Ask a chef, a cricketer, a runner a comedian, A journalist, a marketer or an entrepreneur and they will all say the same thing “Timing is everything”.The year you pass out of college, the year you get a job, the year you change jobs, The time you go to office the time you attended meeting the time you get back home and the time you hit the bed, timing plays a key aspect.
This might surprise you but let me explain this a bit in such a way that makes sense. Don’t worry I am going to speak astrology here.
What timing works best for you?
Timing is not a one-size-fits-all thing. It varies from one person to another, some people are larks who are early risers are mentally very active in the morning, have a trough around the noon followed by another peak early evening and exhausted by late evening. Some are late owls, they start the day late reach they peak early afternoon followed by a trough during the late afternoon, another peak and finally hit the bed pretty late. Have you seen writers start to write when its quiet at night and sheepish all day? Well, they are very energetic during the night, their peaks, troughs, and rebounds are totally different,
Many kinds of research say that 70% of the people are owlish, so who are you lark or an owl? Not sure? Here is an easy exercise to figure that out. Every other hour try to answer this question
How am I doing?
Not so energetic Tired
So if you chart it out for one full day you will figure out what your Peak, Trough and Rebound points are around the day.
What tasks are best suited for each phase?
This is the time when your mind is alert and very responsive. If are looking for a perfect time to do analytical tasks such as analyzing, going through strategy process, learning something new, this is it. This might not be the best time to find a problem resolution or to think creatively. The reason, your brain is active alert and quite busy, this is called cognitive distortion. You need a calm mindset to be creative or to find a solution.
Midpoint between Peak and Trough
For larks, the time around 11 am to 1 pm is the best time to take critical decisions. Our brain is neither overactive nor tired. Chronotype tests conducted on a group of 400 chess champions where both larks and owls indicated a common pattern. They take very careful and more precise decisions during the day and they choose to take the risky route later in the evening which are 50% inaccurate.
Good for administrative tasks this might not be the time to take critical decisions, in fact, a research concluded that most decisions taken during this time tend to fail. If you are looking to do administrative work such as answering routine emails, calls, booking appointments etc, then do it during a trough
Also Naps, I have had a lot of people say that a nap during the day is not a good habit, ditch it! Most productive people take frequent power naps. A perfect nap time of about 20-25 mins and a coffee can do magic. Try it.
This is the time when your are recovering from the midpoint. THis is a good time to resolve insight problems, brainstorming and tasks that require creativity. Our cognitive abilities fluctuate throughout the day.
This pattern is not universal, its just that larks tend to perform better in the morning whereas owls do a better job later in the day. Another interesting fact that Dan Pink the writer of “WHEN”, revealed is that lars are usually born in between October and April while owls are more likely to be born during summer.
Are you looking for a crash course on creativity or a personal consultant for a career, well-being or depression? Feel free to drop me a line here.