Being in the zone means many things to many people, but it all revolves around one general concept: productivity. It can be challenging to pinpoint the time of day when you are at your most productive. It can be likened to flipping a switch, it’s off, then it’s on, then it’s off again. However, there are ways to go about finding the time of day that your switch naturally flips into the “on” position.
1. Don’t Pick Just Any Day
Putting in the leg work to find your most productive time of day is best done on a day where you have quiet. This could mean working at home, kids not at home, or maybe just a day where you get to make your own schedule. The fewer distractions you have the better to gauge your personal rhythms.
2. Track Your Day
Keep track of how long you work, what you get done, as well as any downtime. This includes mindless social media scrolling, creative work versus “admin” work like clearing emails, updating budgets, and the like. Make a note of how you were feeling as well.
3. Analyze Your Tracker
Go over your tracker for the day. What tasks did you work all the way through, what tasks were interrupted by social media scrolls, and at what times of the day were you feeling great? Times where you worked consistently for extended periods and shorter breaks mean peak productivity. Short bursts of work with longer breaks show disengagement with your work and low focus/interest.
4. Think Within Your Historical Context
More than likely, your work habits have changed slightly over the years. However, your personality traits have not. Were you early to bed and early to rise in college? Maybe that is still your best time to get work done. If you have been an incorrigible night owl since childhood, perhaps that is your peak work hours.
5. Ask Others
You can also resort to asking others when they think you are most productive. Coworkers or live-in partners may be some of the best individuals to comment on when you do your best work.
Finding the time of day when your switch naturally flips can be a daunting task, especially with how busy and distracted people are today. However, carving out time to work on yourself may result in more productive and less distracted days ahead.