Whether we realize it or not, we all have an internal groove that outlines our day. Some of us are “morning people,” some prefer to cram all-nighters and some actually thrive during that 2 p.m. slump (weird, right?). Turns out, there are ways to actually figure out your most productive hour of the day (or as we like to call it, your “golden hour”)? We’ve rounded up some tips on how to determine this time when your personal productivity soars, as well as how to foster it.
How to Find Your Most Productive Hour of the Day
Step 1: Think Outside Of Your 9-5
When do you feel like you are doing your best work? Reaching a state of “flow” doesn’t always come easy, but when you are on a roll...jot it down. Journaling will help you determine patterns and see the big picture of your productivity. Tip: Plan one workday when you have total control of your time. Track how you feel, your level of focus, your environment (kids running around? barking dog?) and how motivated you are as you move throughout your day. Repeat as necessary. The most important thing to remember here is that your “golden hour” might not fit into a typically 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule and that’s totally OK. In fact, one of our very own editors experiences her golden hour at 5 a.m.—a time when the rest of her house is silent.
Step 2: Notice When You Need A Pick-me-up
Do you feel like you are crashing at the same time each day? Observe what habits may be bringing you down and think of what you can do to avoid the burnout. For example, after our first cup of hot and delicious Folgers® Coffee in the a.m., we are determined to reach inbox zero. (Who wouldn’t after the sound of that?). But come 3 p.m. that determination is waning and we’re in search of the nearest pretzel bag. Once you learn your flow, make sure to keep the right sustenance on hand. For us that means plenty of Folgers Black Silk K-cups and some healthier afternoon snacks (like, hummus to go with those pretzels).
Step 3: Fuel Your Productivity
Utilize your peak hour for specific tasks. Work that requires a lot of active-energy, like planning or strategizing, is best supported during your peak-productivity or “golden hours.” Use the rest of your workday to take group meetings and brainstorms that require less singular-focus and more open-ended creativity. Scheduling your day based on your peak-performance is a win-win for you and your team.
Step 4: When You Find Your Hour, Protect It
Making time to be productive allows you to do the work, so block that precious time out on your calendar to focus. No, you can’t hop-in to that last-minute meeting that should be a phone call...you are honoring your go-time. Tip: Protect this hour by also limiting all distractions on your computer. We use Freedom to block all websites that we check constantly and love using the Pomodoro Method to time our work into segments that are achievable and trackable (including well-deserved breaks!).