Following up on a great post from Jason yesterday, I wanted to help you try to discover when your most effective time to do anything might be.
The first thing that most should determine is if they are morning people or night people. Once you have a sense of that, then you have narrowed down half of the day.
I am MOST definitely a night person, as is Jason. There was a time that staying up past midnight was a no-brainer. The kids and wife go to bed during the 9 o’clock hour on most nights, so that would leave me with at least 3 hours each night to work on different things. These are the nights that we came up with Black Belt Productivity and Life Above for your reading pleasure. Unfortunately, this does not help my work task list too much.
I have never been a morning person. I LOVE to sleep and I hate the act of waking up. Ince I am up, I am generally ok. I have read many things about how to become a morning person, but I am not all that interested in that.
But by knowing this, I can alter my work tasks accordingly. I can do some low energy/priority tasks in the morning when I first get to work, and then dig deep into some project task in the mid-morning. When I focus hard at that time, I try to go for 90 to 120 minutes then take my lunch break. Usually after a big lunch (Cinco de Mayo!!!), I am not in a very productive mood. I can hit email or RSS whenI get back and then work back into a productive state by continuing with the pre-lunch project or moving to another one. Another good 90-120 minutes on that project, then I can wind the day down by reading trade mags or whatever book I may be reading at the time (probably something on VMware virtualization or Exchange servers).
Tomorrow (May 6) is going to be a special day in may ways. We are having our first meetings with my next two BIG projects. The first meeting is with the Architects and Construction folks about the internal renovations that are about to start on Northport City Hall. I am one of the first people to move out of my office because it is the only inhabited office in the first phase of construction. My second meeting is with the Project Manager of the renovation to discuss the data/phone plan for the renovations. After lunch, my first meeting is with the newly hired design firm that will be redesigning our city’s website, then that merges into our weekly Department Head meeting. After that, the fun begins…The Blue Angels are performing here this weekend and tomorrow afternoon they will fly their first practice over City Hall. I can tell you, from experience last year, it is pretty DANG HARD to work with up to 5 F-18 Hornets flying overhead.
I am not expecting a lot of effective work happening for me! I do not have to sit in many meeting as an IT Manager, but I have found that the 30 mins leading up to and the 30 mins following are not very effective times for me. I don’t want to start something that I have to stop to go to the meeting. After the meeting, there is usually some items that I need to follow up on, or make some action items for myself that came out of the meeting.
Try to track when you feel that are being especially productive/effective over next week. if you see some patterns emerging, then use that to your advantage. Schedule in some project work, or some work that you really need to concentrate on during that time, and see if you can really get some good time with it. Like Jason said yesterday, “Seize it and make it effective for you.”
Do you know when you are most effective?