How the Timing of Your Activities Can Increase Your Energy to Heal

Posted 2/26/2020

How The Timing of Your Day Can Change Your Energy to Heal Photo by Sonja Langford on UnsplashHow The Timing of Your Day Can Change Your Energy to Heal Photo by Sonja Langford on UnsplashToday we’re talking Timing!


Did you know that 20% of the variability in human performance on tasks can be explained by the time that we do them during the day?


What this means is that your office neighbor may be outdoing you on the production front just because she works on some of her tasks at different times of the day than you.


This concept was articulated by reporter Daniel H Pink in his book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing


In his book, Pink talks about three stages of energy during the day: Peak, Trough, and Recovery. Choosing the right activities in each stage helps our productivity.


In the Peak (before 2pm for 80% of the population), you are most efficient at focused and attention requiring work. This would include things that you really don’t like to do because they would be considered Stressors and require more Energy.


In the Trough (between 2-4pm for the entire population), you should do more mindless administrative tasks. Think balancing your checkbook, folding clothes, or maybe working on your weekly meal preparations. 


In the Recovery (after 4pm for 80% of the population), you are best at creative tasks. Those that require some focus, but where you are rewarded for thinking outside of the box. This would be a great time to organize brainstorming sessions with you team. Or figure out the best way to solve a complex case. 


Notice that 20% of the population doesn’t have their peaks and recoveries at the same time. For these folks, the recovery and peak are switched. Pink refers to them as Owls - doing their best heads down work in the evenings from 4-12am. This includes people that enjoy the second shift or find the mornings too difficult to handle.


I learned another interesting thing about planning your day. Your brain can help you put tasks at the appropriate time of the day if you give it a chance to work on the project. 


Cheryl Strauss Einhorn, the creator of the AREA decision making method, has found that generating your next day’s to-do list before you leave work lets your brain guide your timing of the list. This way when you return to work in the morning, you can find the most productive or efficient time to complete each task. 


Consider these tidbits as you move into the Spring, trying to make the most out of the increasing daylight hours, or just trying to be more efficient with your time. 


As always, you can use The Healing Equation to help you find the right time of day to work on tasks of all kinds. Just pay attention to how your body and mind respond to tasks at different times of the day.


Until Next Week - Take Care,


Dr. Julie