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Scheduling Project Time Based on Your Body Clock

Many people can tell you if they are a morning person (me) or not (my wife and daughters). It usually means more then if you are happy to wake up in the morning or not. Part of personal organization should be scheduling tasks that require the most brain power when you are at your best.

A great book to read is “When” by Daniel Pink. It talks about the natural flow of your body. Science shows that we all have a natural rhythm to our body and mind. This is remarkably consistent in the pattern.

What I’ve learned to do is to recognize the pattern and plan my work and day accordingly when possible. In my case, I am strongest mentally when I first wake up. That slowly goes down until mid afternoon when I am at my worst mentally. If I can get some rest (a 30 minute nap does the trick), I get refreshed and I am usually good until it is time to go to bed.

In terms of scheduling, I try to do the things that require the most concentration in early to mid-morning (writing, planning, strategizing, etc.). In the early afternoon, I try to plan more routine tasks that don’t require a ton of thinking (answering email, filling out forms, etc.). Then evening tends to be a perfect time for reading and reviewing of things.

This enables me to be most efficient with my time - doing the hardest work when I am most attuned to it. Try to pay attention to your body and see if you can arrange your work to fit your natural patterns.

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