According to Science, You Should Schedule Your Focus Time Between These Hours
Content was originally published on Inc.com on May 30, 2019.
I have talked about the concept of Focus Fridays before on my column. On how setting aside blocks of time each week to do your best work allows you to clear items off your plate faster and create real value in your business. And thousands of business owners agree that creating focus blocks is a good idea. But for many, they aren’t sure when to schedule their focus blocks. Is it best done in the morning or the afternoon? Should Monday be your focus time or is Friday better? While everyone has their preferences, science says that there is a good and bad time to focus on your highest level tasks.
A research study was conducted analyzing Twitter content from the 54 largest cities in the United Kingdom and were sampled every hour using the Twitter search API. According to the study by Fabon Dzogang “The first peak expression time starting at 5am/6am, it correlates with measures of analytical thinking, with the language of drive (e.g power, and achievement), and personal concerns. It is anticorrelated with the language of negative affect and social concerns. The second factor has peak expression time starting at 3am/4am, it correlates with the language of existential concerns, and anti correlates with expression of positive emotions.”
Focus Earlier In The Day
So if you want to get a jump on the day and focus on your strategic tasks, set aside time first thing in the morning. Before you open your email and before your phone starts ringing when you are mentally at your highest. And then do your push items later in the day when your mindset has shifted. I generally pick focus times when I first get into the office, and notify my co-workers that I am not to be disturbed between the hours of eight and nine am.
Avoid Social Media In The Afternoon
Another interesting tidbit from the study has to do with helping pinpoint when you should go unto social media to share stories and interact with colleagues and other business owners. According to the study, the morning hours are best for topics such as growth, power and achievement and most likely the most beneficial for you as a business owner. Avoiding social platforms towards the end of the day and into the evening hours will help keep negative thoughts and anxiety at bay.
Check In With Yourself Often
The majority of people have no idea how the time of day affects their mood and ability to focus. So it’s important to take this knowledge and begin looking for patterns within yourself. Review your social media channels and see if there is a certain day or time period that you tend to focus on negative topics or ideas. If you are able to identify a pattern, use that to your advantage when setting up your own work schedule and focus days.