By Jeff Zbar | January 10, 2009
My day can be a chaotic thing. Mornings start in the home office anywhere between 4am and 6am, with a little USAToday, New York Times, and some client work.
I then get the kids ready for school, see them off, then return to my home-based workplace, for a little more concentrated work.
Mornings often are best for home offices in search of silence and solace in their pursuit of focused work. No family around. The mind’s at peak productivity and attention. it’s a great period to get things done.
Maybe it’s just me. But the point is: I know it’s me. I know my style. I know that by the afternoon, my “peak productivity” will have peaked a few hours earlier. Unless I’m driven by the stress and duress of a pressing deadline, my afternoons tend to lose the direction they had in the AM.
That, and the kids’ arrival home again steals my focus.
Many people don’t know their style, their circadian and personal rhythms. Find yours:
- Map your day. When are you most productive? Tap that time.
- Know your style and cycles. Some people are more focused in the AM. Some in the afternoon. Some on Mondays, while some find peak effort later in the week. Find your cycle. Maximize it.
- Cheat to boost productivity. This isn’t about hitting Starbucks every time you need a pick me up. Take a walk. Stretch. Head out for a bit. Not long, but long enough to get the mind out of the office – and refocus it back on work when you return again.
- Punt. Occasionally, your cycles will betray you. Feel free to retreat, regroup and return with a new outlook. If you’re slacking one morning, save the work for the afternoon. If it’s a nice day, grab the laptop or pad-and-pen to head out to get some work done.
Life and work in and around the home office is a cyclical thing. Learn what works best for you. Capitalize on your personality traits and inner rhythm. Punt when necessary. Your work will get done. Just maybe not on the schedule you’d originally anticipated…