There is a place called "David Copperfield’s Musha Cay", a two mile curved sandbar in the Bahamas that appears for only a few hours a day. The rich can afford to take advantage of the temporary isolation by having a helicopter drop them off and pick them up with precise timing.
Like the cay, we too have what’s called prime time; a period or two in our day when our minds are exceptionally clear and our bodily energies high. And happily, we don’t need to be financially rich to access these fruitful periods.
Let’s bring in the Pareto Rule, the 80/20 Rule and one application that says we produce 80% of our best results in 20% of our allocated time (which inversely notes that we only get 20% of our best results using up the other 80% of our devoted time).
So, if you haven’t paid attention to your daily biorhythmic energy swings, you might use a simple chart to mark your high and low mental and physical energies for the next week. As we point out in our Management training classes and Resilience seminars, in delivering classes literally around the world and simply asking people if they are morning, afternoon or evening people, an overwhelming percentage of professionals described the time between 1:30pm and 4pm to be their least productive period of each day.
But once you know when your most and least energetic and productive periods are, you can begin to strategize the use of your times more intelligently. In our Management training programs, participants have relayed a few ideas. Morning people say they get in to the office earlier than others and work behind closed doors for welcome uninterrupted time. With no phone ringing and no one knocking at their door, they get 80% of their quality results in that 20% of their day. Similarly, in our Resilience At Work program, during the Time Management section, attendees describe sensibly negotiating the benefits to their organization of working a later set of hours if they are late afternoon or evening people.
Lastly then, when lower vibrancy times are unavoidable, there are some intelligent strategies that make sense. Our Management Training Institute suggests not scheduling meetings in the post lunch early afternoon low period (for you and many of the lathargic attendees). It is more invigorating to be on the move using ‘Managing By Walking Around" than to try and be productive immobile at your desk behind a computer.
At our Resilience Training Institute, we encourage people to not make important decisions during their least energetic period that could come back to haunt them; dragging them down.
Any additional awareness about your high and low energy zones along with restrategizing how to best work within each period will surely be more beneficial to you than simply rolling along as always. Good for you; good for your organization!
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