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Science of Work

Study: These are the best days, times, months, and seasons to be productive

Task and project management platform Redbooth recently partnered with data content firm Priceonomics to look at when productivity spikes and slows down durning the work week.

The research team reportedly took a look at anonymized data of Redbooth users, numbering in the hundreds of thousands. Here are some of the results that stood out.

You’re more likely to get the most work done on Monday

Based on Redbooth data from October 2016 to October 2017, the research found that on Monday, people got the highest number of tasks done, at 20.4%.

Tuesday was just shy of tying with Monday at 20.2%, while Wednesday was 19.3%, Thursday was 18.6%, and Friday was the least productive day of the workweek at 16.7%.

As for the weekend, Saturday was 2.4% and Sunday was 2.3%, the least productive days by far.

You’ll probably knock out that big project just before noon

Based on Redbooth data from October 2015 to October 2017, the research showed that once things get started in the morning, productivity eventually reaches its highest point before noon.

This brings us to the “magic” productivity time of sorts: 11 A.M. At this hour, 9.7% of tasks are finished — the highest amount of any hour of the day.

“I’m actually most productive early in the morning, when the office is quiet and I can stay focused. But I suspect the reason most people’s productivity spikes around 11am is because they’re fully caffeinated, working at full speed, and coworkers are around to collaborate with,” Jeff Harrell, VP of Marketing at Redbooth, told Ladders.

After that, productivity goes south, then slightly upward again before dipping slightly, and then dropping very drastically again at 5 P.M.

Here’s a monthly breakdown of users’ productivity

The research showed how productive users were every month. Based on Redbooth data from October 2013 to October 2017, it found that October was the highest month for productivity, with users getting 9.5% of annual tasks done at that time.

November claimed second place in terms of efficiency at 9.0%, while September came in third at 8.8%.

January, on the other hand, was the least productive time, with people only getting 7.2% of things done then. February wasn’t much better, at 7.6%.

When all the months were then put together by season, fall turned out to be the most productive, with 27.3% of tasks getting done. Winter turned out to be the least productive time of the year, at 22.8%.

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