In today’s society, we are told when we have to work, mostly according to the 9-to-5 rhythm. With luck, you have “escort” times and can better arrange when you want to work, but even this framework is limited. In this post I want to explain you why understanding my inner clock was so important for me.
Of course, there are professions where you have direct contact with customers, so it is understandable that you have to work within a fixed time frame. But many jobs are actually completely independent of the time of day and could theoretically be done at any time.
If I asked you this question, could you answer it immediately? Probably not, and if you could, you’d be a lot further ahead than other people. For me, the time when I am most productive is after a good sleep in the morning, beginning at 6 a.m. till noon, so by definition I am an early bird. Once you know when you are most productive, you can use that for yourself.
In case you have to stick to a fixed working time, you don’t need to surrender. The food news is, that you can had train yourself to be extremely productive at other times of the day – or the night. One of the reasons I am most productive between these times is probably that most people are asleep and are busy getting to work, so that I get less distractions from emails or phone calls. I also have the incentive of knowing that I am working on my goals.
For me, productivity means using time efficiently and having little downtime. Downtime includes breaks, distractions, motivational or thought blocks. If you use your time really productively, you can get a lot of things done. In addition, you can divide your activities in such a way that you can work more efficiently.
An example: When I create my post pictures, it takes me about 3 minutes, depending on the picture, if I were to do them individually. I would open the program, edit the picture, then upload it and insert the picture into the post. But when I create and edit 5-10 post images at once, I only need 2 minutes per post image. So I save 33% of the working time and am more productive and efficient.
Understand my inner clock and time management were be a great help for coming closer to and achieving more of my goal. If you want to learn what could also be of great support for you, take a look at Getting things done* by David Allen. This book helped me a lot in being more productive and efficient.
If I ever become self-employed, I will completely restructure my working day so that I can adapt my daily routine to my inner clock. It is also important, regardless of when you work, to never interrupt yourself when you are in flow. You can tell because you are extremely productive and you don’t even realise you are working. Similar to sports, when you have a perfect run that you don’t want to suddenly stop, but to keep going until you reach the finish line.
I worked several years for a consultancy agency in the automotive sector, having as usual the constraint of 9-5. In the first years, I focused on my performance, trying to do best in the fixed (time and location) frame I was in. After a while, I started working from home: first one day a week, then two, three and so on, till I finally wasn’t bound to the office anymore.
From home, sometimes I worked early in the morning, starting before sunset, as I was motivated and energized by finishing working at noon at enjoying the rest of the day. But I wanted to push the boundaries. So I started experimenting and I realized that all the work of one week could be done on just one weekend, reducing 40 week hours to less than 20.
Why did it work? Because I could relax and accomplish so much for myself during the five days, and in the last two days I was highly motivated and energized. And the results were amazing: I was one of the best performing employees, not just for a short time period, but for several years.
* Was der Stern bedeutet: Ich bewerbe ausschließlich Produkte, von denen ich selbst überzeugt bin und die ich in vielen Fällen selbst nutze. Für Links, die mit einem * markiert sind, erhalte ich eine kleine Provision, wenn über den verlinkten Anbieter einen Vertrag bzw. Kauf zustande kommt. Für Dich entstehen dadurch keine Mehrkosten und ich kann so die Kosten fürs Hosting des Blogs oder für das Abo von Photoshop und Lightroom aufbringen. Als Amazon-Partner verdiene ich an qualifizierten Verkäufen.