The first three hours of your day are your most precious for maximized productivity.
Scientific Research confirms that the brain is most active and creative immediately when waking up. Our subconscious mind has been loosely mind-wandering while we slept, making contextual and temporal connections. So, immediately following sleep, our mind is most readily active to do thoughtful work, and our energy level is at its peak.
Consequently the best time to do our best work is during the first hours of our day.
As a full time business coach and a full time mom, I tested this theory, and here is how I organize my day to create my best work:
I wake up at 6AM, before everyone at home wakes up, while it is still quiet. I have time for myself: meditation, journaling, affirmations, some quick and nice reading. I organize my thoughts and I focus on my day by writing down my big picture goals as well as my goals for that particular day and any idea that comes to my mind. I review my schedule and I am ready to go!
At 7 AM, I am in “mom mode” for an hour. As a mother of two, my mornings are jam-packed with preparing breakfasts, showers, getting dressed, and getting to school. However, I try to be as organized as possible. For example, I prepare school outfits, and lunch boxes the night before.
I usually have a high protein breakfast (eggs or peanut butter) - Protein-rich foods keep you full longer than other foods because they take longer to leave the stomach. Also, protein keeps blood-sugar levels steady, which prevent spikes in hunger and keeps me focused longer in the morning.
I drive my kids to school and by 8AM, I’m set to work.
Starting work this early may seem crazy, but I’ve been shocked by how productive I am at this time of day and how easy it is to work for 3 – 4 hours straight without distractions.
At noon, my mind is ready for a break, so here I dedicate one hour for a hobby, a workout or any other personal errand, followed by a quick lunch. After this mental break, I work a few more hours, before going back to “mom mode” again.
Obviously, this schedule cannot work for everyone. Basically, what I am saying is, we all need to work within the constraints of our unique contexts.
But whatever your situation, protect your mornings because this is when you reach peak performance. Be unreachable during your first 3 hours of deep work! Don’t waste them on input. Spend them on output. Use them to do all of your creative work that needs deep thoughts.Then give your brain a break and use this time to recharge. Come back re-energized in the afternoon and dedicate them to meetings, emails and social media.