Scientific Studies Reveal the Best Times
to Get Things Done at Work
If you’ve ever fallen victim to that afternoon slump after work or find yourself struggling to focus in a morning meeting, you’ll know that our bodies have times in the day when we are best suited to certain tasks. Despite this, we still mostly stick to the traditional 9-5 routine and rarely structure our days according to when we can be most productive. Maybe it’s time for a change.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to more people working from home on a temporary basis and adopting more flexible working patterns to accommodate extra childcare requirements. Instead of having our days ruled by the same old way of doing things, we’ve been able to shape our working day to suit ourselves.
As we move into a ‘new normal’ with more flexible working, we should take the lead from scientific studies into when the best time of the day is for certain jobs. For example, 11am is when you should be focusing on the most important work of the day as it’s when we are best at making big decisions and is the most productive time of the day too.
When it comes to those dreaded morning meetings, science says that you shouldn’t be having any of them until 10am, but straight after that is an ideal time for problem solving as our bodies are on high alert and it’s a great time to take advice from others. If you’re thinking about staying late, studies say that between 4pm and 7pm is actually the worst time for learning and retaining new information.
Timing things right is crucial when it comes to communicating with people, so if you want to get someone to read your email, try sending it between 7am and 8am. For important phone calls and sales pitches, between 4pm and 5pm is the best time, with midday and Fridays in general the worst time.
Now that you know some of the science behind how we should structure our days, how will you make changes in the post-lockdown world of work?