By Crabby McSlacker
First off, I love the auto-fill suggestions search engines come up with, don't you? Because google thought I was wondering about "best time of day to do enema."
(And I'm afraid I didn't hit enter on that one, so I can't tell you when that is. My sincere apologies to any random enema googlers who found their way here).
But anyway, I kept seeing articles saying there's a "best" time to do stuff, so I thought I'd collect a few. Just in case you were wondering when you should exercise, take your vitamins, think creatively, ask for a raise, shop for super-discounted peanut butter Oreo cookies when no one is there to see you fill your basket, rob a convenience store, or whatever the heck you're trying to plan and optimize.
There's some useful advice to be had, I guess. My productivity, minimal as it is, has improved greatly since I discovered some tricks along these lines.
And yet... I also find some of these generalizations, particularly the circadian rhythm ones, pretty damn annoying.
Crabby McSlacker... annoyed about something? Shocking, I know!
Some Handy Sources on the Best Time of Day to Do All Kinds of Crap:
I thought perhaps this was the same article recycled to different media outlets, but while there is some overlap, the tips and sources are different enough that they're all worth a peek, if you care about such things:
Real Simple has some Best Time of Day Time-Management Strategies;
Prevention has more Best Time of Day tips, with an emphasis on health-related stuff;
Life Hacker has a Best Time of Day to Do Anything post; and
Oprah Magazine has tips on the Best Time of Day to Eat, Exercise etc.
A Few Interesting or Useful Time of Day Tips:
If you go through all the articles, there are quite a few so I'm not gonna even try to round 'em all up.
- If you live somewhere with crappy weather head for an outdoor vacation in February or Early March in order to ward off SAD.
- Send emails at 2pm; people are most likely to read emails between 2-5pm.
- Schedule dental surgery in January or February when dental offices are slow.
- Go to the post office between 7:30-10am when it's less busy.
- Schedule flights after noon Pacific Standard Time if you're on the west coast, when fog has dissipated," but for southeastern and Gulf Coast flights, steer clear of the thunderstorms that kick up around 3 p.m.
- Tweet stuff between 1-3pm on Mondays but wait until Wednesday at 3pm or Saturday to Facebook it. (Tip doesn't say what time zone, though!)
Some Contradictory Time of Day Claims or Things I'm Skeptical About:
When should you take a nap? At 1-2pm! No, wait, between 3-5pm! (How about when you realize you're really sleepy? Just a thought.)
When should you do cardio? First thing in the morning! No, early evening!
When are you best able to handle mental challenges? Between 10-11am or 8-9pm. Um, really? Just those two particular hours, no matter what time you get up or if you're a morning person or a night owl?
The Crabby McSlacker Time Management Principle:
The Best Time of Day for Everything is in the Morning
Yes, this is when I love the world and everything in it and have the most energy. (Coffee helps too.)
It's also when trails and and bike paths are pretty darn empty. (If you live in an urban area rather than a resort town, probably the opposite).
And yes, this was on a morning walk yesterday, though it was already 7:30ish so I'd already been up for 3 hours.
Because first thing in the morning is the only time I can write! Or tackle difficult decisions, or make daunting phone calls or organize things or feel optimistic and confident and somewhat productive. It's also a great time for meditation and gentle yoga-like MMMMMMovement to music. Plus mornings tend to be less crowded for errands and appointments and shopping.
But I can't do all that good stuff during that time frame, so I have to prioritize each day. Which stuff really needs my morning attention? And what can I put off? I really hate that question but if I don't ask it, I do the wrong stuff.
So I've gotten ridiculously protective of the hours between, say 5am and 1pm. I used to be more prone to squandering morning time with things that were easier or more fun or just whatever happened to be in front of me--but then, before I know it, I'd find it was afternoon already and my brain cells were only good for rationalization, procrastination and frustration. Well, that's still the case--but now I'm more likely to have gotten a couple of things done before the brain cells shut down for the remainder of the day.
What about you guys, have you found any "best time" tricks?