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1. Use Your Prime Times

First, we have to look at our natural energy cycles and work effectively during peak time. Most people have a natural time during the day when they feel up—I call this prime time—and a natural time when they have low energy—down time. How do you take advantage of your prime time? Knowing when this time is for you is an important productivity enhancer and factor in discipline.

During prime time, your brain is switched full on. Your batteries are charged and you are able to focus. During down time, your brain feels slow and sluggish, and it’s difficult to muddle through your work.

I view my energy level like the dimmer switch my husband, John, recently installed in one of our bathrooms. People don’t operate at full on and off. They don’t run full-tilt all day and then crash and sleep at night. It’s not zero percent and a hundred percent, but rather various levels throughout the day. Most people perform at optimum levels only four to five hours a day.

You need to know when you have these periods of high energy. These are your expensive hours, because your brain is capable of doing higher-level activities during that period of time, compared to other periods of time during the day when you can’t focus or concentrate. That’s why it’s important to know when you’re in prime time, because you can get more high-value work accomplished.

Discipline yourself during these times to focus on tasks of high value or importance, critical decisions, problem-solving or brainstorming activities, or complex and detailed thought. When you force yourself to work on these activities during your prime time, the work takes less time. During down time, creative work takes much, much longer
and is more tedious and less effective.

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