The best times to do things at work

Everyone’s work day is different, but for most people, there are times in the day when they’re more productive than others. Scientists have figured out that most people’s brains follow a neatly predictable pattern of cognition, which makes it easy to determine the best time of day to get things done.

Author Daniel Pink reveals in his 2018 "New York Times" bestseller "When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing” the perfect science-backed work day, and some of it may surprise you.

Morning

  • Since attitudes brighten and happiness peaks for most people in the mornings, that makes it a good time to schedule important meetings and earnings calls. The latter tend to become more negative the later in the day you have them.
  • It’s easier to keep distractions at bay in the mornings, so tasks with speed and accuracy are good to do in the AM.
  • You also may want to go to a doctor’s appointment in the morning, because studies show caregivers are more likely to wash their hands and diagnose more problems in the earlier part of the day.
  • Powers of logic and deduction are also at their sharpest, so any critical analysis is best to be done in the earlier part of the day.

Afternoon

  • Simple tasks like email-checking, online shopping, and errand-running are better left for the afternoon, when energy levels have already peaked.
  • This is also the best, and most obvious time, to take a lunch break.
  • The afternoon is also good to solve problems that rely on insight and creativity.
  • Since most people’s brains crash between two and three, it’s a good time to grab some coffee or maybe try and take a 20 minute power nap.
  • Folks will likely experience a final peak before the end of the day, which is a good time to pause and reflect on the day that just passed, and plan ahead for tomorrow. 
  • Now, while this may work for most people, there are always people who are “night owls” who are more creative in the evenings, but regardless, science shows that no matter when folks are most alert, they'll still have a similar flow, peaking early, with a mid-day low and then one final peak.

Source: Business Insider

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