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Ask the Entrepreneurs: The Most Productive Hours of the Day

Ask the Entrepreneurs: The Most Productive Hours of the Day

Ask The Entrepreneurs is a regular series where members of the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

What hour(s) of the day are you your most productive and why? What do you do?

1. Friday Evening

Christopher Kelly

    I am most productive on Friday evening when the week’s activities are all laid out in front of me and everyone else is gone. Then, I make it my job to bridge all five days worth of momentum into the following week by organizing my thoughts and plans into draft emails that get sent out first thing on Monday.

    Christopher Kelly, Convene

     

    2. Hours 2 to 6

    Neil Thanedar

      I’ve learned to build my daily to-do list around this time slot. On principle, I focus on one objective and three key tasks each day. Usually, I’ll warm up in the first hour with a task that can easily be completed within 30 to 60 minutes before throwing myself into these key projects worth my peak effort and intensity. All secondary objectives are restricted to hours 7 through 24.

      Neil Thanedar, LabDoor

       

      3. The Midnight Hour

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      Natalie McNeil

        From about 11:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m., I always seem to get hit with a wave of energy and productivity. It’s usually when I get my writing done and answer media inquiries or interview questions. There’s something I love about getting a few things done when the neighbors’ lights are out and people are going to sleep.

        Natalie MacNeil, She Takes on the World

         

        4. Before Meetings Start

        Derek Flanzraich

          I have time in the morning to plan ahead, complete my toughest task and catch up on social media. Then, it’s meetings time, and by the time they’re done, my brain’s rarely fresh enough to get anything really meaningful completed.

          Derek Flanzraich, Greatist

           

           

          5. Evenings

          David Ehrenberg

            In the evenings, I can finally find some undisturbed time to myself. This is my time to concentrate on all of the independent work I need to do that I never find time for during the day. I take this time to answer emails, review materials and address different projects.

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            David Ehrenberg, Early Growth Financial Services

             

             

            6. Lunch

            Michael Portman

              Lunch punctuates every work day, and I try to keep at least a couple free every week to be alone with my thoughts. Things that bother me about my business may not come to the surface in the hustle of the day, and I find it most convenient to leave lunch open for those “aha” moments.

              Michael Portman, Birds Barbershop

               

               

              7. Mid-Morning to the Afternoon

              Michael Patak

                My most productive hours are probably from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. When I first get in, I check my priorities, organize my day and start getting on the grind around 11 a.m. Mental preparation in the morning really helps me.

                Michael Patak, TopstepTrader

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                8. 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.

                Andy Karuza

                  I have a lifestyle that I haven’t let go of since I was a kid, or maybe I’m just not a morning person. I’m very productive at night because I get a second wind around 7 p.m., and I can focus because the rest of the business world is dormant. At night I can focus with clarity on projects such as writing this response, doing reports, organizing myself and much more without my phone going off.

                  Andy Karuza, brandbuddee

                   

                  9. 5 a.m.

                  Corey Blake

                    I wake up each weekday at 5:30 a.m. to spend the first 30 minutes of my day writing. I journal about what I’m grateful for and about what I’m dreaming of living into that day. Setting up my day that way helps me focus and act from a place of appreciation before I start diving into projects and problem solving.

                    Corey Blake, Round Table Companies

                     

                    10. Morning

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                    John Meyer

                      It is hard to argue with morning being the most productive time of the day. Our focus is like a gas tank that we have to fill up each night. All the things in our life use up that focus fuel, and by the end of the day, it’s tough to be productive. I like to go to a coffee shop first thing and try to do high-value tasks such as planning and reading before I jump into the emails and meetings.

                      John Meyer, Lemon.ly

                       

                      11. 1 to 6 p.m.

                      Elizabeth Saunders

                        I’m most productive in the afternoon because in the morning, I take care of all of my emails, voicemails, small to-do items and planning. That leaves me free in the afternoon to work on projects, talk with clients, write articles and simply get things done.

                        Elizabeth Saunders, Real Life E®

                         

                         

                        12. Nighttime

                        James Simpson

                          During the regular work hours, it is often impossible to get a lot of meaningful work done because of everything else going on around you. At night, when the office is quiet and the world around you is going to sleep, ultimate productivity can be achieved.

                          James Simpson, GoldFire Studios

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                          1 What Is the Purpose of Life and What Should You Live For? 2 Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes 3 10 Things High Achievers Do to Attain Greatness 4 11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity 5 How to Build Self Discipline to Excel in Life

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                          Last Updated on October 16, 2019

                          Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

                          Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

                          Do you like making mistakes?

                          I certainly don’t.

                          Making mistakes is inevitable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be at ease with them?

                          Perhaps there is a way to think of them differently and see their benefits.

