When is the best time to focus?

time to focus
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Timing and productivity go hand in hand. Did you ever take the time to stop and ‘listen’ to your body for an entire day? When is the best time to focus and be productive? And when is the best time to take a break? You probably regard yourself als either being a ‘morning person’ or an ‘evening person’. The book ‘When’ by Daniel Pink has a scientific approach to timing and has a lot of great tips.

When is the best time to focus? Keep reading.

How to focus

A lot of blogposts on Train Your Focus are about ‘how’. How are you able to get into that flow of focus and productivity? What techniques can you use? And how can you apply them?

Why to focus

The question ‘why’ is also a recurring topic on Train Your Focus. In fact, I started this blog to keep reminding you (and myself) that we need to keep training our focus. Because we are slowly losing that important skill. Which is causing all kinds of difficulties: productivity issues, social problems and mental- and- physical health problems.

Who focuses

We also talk about ‘who’ on Train Your Focus. About you! Who are you? Why do you do what you do? And are you, as a person, mentally and physically capable to focus for a longer period of time?

When is the best time to focus

But we tend to forget the most important question, the ‘when’. When is the best time to focus? And as with many things: timing is everything.

Have you ever taken the time to really ‘listen’ to your body for an entire day? It will probably tell you something like this.

You may wake up in the morning feeling tired. But at the time you have showered, eaten your breakfast and sit at your desk with a fresh cup of coffee you probably feel energized and ready to start the day.

Around 10 AM you may need to take you first short break. At noon you start to feel hungry and eat your lunch. After having your lunch and your lunch walk, you often feel great and do a lot of work. But then that dreaded afternoon dip sets in around 4 PM. You feel drowsy and you are lacking the energy to start up new things.

Later, when you had dinner at home and relaxed a bit, you may find new energy again. And finally, around bedtime, you are tired and ready for some sleep.

The book ‘When’ by Daniel Pink is about this subject: the best time to focus. It is about timing your productivity. He has a scientific approach to productivity and timing and in his book he gives a lot of tips to help people flourish at work, at school and at home.

Are you a morning person? Or an evening person? Most people describe themselves as either morning people (“larks”) or evening people (“owls”). But research shows that the majority of us are somewhere in between: “third birds.”

In the book he gives a lot of great tips on timing and productivity and about the best time to focus.

Morning

In the morning, don’t drink coffee immediately after you wake up. Wait for an hour for your cortisol production to peak and the caffeine can do its magic. When those cortisol levels dip again (somewhere between 2 PM and 4 PM) get some more coffee. Also: soak up the morning sun.

nature breaks replenish us the most

Breaks

Use your lunch break to recover. That means getting away from your place of work and: socialise, eat and walk. Preferably together and in nature, because nature breaks replenish us the most.

Take regular breaks. Research showed that high performers work for 52 minutes and then break for 17 minutes. When you break, make sure you are ‘tech free’ and – again – close to nature (trees, plants, rivers, and streams).

drink a cup of coffee before your nap

Naps

Take a 10 minute nap. Preferably 7 hours after you woke up in the morning. Maximize it by drinking a cup of coffee beforehand. Since caffeine takes about 25 minutes to enter the bloodstream you will get a secondary boost when the nap ends.

Exercise

Exercise in the morning: to lose weight, boost your mood, keep your routine, and build strength. Exercise in the late afternoon or evening: to avoid injury, perform your best, and enjoy the workout a bit more.

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