1. Psychology tells how to plan the workday


The below description explains you about what Psychology is telling about the workday. Our workdays are not governed by priorities or desires but by what’s screaming loudest and closest in our faces. You might feel the intention to have a productive day, it is easy to pass the time by sending emails, meetings, and demands but that all will eat your time like tapeworm-stealthy, but unhelpful.

Sure, there are tons of productivity hack out there—from to-do lists to time-management apps to mindfulness exercises. Everything appears to work for at least a short while until the suck of everyday demands takes over.

We have an alternative: Instead of your day planning like the to-do list or trying on different time-management exercises for size, know about the science which tells you how your brain works the whole day and tries to match right tasks to your mindset to get the maximum productivity.

To get started, first of all, we should think about some important points in the day as suggested by Journal Psychologium.

Give importance to Your First Three Hours

The first 3 hours of your workday are more valuable and productive, according to psychologist Ron Friedman.

Initially in the first 1-hour focus on the most important work, rather than jumping into your email inbox, responding to other people’s requests, checking your voicemail.

“Normally, we have a window where we really focus on about three hours. We are able to have some strong contributions in terms of thinking, in terms of planning, in terms of speaking well,” Friedman told Harvard Business Review. “If we stop those carelessness things such as spending time on other people’s priorities that help us to use our best hours and we are not relatively as helpful as we could be.”

Studies have proved that we have experienced the reduction in cognitive functioning from morning to afternoon. “With some cognitive resources available late in the day, the person performing the task may experience it as more burdensome,” write researchers in the Journal of Vocational Behavior. Otherwise, don’t put off the hard stuff.

Rather than reactive in the first session of your day, it is also important to be practical. “We want to be responsive towards our clients, and our colleagues, but being responsive in the morning is really cognitive functioning,” says Friedman. “It prevents us from elevating our best hours.”

Think like a Chef

“If you see the operation of chefs, they don’t immediately start cooking after entering into the kitchen. Instead of that, they will process their work very slowly to get a delicious dish and then they work backwards,” Friedman says. “They remember the steps they have to go on and select the ingredients before and they gather right tools and arrange everything in the correct order they need. So, it means initially they are strategizing and then they are executing second.”

Rather than dividing your day into work, it is better to use the first few minutes to plan the work day and put the things in order that helps you to take a more focused approach the whole day.

Know When Your Brain and Body Need a Rest

According to Tony Schwartz, who is the founder of Energy Project, it is not only our brains that get tired over the course of the day. Physiologically, we follow “ultradian rhythms,” what Schwartz calls, or cycles that last 90 to 120 minutes during which our body gets tired and wants some break. Think of these like attention-span cycles. Push aside of your past in which you worked without taking any breaks, and you will find diminishing returns, according to Schwartz.

Many of us not ignoring the telltale signals such as feeling restless, spacing out, yawning or hunger pangs are likely signs to get up away from your desk for few minutes. Some people doesn’t pay attention to those signs and they do often Schwartz says, and you will be reduced your energy for the rest of the day.

Think of that how to manage your energy or attention instead of managing your time.

Manage Your 3pm Energy Dip

You know that after lunch has passed, around 3 pm our body feels sleepy due to its coincidence with Circadian rhythms and our bodies naturally release a hormone called melatonin so our temperature drops at that time which makes us sleepy. If a quick 20 minutes sleep is not in the cards for your workday (because it is a great option), there are further options.

Friedman says, “Take those fluctuations of energy into account and plan some of the less taxing work, the work that requires less power, less concentration will focus on doing those types of tasks at 2 or 3 o’clock in the afternoon”. That means planning a meeting that depends on your priority list at that time or doing the kind of work that doesn’t need more precision.

This dip in energy might also be a good time to focus on creative tasks. This tiredness of our body might also be good at sometimes that is it helps us to think innovative ideas and creative tasks. “We’re actually better at being creative when we’re tired, which is kind of an interesting and counter perceptive insight,” Friedman says. Friedman says, “Planning a creative task for the time in your day when you know you’re a little bit tired can be actually  beneficial.”

The important word again here is Scheduling. Don’t let your day get captured by fatigue. Be planned about how you will manage your time in advance so that you can avoid energy dip when it arrives.

Set an End to Your Workday (and Stick to It)

It is easy to extend our work into the rest of our lives such as checking emails during dinner, middle of the night and before going to sleep. “We work and live with these devices that make us feel everything is urgent and it’s become neurologically addicting,” Friedman says.

Schedule Time to Play

Play more video games. That’s right –video games. According to Friedman, scheduling play into your day is an important way to an increase your cognitive function. “Video games get hard when we play them for long. Every board is difficult,” Friedman says. “But when comes to work it is opposite trajectory. We don’t that much hard work.”

Exercising is also the best option. “An increase in physical activity is connected with a reduction in work-related fatigue over time,” Writer researchers from the Behavioural Science Institute in the Netherlands. But of course, the paradox remains: “Fatigued workers who would benefit most from physical activity, are physically less active.”These are the suggestions given by the Psychology about planning the workday.