Behavioural research has uncovered the best times of the day for tackling complicated work projects, getting the maximum benefit from your workout, interviewing for a job, and having the most productive meetings. The theory is called chronobiology. That is the scientific term for what we more commonly refer to as the ‘biological clock’. Studies in chronobiology attempted to determine just how optimal timing for activities could be hardwired into our physiology.
The best time to exercise.
Getting in a workout first thing in the morning – even before breakfast will deliver the greatest results. You can get an energy boost that lasts well into the day by working out first thing in the morning. This is better news for the early birds than the night owls, as the research says that the optimal time for exercise is at 6:45 – 7:00 am.
The best time to take on challenging work.
When you need your sharpest focus on a problem or a project, it can help to tackle it at your “biological prime time.” This is the period of the day when your energy level is at its peak. For most people this happens around 10:00 am.
However, if you are on a night shift or some other schedule, this timeline could vary. The high-energy period tends to be within an hour or two of starting work. You’ve had time to wake up and get into work-mode without getting run down by too many boring tasks or meetings. You’re raring to go.
The best time to interview for a job.
If you can choose when to schedule your next interview, aim for 10:30 am. This puts both you and the interviewer squarely in that peak energy period. Having the potential employer associate their meeting with you with feeling at their best helps your lasting positive impression.
Plus, that window of time gives the interviewer a chance to start their day without rushing in for an early meeting. They can chance to catch up on their emails and have plenty of time to prep for the interview. It is the most convenient time for them.
The best time to apply for a job is at noon on Tuesdays.
The best time for a meeting.
Apparently, it’s 3:00 pm on a Tuesday. If you are trying to get the whole team together for a catch-up or planning session, then Tuesday afternoon is statistically the period where the most people will be available to attend.
The best time to get creative.
While challenging projects were best performed earlier in the day, creativity peaks in the evenings. The research shows that after 6:00 pm is the optimal time for creative projects. The science suggests that tasks which require a great deal of attention also exhaust your inhibitions and your brain’s ability to narrow focus. This means the early evenings are best for brainstorming and unconventional thought-patterns, while still being early enough that your energy levels aren’t lagging.
The best time for sleep
According to the research, the best time for hitting the sack is at 10:10 pm – which gives you 20 minutes to fall asleep and then 90 minutes of the most restorative non-REM sleep which is most likely to occur prior to midnight.
Most people need roughly eight hours of sleep per day. A key finding from the study was that more than half of us (56 per cent) are not getting enough, and this is taking a toll on our performance throughout the day.
Once again, this schedule is based on those morning people who get out of bed at around 6:45am. If you are a later riser or a night owl, you can adjust the clock to fit your schedule, since the optimal timing for activities is based on the clock starting when you wake up and get started.