Determining when you are at your most productive peak during a work day is useful in scheduling your tasks and managing your time appropriately.
Everyone has a time in the day when they work to their optimal potential; they have a clear headspace, feel energised and can perform tasks with more ease. During these times, difficult tasks which require more mental or physical energy should be allocated.
If you are unsure of your peak times, observe your work patterns. Pay attention to when you feel tired (and are reaching for that coffee or sugary hit), feel distracted or unable to focus, and when you feel most alert and energetic.
Once you establish your peak times of productivity, you can begin to organise your day to better suit your energy levels. For example, you might decide to dedicate your mornings to doing complex tasks which require more critical thinking and spend your afternoons completing tasks that require less brain power.
Scheduling your tasks around your fixed obligations, such as a meeting or conference call, can also help to ensure these events do not cause too much disruption to your day. For example, you may choose to do more laborious tasks before a meeting because you may feel unmotivated or lethargic after the meeting.
Working in intervals is another way to ensure you spend an appropriate amount of time and mental energy on the right tasks. Stick to 90-minute intervals of work with small breaks in between. Use your breaks to get up and walk around or have a healthy snack to provide some fuel.