Factoring “Best Work” Time into Your Schedule


find your best time to workThese last few days, I’ve been trying something new, because of the frustrations involved in the To-Do List  becoming, often, the To-Never or To-Excuse List.

You see, once upon a time, Jodi started out with the best of intentions, buying a special notebook to keep the To-Do List findable and tiny.  (Incidentally, she loves tiny cute notebooks, so the purchase was not a hardship.)

Jodi implemented natural rhythms and psychological warfare to keep the list small, so there was a Writing To-Do List and a Non-Writing To-Do List, each housing about 7+-2 items each.  (This number was carefully chosen for its ties to the comforts of memory, because Jodi needs all the help she can get to win an inch on her goals.)

There were stickers to visually and tactilely mark tasks done.  She even recently gave into her ADD and re-condensed the lists into one and created an Accomplishments List on another page.  This was to cover things done outside of the To-Do List; this was to showcase successes, not failures.

But fail she did, but fail happier because of a change in mindset: failures are learning experiences, not reprimands.  Failures are meant to teach appropriate To-Do List making skills, amongst other things.

Well, make that “she failed with mixed feelings,” instead of “failed happy,” because failures still fall short of making Jodi skip for joy.

Anyway, the point is, Jodi’s track record of success was in a slump.  Then, she got an idea–from who knows where, for her mind shuns labels on its mental filing cabinet drawers–

(Oh, yes, she found the right file despite her ADD-organization system: the idea came from the energy management post she linked to the other day.  Ideas had seeped in from that article like the Zicam bottle seeped goo all over her purse, although the energy management idea was a happy find.)

–and this idea was to pay attention to time.

Time, it seemed, had not been accounted for in her “natural rhythms and psychological warfare” methods.  But it made a lot of sense to include it so that important projects, those that demanded the most from her, took place in the morning when she was perky and ready to go (well, after a tiny post-wake-up nap).  That way the faster or easier or less demanding tasks could wait until evening when her energy levels were low and her perkiness scarce.

And now she will experiment for a week or so, to give this new tactic a fair shake.  (She will also now stop talking in third person about herself.)

Anyway, as with any change, there is the futzing around and rebellion and getting-into-the-flow stages.  But this tactic makes sense according to “How to Discover Your Best Time of the Day to Work” and “Your Best Hours” and “How Heat Mapping Your Productivity Can Make You More Productive.”  Although this article disagrees when it comes to creativity: “Why We’re More Creative When We’re Tired, And 9 Other Surprising Things About How Brains Work.”

Anyway, I feel it’s worth a try.