Are We Better Working in Mornings or Afternoons?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American workday is nearly 9 hours. Of course, that doesn’t mean that all those hours are equally productive. When organizing your day, should you schedule more difficult tasks in the morning or in the afternoon? Try this schedule if you’re looking to be productive throughout the entire day.
According to research published in the Wall Street Journal, the first two hours of the day are when most people have better memory, alertness, and concentration. Therefore, they have the propensity to be the most productive. Mornings are also the time that most people will experience the least amount of interruptions.
Use this time for more cognitive or logical work like research and writing.
With mornings being the best time to focus, generally noon to 4 p.m. are the times where people are most distracted. This is a time best suited for less cognitive tasks.
Reserve afternoons for reviewing your inbox and running errands. You should also prepare your to-do list for the next day, so instead of planning in the morning, you can put your brainpower towards your most important projects.
Don’t forget to take breaks. it’s important to schedule breaks if you need to keep focused and doing more cognitive work in the afternoon. Take a mental break by chatting with colleagues about non-work-related topics or grabbing a coffee or take a physical break by going for a short walk outside, or even a quick power nap if possible. By adding in a few well-scheduled breaks, you can keep your creative and cognitive juices flowing.