With remote working becoming a norm, the world is shifting away from the earlier 9 to 5 work model while favoring flexible work hours. This new model is an effect of employers’ understanding that not all employees can be high on productivity during the same timeframes while working from home.
However, employees need to have an idea of the work hours when they can get the most done in order to ensure satisfactory work performance. Some may be most productive in the early morning hours, while others may prefer silence and solitude late at night.
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So, the question is – are you aware of the hours when you are most productive? Have you analyzed your work behavior to identify when you are most alert? If not, then you may be at a disadvantage.
If you are struggling with maintaining productivity at work, identifying your peak productivity hours can be a good start. If you are unsure how to begin, the tips mentioned below might help you identify your productivity levels during different times of the day.
1. Start With Understanding Your Focus Cycle
It’s a well-known fact that you won’t have the same energy levels throughout the day. For some people, the hours early in the morning, just after waking up, is when they have the highest energy, while others may feel more energetic later in the day.
Understanding how your body works is the key to identifying your peak productivity hours. Of course, you would have an idea of the timeframes when you feel most alert and energetic. For example, if you are a morning person, you may be most efficient during the hours after waking up. However, there may be other times of the day when your productivity levels are on the higher side. And to identify those periods, all you need to do is to pay attention.
At the same time, keep an eye out for the periods when you feel most distracted. When do you feel like procrastinating on a task? Make it a habit to keep track of the timeframes when it takes you an hour or more to complete a task that you usually do in less than 30 minutes – just because you are unable to fully focus on it. Once you understand your focus cycle, identifying your productivity level won’t be a problem.
2. Use A Diary To Note Down Your Energy Levels Every Hour
You need long-term data to understand your productivity levels during different times of the day. And the best way to get this data is to start noting down your energy levels on an hourly basis.
Keep a diary or journal near your work desk, and set an hourly timer while you work. Every time the timer goes off, stop for a minute and write down how you feel during that moment. Do you feel full of energy, or are you having trouble focusing on the task at hand? Initially, you may find noting down these details a hassle. However, it will become a habit with time, and you will have a better understanding of your peak hours too. Continue this exercise for at least a month or two, and you will have a treasure trove of data that accurately represents your productivity levels throughout the day.
3. Use A Reliable Time-Tracking Software
If manually noting down your energy levels seems like a lot of unnecessary work, you could try a time-tracking software instead. All you need to do is install the software on your device, and it will automatically track your productivity levels at different times of the day. In other words, time-tracking software monitors your activity levels, dividing them into productive, unproductive, and neutral hours.
Most of these apps offer a visual representation of your daily, weekly, and monthly activities, which you can then analyze to get a clearer idea of the most productive times of the day. You can even access detailed reports to understand your productivity levels clearly.
In short, you can boost productivity with time-tracking software and apps if you use the data to better plan your daily work schedule.
What To Do After You Identify Your Productivity Level?
You might be wondering why is it so important to identify the hours when you are most productive at work. Well, the most important reason is that it helps you create the perfect work schedule so that you stay in total control of your assigned tasks.
So, once you are aware of the timeframes when you are most productive, the next step is to categorize your daily tasks based on whether they are high-priority, medium-priority, or low-priority. Make sure to plan your work schedule in a way that you complete the high-priority tasks during your peak productivity hours while keeping the slightly less important task for the timeframes when you are fairly focused. Low-effort tasks, on the other hand, can be kept for the hours when you are less productive. Planning your work in this way will ensure that you make the most of your time every day.
When you follow the tips mentioned above for a few weeks or months, you will automatically realize the timeframes of the day when you are most productive. And once you are aware of these specific periods, you can easily assign the most important or complicated tasks for those hours while keeping the low-priority tasks for the rest of the day.
This will ensure that you give your best in completing high-priority tasks and help you maintain an overall high productivity level. And you never know, this might land you a sizeable increment or even a promotion in the long run!
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