3am productivity spurts and afternoon breaks – build a resilient routine that suits you

All the successful CEOs and business leaders that I’ve worked with have one thing in common: a great routine that they stick to.  What sets their routines apart and makes them truly resilient is that they are tailored to their individual ways of working.

Everyone has a time when they’re naturally most productive

I do my best work between 3 and 5 in the morning.  The simplest way to find out when you’re operating at peak performance is by paying attention to your body’s circadian rhythms.  For most people, this ‘peak performance’ time is around 1.5 hours – any longer and you won’t be able to maintain proper focus.

Once you’ve pinned down when you’re most productive, you can allocate this time to tackling the most important item on that day’s to-do list. To take full advantage of your natural productivity, work in an uninterrupted space.  Ignore your emails, ask your staff to re-direct your calls and avoid checking social media so you can focus entirely on the task at hand.

Work in sprints and rests to achieve deep focus

 Your brain can’t focus for more than 90 minutes.  To make optimum use of your time, the best way to structure your day is by building in 1.5 hour ‘sprints’ of focused activity followed by 15 minute ‘rests’ to get a coffee or take a walk and decompress.

When I was working with an entrepreneur who wanted to write his memoirs in a very short space of time, we looked at his routine and identified when he was at his most productive and what parts of the day meant the most to him personally.  He worked best early in the morning, but he was not prepared to give up breakfast with his family.  So he built a ‘peak performance’ window into his routine with a sprint from 6 to 7.15am – capitalising on his natural productivity without compromising his personal well-being.

Don’t feel pressured to fit social norms

There’s no reason why you should fit the mould of a 9 – 5 worker.  Take me: I work best in the early hours of the morning – so by mid-afternoon in the office, if I don’t regulate my energy, my productivity will start to decrease

In one of my previous working environments in, they had a rest area where you could go and recharge for 10-15minutes. By doing this, I made sure that my productivity wasn’t put second to the conventional eight hour day – and I continued to bring the results that showed my approach was working.  What is critical here is working out what works best for you, and then mapping your schedule to optimise your energy and output periods – then you can use the lower energy times for more routine tasks – helping you keep ahead of the game, without burning out.

 If you want to develop your leadership or are interested in how you can drive resilience in your business, please get in touch with Empowering Success on info@Empowering-Success.co.uk

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