What is your best time of day?

We all have a time of day where we are most productive, although it varies from person to person. According to HumanResources online, here is how they break it down. We are most productive in the:

  • Early morning, 34% between 6-9am
  • Late morning, 31% between 9am-12pm
  • Early afternoon, 20% between 12-3pm
  • Late afternoon, 9% between 3-6pm
  • Evening, 5% between 6-9pm
  • Late night, 1% between 9pm-12am

If you can arrange your schedule to best utilize the time of day when you are most productive, you will be more effective and efficient, and have higher job satisfaction.

When are you least productive? For me and 9% of the people in this study, anytime after 6pm is not ideal. For 28% of those surveyed, after lunch is when they are least productive. Think about that the next time you are trying to rally the troops to solve big problems after they have just eaten.

Beyond your most and least productive times of day, think about the types of tasks that you tackle daily. When is your best time to meet with team members? When is your best time to do intense work, or the simpler tasks that require less brain power?

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”
— Michael Altshuler, Author
Worth The Share

There is an art to effective time management. Taking breaks during the day has an impressive ROI according to this Workforce Index done by Qualtrics of over 10,000 desk workers around the globe. Workers who regularly take breaks have 13% higher productivity, have 62% better work-life balance, are 43% better able to manage stress, and have 43% higher job satisfaction.

The research reported that 70% of desk worker’s time at work was productive, with times of day when they were most productive varying widely. Three in four reported that end of day, between 3-6pm, is unproductive. “This goes to show that productivity isn’t linear. Productivity happens in bursts, on and off throughout a day, not necessarily in prescribed windows of time, and definitely not for eight consecutive hours. The  ‘afternoon slump’ shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing; for many workers this could be an ideal time to take that break that will boost their overall productivity for the day” said Christina Janzer, SVP of Research and Analytics at Slack. It goes on to say that if you can optimize your focus time, collaboration time, and the time you spend connecting with others and taking breaks, you will be able to function at your best. What is the right mix for you?

We all know that employee engagement at work is a problem. As a leader, if you can work with your team leads and team members to give careful consideration to what they can do to better maximize their time, there will be a myriad of benefits. Check out “The surprising connection between after-hours work and decreased productivity” to learn more.

And Finally...

As you reflect on your time management skills and areas for improvement, I have one more question for you. What is your WORD for the year? It is one of the things I consider annually.

This year, my colleague shared her word: RYTHM – at work, with her family, and with extra-curricular activities (she wants to take up dancing). Another friend is using the
word ACCCES, where each letter is the first initial of a focus area such as career, challenge and community for the three Cs. My word this year is ILLUMINATE – being open to new concepts and experiences, and being intentional with how I show up, serve and support others.

If you can’t think of a word, here’s a LIST of 300 possibilities, along with a meaning for each. Maybe before January is over, you’ll have your word for the year that reflects your values, intentions or vision for 2024.

Have a great week,

Kind regards,
Mary Jo
To learn more about my 1:1 executive, communication or business growth coaching, custom virtual workshops, the Career Transition program or just to connect, you can reach me at [email protected]