In the famous book “Eat that frog” by Brian Tracy, the author advocates that you should start your morning with the task that you are most likely to procrastinate on because you consider it the most difficult part of your day. The logic is if you had to eat a live frog first thing in the morning then you can go through the rest of your day knowing the worst of it is behind you.
I am a great advocate of this philosophy. I believe in utilising your early morning hours to get your most important tasks done. Even if that’s the only thing you got done that day, you can smile when you do your evening review because you know you got one task that mattered out of the way.
It’s been a difficult time for many. The corona pandemic came out of nowhere and caught the world unprepared. Depending on where you live, you may currently be experiencing a total lockdown. Even if your Government allows you to leave your home, you probably have to abide by new rules to keep yourself and others safe. In some places, Governments have started easing restrictions but there is still a great deal of uncertainty over whether it is safe to go out, return to school or go to the market. Under these circumstances, it is understandable that those who can afford to are staying at home as much as they can.
If you ask most people, what hours they would consider their peak periods of alertness, they would say early morning hours. After a good night’s rest, they are fully rested and have the energy to dive into almost any task with greater enthusiasm. It also helps that at those hours, there are often fewer distractions. People are yet to have their first arguments for the day and as a result are often in a happier place.
Unfortunately, the early morning hours are the time that a lot of people waste on trivial tasks. Many people wake up at dawn, reach for their phones and start checking social media. Unless you are managing the social media profile of a company for a living or work in customer care, that is probably not the most productive use of your time. How much more could you get done if you learnt to harness an hour or two each morning?
How did we let the early risers set working hours for all of us?
That’s a joke I read a few weeks ago. We all have 24 hours a day but let’s face it those hours aren’t created equal. Research has shown that about 60% to 80% of us are at our most productive during the early morning hours before noon. Only about 1 in 5 people work better at night. This is because our bodies have an internal clock mechanism that regulates our cycles of wakefulness and sleep. This mechanism is called a circadian rhythm and it dictates the best time for you to focus, work on creative tasks and when to take a break. It’s also responsible for the jetlag you may experience if you travel quickly across time zones as your body struggles to recalibrate its internal clock.