It’s happened to all of us: you sit down to address a high-priority project at the end of the day and find you don’t have the necessary brain power. The best time to address head-to-the-grindstone deep brain work is when you are at your best. This might be earlier in the day if you’re a morning person; later in the day if you’re not. To take advantage of your best times, schedule other commitments around them as much as possible.
To determine when you’re at your best, ask yourself these questions:
- When do I feel most energized?
- When is my brain at its sharpest?
- At what time of the day am I usually in the mood to tackle difficult work?
- At what time of the day am I tired or easily distracted?
Next, add some control to minimize interruptions:
- Refrain from scheduling meetings & other colleague interactions during your best project time.
- Close your office door.
- Place a sign asking for no interruptions except in case of emergency.
- Tell colleagues your plans so they are aware. They may even adopt this strategy themselves.
Finally, some additional tips:
- Break projects down into manageable steps that fit into your optimal-time schedule
- For long-term projects, build in extra time to meet your deadline
- Try time blocking your week to allow time for high-priority projects
- Calendar absolutely everything
Whenever possible, address your most critical work when you are at your best. Doing this leads to higher performance and better outcomes than trying to work on important projects when you are exhausted or more easily distractable.
Lisa Mark, C.P.O. is a productivity expert and Certified Professional Organizer. Contact Lisa if you would like to find out how she can formulate a plan to increase efficiency in your business.