There’s an equal number of hours in every day, but not all hours are equal.
Chances are, you know whether you’re a morning person, an afternoon-thriver, or a night owl. We all have a particular time of the day where we feel our most productive and our work is best-executed. Sometimes, your optimal time may even fall outside of your usual work hours.
In addition to your time of day, you probably also know what task or skill you’re best at doing. If not, ask yourself: What is the facet of my job where my strengths really shine? What do I enjoy doing the most? Where do I get the best feedback? Perhaps it’s your writing of blog posts, or your project management planning, or your number forecasting.
With your optimal time of day and your best strengths in mind…take a look at your calendar. Does your best task overlap with your best time?
For instance, if your best time is in the morning and your greatest strength is writing blog posts, then you want to plan on spending your mornings writing blog posts. You should do your best when you’re at your best.
Now, we know that if you have an 8-5 office job, this isn’t always realistic. If you’re a night owl or 5am fan, you probably aren’t inclined to save work from the office to do in the late evenings or early mornings. That’s completely understandable. However, think beyond your strengths in the office so that you can still make your best time work for you. What are your strengths at home?
For example, maybe you’re really good at managing your family’s finances. But, when you try to take care of it on the weekends, you’d rather be doing anything else. Instead of forcing yourself to give up a Saturday afternoon, figure out a time during the week when you’re at your best. You might find that on weeknights after 9pm, when you’re normally just watching Netflix anyway, you can open your laptop and be the financial wizard you love to be.
One of the other great benefits of aligning your best time with your greatest strength, is making sure that you aren’t spending your best thinking time with an activity that requires no thinking. If you hate waking up early and do your best work in the afternoon or evening, that’s when you should be working on tasks that propel you forward. This may mean moving your afternoon workouts or house cleaning routine to the mornings so that you spend your most precious time on your most precious goals.
Aligning your best time with your best work may feel like a too-simple solution for achieving your goals, but we promise it’s worth every ounce of your (best) time.