To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. – Ecclesiastes 3:1
Many people categorize themselves as early birds or night owls, and research seems to suggest that the body’s circadian rhythm determines the ideal time for many daily activities, according to a Wall Street Journal article. Some tasks are better completed early in the day, while others are ideal for the afternoon or evening. Our physiology changes over the course of the day, and so should our habits. Perhaps we would all be more productive if we planned our day around our body’s rhythms. Here are a few examples:
The best time to…
Read and send e-mails
In the morning, ideally before 6 am, because they are more likely to be read before they get lost in a barrage of other e-mails.
I read e-mails first thing in the morning but don’t necessarily answer them right away. (Procrastination gets the best of me.)
Take a nap
The ideal time for a nap is around 2 pm. This is the time when many people hit a slump, and productivity dips.
Sometimes sleepiness takes over in the afternoon, but usually only if I haven’t slept enough the night before. There are many days when I would find a 2 pm nap restorative.
From a physiological standpoint, the ideal time for exercise is in the afternoon between 2pm and 6 pm. Why? As the day wears on, our bodies become better equipped to handle physical exertion:
- Muscle strength peaks.
- The lungs function more efficiently.
- Eye-hand coordination improves.
Though some people swear by morning workouts, I prefer exercising in the afternoon or evening if my schedule permits. I feel more awake, and my muscles seem more limber.
Posting on social media sites
- Morning for new tweets
- Late in the day for retweeting when many people find it easier to retweet than post new tweets
- Evening for Facebook, as updates posted around 8 pm get more “Likes.”
I check Facebook mainly in the morning to catch up on what was posted overnight. It’s a mindless activity that allows me to ease into my day.
See the full article for more tips: Your Body’s Best Time for Everything
Are you an early or late riser? What activities do you do first thing in the morning? Which activities do you reserve for later in the day?