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Peak Performance Time

We all have the same amount of time during the day (24 hours, last time I checked). So why is it that some people are more productive than others? Better yet, why are there some days that I am more productive than others?

There has been some fascinating research about peak performance. One of the key key findings is that while we all have similar patterns, they are not similar in the timing. The best way to think about it is the old adage of morning people Vs. night people.

To oversimplify it, we all have certain times during the day when we are have peak mental performance. We do not sustain it for long periods of time, but by resting appropriately and planning tasks, you can use your time wisely to be more productive.

For example, I am a morning person. I find that I do my best deep, analytical thinking during the morning, basically between 7 and 11 am. I try to schedule my most mentally challenging tasks during this time (writing, strategizing, difficult conversations, etc.). I make sure to take regular breaks after that and try to always take a lunch (whether I eat or not). The afternoon tends to be more monotonous tasks (reviewing emails, organizing, data entry, repetitive tasks, etc.). I usually get a little burst in the evening where I can do some writing or reading.

It is important to know this because you can then best schedule your tasks. I try not to plan difficult calls or meetings in the afternoon because I know I won't be as sharp.

The best way to find your personal peak performance is simply to pay attention and experiment. Obviously, if you are in an office or an environment where you don't have as much control, it may be more difficult. But you can find ways to maximize your performance even in the worst of situations.

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