Both a team of neuroscientists at the University of Michigan and psychologist Ron Friedman agree: our bodies are hard-wired to be really productive for two to three hours in the morning. If you’re not a morning person, you can still take advantage of that productivity by making a few small changes to your routines. First, prep the night before. Set up the coffeemaker, pack your lunch, and lay out your clothes so you don’t have to worry about any of that in the morning. Second, plan to do something you enjoy in the morning. You’re less likely to hit snooze over and over if you’re looking forward to a sunrise jog or the daily crossword puzzle. Third, avoid Facebook and email. Morning is your time; don’t subjugate yourself to others first thing. Finally, take some time to strategize and plan your day. Use that productive time in the morning to get your plans set, then hit the ground running.
- Scientific study shows that cortisol, a stress hormone, kicks in between the hours of 9 and 11 AM, making that a prime time for human alertness.
- Time management blogger, Christine Laue, suggests making the most of the cortisol increase by avoiding distracting tasks like email checking and Facebook reading, at these peak times.
- Young Entrepreneur co-founder, Adam Toren, suggests the carrot approach, as in starting the day with something that makes you want to get out of bed.
“Even if you’re not a morning person, there are a few things you can do to be more productive during a time when many experts say you’re naturally at your peak.”