Circadian rhythms: When to do things during the day

samfloy~1 June 2019 /Advice

Last weekend I listened to this podcast episode with Dan Pink and Tim Ferriss, whilst going for a run.

It’s about (in part) how everyone has different energy levels throughout the day, and how having an understanding of this can help in deciding what you do and when.

The most practical takeaway was how everyone’s cognitive abilities go through three distinct phases in a day:

  1. Peak
  2. Trough
  3. Rebound

The order of this depends on if you’re a “morning lark” or a “night owl”, though for the majority of people it means that the following structure *should* be followed:

  1. Morning: analytical work (biggest cognitive load)
  2. Post-lunch: administrative work (lowest resolve)
  3. Late afternoon: creative work (more energy)

What I also took from this is to try and avoid the temptation of doing “easy” admin work first thing in the day. Whilst I can get through it quickly, it then means there’s not really any part of the day when I can do “think-y” things with much success.

The book which this is all based on is called When (by Dan Pink) and for those, like me, who just want a summary, you can read one here.


In other news…

My first week and a bit back in Kenya has been spent going through a seemingly unending backlog of “life admin” that have been stored up over the past months/ years. 

This includes:

Happy to chat about any of the above, in case of interest!


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