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Each of us only has a limited amount of productive time every day. I do not know many people who can be deeply focused for 8 hours straight, so ensuring that we take full advantage of our productivity peaks is extremely important.
In this post, I will walk you through 3 easy steps that you can take right now to optimize your most productivity time.
Optimize Productivity Times
You cannot fully benefit from something if you do not know it in detail…or “What gets measured, gets managed”.
That is why the first step to take advantage of your productivity peaks is to understand your daily productivity cycle which is a great insight into your time management.
If you still haven’t, experiment with time blocks of one or two hours through a few weeks. You will soon find out when you are most productive – is it always during the same time? Is it in the morning or afternoon? What affects this for you?
It is not only a matter of motivated, focused, and quick work, but also one of finding out your decision-making power peaks. As studies show, making decisions is tiring and requires concentration — but it is also one of the most vital parts of running a business.
Once you figure out your productivity patterns, you can start prioritizing your tasks accordingly.
I know, for example, that I am especially productive in the morning so that’s when I plan to complete my most important tasks and avoid meetings, phone calls and smaller tasks that require less energy.
If you spend a lot of time on smaller disruptions like this right now, start moving them slowly – you might not be able to reschedule everything right now, but start with just one per week and you’ll start seeing the benefits.
Although this next step seems intuitive, we often find ourselves overlooking it.
It is not unusual to forget prioritizing the very important tasks and go instead into an automated mode where we handle tasks as if we were putting out fires — everything needs to be done as soon as possible, regardless of the order.
It is important to take a step back, identify the top priorities and only work on those during your productivity peaks. In this sense, the daily review is a powerful tool that can help you optimize your schedule.
The final step to ensure maximum productivity is to avoid distractions. Besides meetings and phone calls, there are a number of daily distractions that can disrupt our deep-focus time in the office and at home. From turning off email notifications and using app blockers to noise-canceling headsets, there is a solution for all kinds of distractions.
If most of the interruptions come from interacting with colleagues and family, it may be a good idea to share your productivity schedule with them and kindly ask them to respect your busy times. Most likely, they will appreciate your honesty and work with you to make sure you make the best of your workday.
Of course, there will be times when you will need to be flexible about your productivity schedule. However, keep in mind that understanding and respecting your focus cycles is the first step towards boosted productivity. Whenever possible, avoid distractions and non-optimized task lists. Remember that if you do not take your time seriously, no one will.