurement might be something different.
Next, set a timeframe. This could be half an hour, an hour, or even several. Whatever makes sense for the way you work and what you choose to measure and track. Then work during different times of the day and track your numbers. Write it down. Keep a spreadsheet. Do this for at least a week, longer if possible. We all have good days and bad days. You want averages for the different times of day.
When you have enough data in your timesheets, start to analyze it. Is your most productive time when you thought it was? Or maybe it’s at a completely different time of day. This can make a huge difference in how many hours you spend behind your desk. Give it a try. The results may surprise you.
P.S.: As an added bonus you’ll find that you’ll get a lot more done in general when you’re tracking your productivity. I go back to my tracking sheets whenever I need to get a lot done in a short amount of time.