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Find Out Your Chronotypes and You Will Know When Will Be Your Peak Productive Time.

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Find Out Your Chronotypes and You Will Know When Will Be Your Peak Productive Time.

Sometimes it’s exhausting to perform all our daily tasks, and we wish to feel more energized. So, we drink yet another coffee, or another energy drink, or if we are lucky enough to have time, we take a nap. But still, we feel tired, if not more tired. There is plenty of advice out there telling us what to do to keep our energy level high during the day. Sleep 8 hours, go to bed before midnight, drink plenty of water and so on. But have you ever woken up after 8-hour sleep and felt tired?

Well, sometimes it’s not about doing all the right things, but WHEN you do them. If you want to maximize your energy levels, it’s all about timing. Having the energy to carry out important tasks means you need to identify your chronotype, and then adjust your schedule accordingly to see the most productive results.

Michael J. Breus, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who specializes in sleep disorders and in his book The Power of When, he names 4 different chronotypes. Your chronotype is actually a kind of inner clock which determines the best time for performing various activities, such as sleeping, eating, working, and so on. Thus, Breus created 4 new chronotypes and linked them to 4 animals, breaking down the best times for different activities for each type, based on preferences, hormones and biology.

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What are the four different chronotypes?

Dolphin

Dolphins in nature are light sleepers as they only rest one half of the brain while the other half is alert, and even the small noise can wake them up. If your chronotype is dolphin, it means you are intelligent, perfectionists, nervous and have a difficult time to fall asleep as you worry about so many details. You have a low sleep drive, and you often lay at night going through your past mistakes thinking what you could have done differently, thus you wake up feeling tired. You love to exercise, but not because you want to lose weight – you don’t need that as you have fast metabolism. You can be little obsessed with what you eat or drink.

If all this sounds quite familiar, then you are definitely the dolphin type. Dolphins can function with just 6 hours of sleep, and their ideal time for going to bed is around 11.30 p.m. and waking time around 7.30 a.m. or earlier. When doing complex activities, it’s important to be at your peak when your brain is most active, and that’s from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. for dolphins. If you wish to relax and recharge during the day, the best activities are yoga and meditation.

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Lion

Lions are very optimistic, love mornings and rising up early. They feel most energized and productive in the morning. They are leaders who develop the strategic way of thinking. Lions are very organized and they don’t like to take big risks, but rather apply their analytical thinking when facing challenges. The most comfortable role for them is the role of the leader in any situation, and even when troubles come, they will take a step back and make adjustments to their strategy. Junk food is not their thing, and they try to eat really healthy, except when they are upset.

If you are a lion, the perfect time to hit the sack is around 10 p.m. and ideal wake up time is from 5.30 a.m. to 6 a.m. As lions love morning, this is the time when you should get all the important things done – ideally between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. Lions also love to exercise with high intensity – as this is also one of the ways for them to achieve goals and feel proud of themselves.

Bear

Bears are fun, outgoing and sociable people. It’s easy for them to make friends and form close relationships. They like to be a part of the team and even though they may not be as focused as lions, they get things done. As the real animal, the bear type follows a solar-based schedule with maybe a nap in between. They are really active during the day and rest when the sun goes down, 7-8 hours minimum and probably some more if they can. Don’t be surprised if you see a bear groggy in the morning – they need some time to wake up. When it comes to food, bear are not really picky and they can always eat.

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If you are a bear, you probably like to go to bed around 11 p.m. and wake up around 7.30 a.m. Those are the ideal times for a bear even though bears can sleep until 12 p.m. if they have nothing else to do. As they need some time to wake up and feel energized, bears are at their peak from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – that’s the ideal time for tasks requiring focus. This type likes to be around people and bears get bored if they are alone for some time.

Wolf

Wolves are night creatures, and surprisingly very emotional, creative, insightful and intuitive. They are the artistic type who feels most productive in the evening. Wolves are a bit introverted, and you’ll probably see them sitting in a corner at some party, rather than being in the spotlight. Yet, if they are in the good mood they can become the life of the party. They like to experience new things, they are spontaneous and impulsive. People often characterize them as fearless and they don’t run away from risky situations, in fact, they often find themselves in such situations. They don’t really take much care about what they eat or drink, thus they have a tendency to obesity, and they tend to suffer from depression and anxiety more than other types.

If you are a wolf, then you probably don’t go to bed before midnight and get up late. If you need to get up really early, better set two alarm clocks. Wolves are most productive and creative from 5 p.m. to midnight. They are truly the night owls and this is their time to shine.

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When it comes to staying energized thought the whole day, that is really hard and almost impossible for every type. The best thing we can do is to listen to our biological clock and figure out when we are most productive and try to do as much work as we can during that period. It is important to listen to your organism and find balance between work and rest.

To find out what your chronotype is and what  your peak hours are during the day, take What’s Your Chronotype? quiz and find out!

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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

Reference

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