Want to know the scientific secrets of perfect timing?
Here’s my 3 key takeaways:
1️⃣ Hourly 5-minute walking breaks sharpen focus, improve mood throughout the day, reduce feelings of fatigue in the late afternoon, enhance creativity, and increase motivation and concentration . These microbursts of activity are more effective than a single 30-minute walking break. Want to amplify the effects? Do it in nature, with someone you like, fully detached (from tech and from talking/thinking about work). Can’t get into nature? Just looking at plants while taking the walking break saw positive benefits. ????
2️⃣ People make bad decisions in the afternoon because we all have a trough. Anything requiring rational and analytical thinking should be done early in the day – so much so that the difference between the daily high point and the daily low point can have the equivalent effect on performance as drinking the legal limit of alcohol. Innovation and creativity on the other hand, are at their best when we are not at our best – in other words, creativity jumps when our brains are tired, ie, in the afternoon. The one exception? If you’re a night owl. If you are not a morning person, flip the above – do your creative thinking in the morning and your analytical thinking in the afternoon. ????
3️⃣ Wait 60-90 minutes after waking up to have coffee. The moment we waken, our bodies begin to produce cortisol, a stress hormone that kickstarts us. Caffeine interferes with the production of cortisol, so having a coffee as soon as you wake up barely does anything, but, if you wait 60-90 minutes after waking up, cortisol production has peaked and the caffeine will actually be effective. Need an afternoon coffee to fight the trough? Between 2 and 4pm is the ideal time as that’s when our cortisol levels naturally dip. ☕