Is This a "Morning" Task?

Scheduling Important Activities for the Right Time of Day

Understand your energy levels

When are you at your most energetic?

© iStockphoto/LP7

Like many of us, Alys's job has a mix of regular, routine duties that are usually urgent – as well as longer-term, more important tasks that are usually less urgent.

She spends her mornings on the urgent tasks that she must get done. These routine tasks are a bit boring, so her motivation is to get them finished and off of her To-Do List as soon as possible. This leaves her afternoons free from these details, so that she can work on longer-term, more creative tasks – like researching, planning, and writing presentations.

The problem is that she's a morning person. By the time she finishes her routine tasks, she's at her low point of energy in the afternoon. And, to make matters worse, she works in the U.K. – so in the afternoon, she gets tons of distracting emails and phone calls from her colleagues in the U.S. As a result, her creative tasks are often pushed to the side, and she's forced to work on them at the very end of the day, when she's feeling at her worst. Alys clearly needs to change the way she organizes her day!

In this article, we'll examine how to find your best time of day (or week), and how to schedule tasks around that.


OK, some things do have to be done right away. Use this approach for the things that don't.

Step 1: Find Your Peak Times

Each one of us has a different "peak time" or highest-energy time during the day. Some of us are morning people. Others have more energy around mid-afternoon. And some people feel their best at night.

Most people know instinctively when their "up" times are and when their "down" times are. And you probably don't have just one. Some people feel up in the morning, down in the afternoon, and up again in the early evening.

If you're not sure when your peak times are...

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