Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tracking High Energy Times

I am still sore from my marathon but I did run 5 miles today and 3 yesterday. What I have read about marathoning is it is best to run slowly after a marathon to keep the muscles limber.

A friend of mine, Alex Revai, sent me an article by Harold Taylor. The following are a few paragraphs from that article:

The Secrets of Our Body Clocks by Susan Perry and Jim Dawson revealed some interesting information on how our internal clocks operate. For instance, most of us reach our peak of alertness around noon. So perhaps delaying lunch until 12:30 or 1:00 p.m. might capitalize on our most productive period. But there's a sudden drop in the early afternoon that lasts until about 3:00 p.m., at which time our mental alertness once again begins to rise. There seems to be a good reason for the early afternoon siesta. Not good enough a reason to convince the boss, but we could schedule the mundane, low-energy tasks for that part of the day. If you are a morning person this early afternoon sag will probably be more evident.

According to the authors, your short-term memory is best during the morning hours, so studying for a test that morning or reviewing notes of a meeting would be a good idea. But long-term memory is best in the afternoon, so that's the time to study material for the following week - or for that training session for the new employee. How well you remember things depends on when you learn them, not when you recall them.Applied to meetings, mornings are a great time for creative sessions or meetings where tough decisions must be made. But don't let them run into the early afternoon doldrums.
Everyone's clock is unique, and some may peak at 11 a.m. instead of 12 noon, but even extreme morning people and extreme night people are no greater than 2 hours apart with their circadian cycles. Morning people should do all their heavy thinking and creative work in the morning and reserve the late afternoons for the routine. Night people, although similarly alert at 11 a.m., do not experience the same late afternoon sag.


I have long been an advocate of tracking how people spend their time and on my time tracking sheet (which is included in my e-book, or you can email my assistant, pam@synnex.com and she can send you one) has a energy hi or low column. I have learned from tracking over the years when my high and low energy periods are and I try very hard to use them appropriately.

3 Comments:

At 10:53 AM, Blogger steven edward streight said...

I just added your blog to my list of examples for a client who has never seen a blog. He's the owner of a local health/organic food store.

I emailed him a list of organic food oriented blogs, then added Seth Godin, Tom Peters, you, and a few others, to my list.

I'm really getting good Google juice, insights, and links from my Twitter and Jaiku communities.

I would think micro-blogging would be something you'd feel attracted to, esp. since it is time efficient, the 140 char. limit enforces pithy messaging.

:^)

Also consider the new search engines like Mahalo and people search Spock. And Freebase metaweb.

 
At 2:46 AM, Anonymous Pamela said...

True. We should identify our productive time first before assigning work. I believe that it's a great way of maximizing our working time and it doesn't have to include additional working hours.

 
At 9:40 PM, Anonymous Fran said...

I agree. Our most important tasks which needs much thinking should be done during during those times which we are most alert. Some important and critical tasks may stimulate our brain even during those unproductive time, but doing so could cause stress.

 

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