Michael Sterling

Life Hack: Use Your Body Clock for Peak Productivity


Are you a morning person or a night owl? The “I Don’t Do Mornings” coffee mug may be fun, but actually knowing when you are at your best is key to success. In fact, scientists are learning more and more about how we each much use our body clock for peak productivity.


Last October, three U.S. scientists won a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their work studying the body clock. It’s been shown that a clock ticks in nearly every cell of the human body. The clock – our natural rhythm – affects our mood, hormone levels, metabolism, mental focus and more.


Working against our natural clock can create havoc on our physical and mental wellbeing. It also disrupts our performance and productivity. Knowing how your body ticks will essentially make you more productive.


Body Clock Basics for Peak Productivity


Pinpoint Your Personal Peak: If you thrive in the A.M., schedule tough tasks early. Plan meetings at the start of the work day. If your brain is in a fog until 10am, adjust your day accordingly. Don’t try to wow a key client over breakfast. Schedule a lunch meeting instead.


Plan for Your Slump: Knowing when you’re at your best will help identify when you’re at your worst. For many, the slump is right after lunch – when the body is digesting and running in slower motion. However, night hawks are likely just hitting their stride mid-day. Their slump may be after breakfast.  Sure, there are times when we all must force ourselves to be pumped during our slump, but doing that daily will be disastrous to our motivation and performance.


Rally for Your Rebound: Science has proved that with each slump comes a rebound. When do you get your second wind? Use that to set sail again and ride a renewed wave of peak productivity. Researchers have concluded this rebound period is the best for out-of-the-box thinking. Take this time to attack the most difficult challenges.


Hit the Brakes: Transitioning between body rhythm phases allows us to position ourselves for the next stage of our day. We need to take regular breaks to recharge and refocus. Studies of biometrics link taking breaks to increased performance. Rather than just push on through, we’ll be more successful if we step away, refresh and then return.


As science continues to unravel the intricate aspects of the body clock, more will be revealed on the importance of understanding and using our biological timetable. Success may truly lie within our DNA.


Career Wellness


Interested in more career nutrition? Check out the Career Wellness section of the SterlingFreeman website. And connect with me on LinkedIn. I welcome your comments. 


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