The peak time of day to do everything in your business (backed by science)

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You’re the boss of it all. You know how your industry operates. You know how to develop solutions and how to market and deliver them. But do you know the most effective order in which to carry out your daily tasks?

When you find yourself struggling for time, energy, or inspiration at certain times of the working day, there is probably a good scientific reason for it. Just like the rooster knows when to crow, your circadian rhythms are pre-programmed to do certain things at certain times. Our unnatural modern work practices tend to steamroll over this hidden inner schedule.

Plus, you’re operating in a complex international ecosystem. Customers, clients, suppliers all have their own rhythms and schedules. When they don’t reply to your email or read your blog post, there’s a good chance you didn’t hit ‘Send’ at the optimum moment of the day.

There is a lot of business-related research out there, with advice on what time to do certain tasks. But we decided to look at the whole human animal and develop a comprehensive, scientific guide to the peak time of day to do everything in your business. And you can start before you even get out of bed.

Your brain is most creative during and immediately after sleep (American Physiological Society, 2013). When you leap out of bed and into the rational world, you’re leaving a wealth of creative potential behind as activity in your prefrontal cortex slows from its sleep-state peak. Try to spend a few minutes brainstorming with your head on the pillow before your partner wakes up – or at least keep a pencil and paper by the side of your bed to note down your first thoughts before they evaporate.

11 a.m. is the best time to be at your desk, doing meaningful work. You make your best decisions between 8 a.m. — 1 p.m. (Leone, M. et al., 2017), and big data has shown that 11 a.m. is the most productive moment of the day. It is also the most effective time to publish a Facebook, Instagram, or blog post.

So, what to do in the afternoon? In-depth research shows that you can double your contact rate of business calls if you make them between 4 — 5 p.m. (compared to calling around noon). A perfect way to spend those often-directionless last moments of the working day.

Our science-backed schedule for an efficient, effective day suggests 12 precise moments through the day when picking one task over another is the best step forward, plus bonus tips on how to make the most of each item on your to-do list.

This article first appeared on Headwaycapital.com