What’s the best time to do things?
Now we are doing a lot of work on time management this month because it’s one of the key challenges facing entrepreneurs, and I am thinking, if you are like me the summer is generally a bit more mellow so instead of a crazy work schedule you can put in some hours on personal development. And a key element of personal development is the management of your time. So after my last blog I received the following email:
Thanks for your blog – it really helps me grow my business (Why thank you – it’s my pleasure!). You are renowned for your crazy work hours, but what time do you find works best for you to do work projects? I am not a morning person and the thought of getting up at 0500 fills me with dread. So I’d appreciate your thoughts.
Ok Steven – number one, I need to tell you something. The 0300 emails are now finished. I don’t think its big, tough or clever to work 0300 to 2000 – I know I did it but it was completely exhausting not just for me but for my team too. So 0300 emails are bad!
However, there is a curious correlation between success and early risers. I have to say I didn’t used to be a 0500 girl – in fact I was more likely to be out until then – but when I changed my focus and started getting up early and achieving a half-day of work before the rest of the world was up then funnily enough my business started turning around. Co-incidence? I don’t think so.
So that is the first bit of bad news – you are just going to get over it. Set that alarm early and get up. Top tip here – I don’t ‘feel’ like it often either. But feeling and doing are two different things. Put your alarm on, crank up some great wake-up music and get the hell out of bed early.
I will share with you a general guide I read which helped me of when it is best for people to do different kinds of task in terms of our genetic make up. It’s actually contrary to what I used to think, so it’s enabled me to evolve and it’s helped me to get better results in terms of time.
Firstly do the things that are most important in the AM because then there is NO WAY they can be bumped off your list. So I do my writing for the business, for myself, and for my blogs as soon as I wake up. I then exercise, as this is the next most important thing. Once these two bits are done by 0830 the rest of the day is based on the following theories.
First thing in the morning is great for formal project stuff – technical, logical, project based. I am pretty much ‘Do Not Disturb’ until 1200 most days.
Meetings are scheduled from midday onwards so I know I have had a clear morning doing stuff rather than chatting about stuff. Because I do like to chat. I do emails at around 10-ish, because I know the time management aficionados say don’t let emails dictate your day but if people need to communicate with me then that’s what they use so it does need dealing with fairly promptly.
Afternoons tend to be for problem solving/brainstorming/creative stuff. Why? Because actually being a little less on the ball, a little tired, a little less than full throttle can assist you in thinking of creative and innovative ways – it helps you tap into your different bits of your brain rather than your logical mind.
Tuesday PM seems to have highest success rates for times people are available to meet. Wednesdays are always my team catch up days. Wednesday night corporate entertaining night. Big workdays Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday every week, rest less so.
So quick summary:
- Early morning stuff for stuff that needs motivation – when your motivation is strongest
- Leave emails until 1000
- AM for project stuff
- PM for meetings
- PM for creative solution finding
I trust that helps Stephen. I’ll look forward to your feedback. And of course your soaring productivity!
Hope you are all enjoying your summer. See you very soon.