You probably have a list goals you’re itching to accomplish and habits you’d love to cement into your daily routine. Of course, these monumental tasks and projects will take some time, but it’s better to know when you’re most likely to get them done to keep yourself from struggling on a huge task at the end of the workday.
The reason? According to Redbooth, a project management software developer, your productivity isn’t constant throughout the week, or even throughout the day. If running out of steam when five o’clock rolls around sounds like a part of your routine, don’t fret: It’s part of being human.
After anonymising and analysing the productivity habits of its “hundreds of thousands” of users and their collective 28 million completed tasks over a two year period, Redbooth discovered some interesting patterns related to when people got work done.
11AM is the most productive hour according to Redbooth’s data, when nearly 10 per cent of the day’s tasks are marked as completed. So if you’re hoping to get some high priority tasks out of the way before you run out of steam, you’re better off taking care of it before the lunchtime rush.
Getting Things Done, or GTD, is a system for getting organised and staying productive. It may seem complicated on the outside, but the end goal is to spend less time doing the things you have to do so you have more time for the things you want to do. Let's break it down and see how you can apply a simplified version to your life.
After that? Productivity declines and fewer tasks are completed as the day’s end approaches. By 4PM, very little gets done, and the percentage of completed tasks drops precipitously.
Mondays are the most productive days, while everyone waits for the weekend on Friday, making it the least productive day of the week.
The End Of The Year Isn’t Great For Getting Things Done
While people become more productive as the year goes on, that comes to a peak around October. Once November hits, however, you can say goodbye to your normal number of accomplished tasks.
Whether it’s due to an approaching summer, the upcoming holiday season, or mood changes caused by the increasing sunlight, you’re probably not getting as much work done as usual (along with everyone else in your office).
When in Doubt, Find Your Own Performance Schedule
Redbooth’s findings aside, not everyone fits the mould when it comes to finding their most productive hour. Night owls especially might find it hard to fit into a normal workday schedule if they’re most productive when the sun goes down.
You can alleviate the potential timing issues by automating particular tasks, or handling more in-depth projects during the evening when your productivity is at its peak. Tactics such as the Pomodoro technique also help in keeping you focused by building in breaks after each session of focused work.
People without a traditional 9-to-5 gig can keep track of their most productive hours using an app such as Rescuetime, or by keeping a running list of your completed tasks and accomplishments throughout the day.
Just don’t expect to maintain that steady pace when you’re at your peak performance level. You’re only human.