Whether it's that vital phone call or the big problem of the day, tackle that important task at the end of the day. There's a solid logic to setting tasks at 5pm.
Photo by Alan Cleaver
Fast Company argues you're primed for concentration at that time:
A Wall Street Journal article found that our working memory, alertness, and concentration all improve with our body temperatures, which increase throughout the day. The link between body temp and cognition shows us that we have all sorts of biological rhythms within us throughout the day.
What we might want to warm up to, then, is that it makes sense to match our tasks to our physiology: our bodies are warmest around midday, meaning that our concentration is awesome then. Plus our lung capacity — another indicator of mental ability — is highest around 5 p.m., so it makes sense to leave some deep work for the end of the day.
At this time, the lungs use oxygen more efficiently, you're more coordinated, and your muscles are warmed up.
Clearly, the exact timing will vary depending on the nature of the task. But if you begin the day by scheduling an important assignment for 5pm, you can pace yourself knowing that. It might help you find the "good hours" you should work to become more productive.
Why Your Brain Can't Handle An All-day Schedule [Fast Company]