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                          Why Mistakes Feel Dangerous

                          Mistakes often feel dangerous. Throughout human history, our errors have often been treated as dangerous for a variety of reasons:

                          • Our vulnerability. We have limited and fragile support systems. When those systems fail, people often lose their lives.
                          • Real dangers. Nature can be dangerous, and making mistakes can put us at the mercy of nature and its animal residents seeking a meal.
                          • Ignorance. Many cultures scapegoats someone whenever there is a failure of some kind. Scapegoating can be serious and deadly.
                          • Order. Many societies punish those who do not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy and treat difference and non-conformity as a mistake. Even our brains flash an error message whenever we go against prevailing social norms.

                          We have a history of handling mistakes and failure in an unpleasant way. Since each of us carries our human history with us, it can be a challenge to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

                          If we can embrace the reality of mistakes, we can free ourselves to be more creative in our lives and dig up some interesting insights.

                          Why We Can’t Avoid Making Mistakes

                          Many people operate under the notion that making mistakes is an aberration, a mistake if you will. You can call it perfectionism but it is a more substantial problem. It is really a demand for order and continuity.

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                          When we think we can eliminate mistakes, we are often working from a perspective that sees the world as a fixed place. The world, however, is not so obliging. Like it or not, the world, and everything in it, is constantly changing.

                          Change is more constant and pervasive than we can see with our own eyes which is why we often miss it. Our bodies are constantly changing. The natural conditions of the earth change constantly as well. Everything, including economic and cultural systems have life cycles. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

                          We cannot see all of the changes going on around us since rates of change vary. Unfortunately, when we try to create a feeling of certainty and solidity in our lives or operate from the illusion of stability and order, we are fighting reality and our natural evolution which is built on adapting to change.

                          It is better to continually bend into this reality rather than fight every change we experience. Fighting it can cause us to make more mistakes. Finding the benefits in change can be useful and help us minimize unnecessary mistakes.

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                          Lessons Learned from Making Mistakes

                          Life has so many uncertainties and variables that mistakes are inevitable. Fortunately, there are many things you can learn from making mistakes.

                          Here is a list of ways to harness the mistakes you make for your benefit.

                          1. Point us to something we did not know.
                          2. Reveal a nuance we missed.
                          3. Deepen our knowledge.
                          4. Tell us something about our skill levels.
                          5. Help us see what matters and what does not.
                          6. Inform us more about our values.
                          7. Teach us more about others.
                          8. Let us recognize changing circumstances.
                          9. Show us when someone else has changed.
                          10. Keep us connected to what works and what doesn’t work.
                          11. Remind us of our humanity.
                          12. Spur us to want to better work which helps us all.
                          13. Promote compassion for ourselves and others.
                          14. Teach us to value forgiveness.
                          15. Help us to pace ourselves better.
                          16. Invite us to better choices.
                          17. Can teach us how to experiment.
                          18. Can reveal a new insight.
                          19. Can suggest new options we had not considered.
                          20. Can serve as a warning.
                          21. Show us hidden fault lines in our lives which can lead us to more productive arrangements.
                          22. Point out structural problems in our lives.
                          23. Prompt us to learn more about ourselves.
                          24. Remind us how we are like others.
                          25. Make us more humble.
                          26. Help us rectify injustices in our lives.
                          27. Show us where to create more balance in our lives.
                          28. Tell us when the time to move on has occurred.
                          29. Reveal where our passion is and where it is not.
                          30. Expose our true feelings.
                          31. Bring out problems in a relationship.
                          32. Can be a red flag for our misjudgments.
                          33. Point us in a more creative direction.
                          34. Show us when we are not listening.
                          35. Wake us up to our authentic selves.
                          36. Can create distance with someone else.
                          37. Slow us down when we need to.
                          38. Can hasten change.
                          39. Reveal our blind spots.
                          40. Are the invisible made visible.

                          Reframe Reality to Handle Mistakes More Easily

                          The secret to handling mistakes is to:

                          • Expect them as part of the process of growth and development.
                          • Have an experimental mindset.
                          • Think in evolutional rather than fixed terms.

                          When we accept change as the natural structure of the world, our vulnerability and humanness lets us work with the ebb and flow of life.

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                          When we recognize the inevitability of mistakes as part of the ongoing experiment which life is, then we can relax more. In doing so we may make fewer of them.

                          It also helps to keep in mind that trial and error is an organic natural way of living. It is how we have evolved over time. It is better to be with our natural evolution than to fight it and make life harder.

                          When we adopt an evolutional mindset and see ourselves as part of the ongoing human experiment, we can appreciate that all that has been built up over time which includes the many mistakes our ancestors have made over thousands of years. Each one of us today is a part of that human tradition of learning and experimenting,

                          Mistakes are part of the trial and error, experimental nature of life. The more you adopt the experimental, evolutional frame, the easier it becomes to handle mistakes.

                          Handling mistakes well can help you relax and enjoy all aspects of life more.

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                          Featured photo credit: Sarah Kilian via unsplash.com

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