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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 How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life 2 How to Develop Mental Toughness to Help You Stay Strong 3 How to Calm Down When You’re Stressed and Anxious 4 How to Reinvent Yourself And Redefine Your Future 5 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

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                          Published on April 16, 2019

                          How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

                          How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

                          When was the last time you did something for yourself?

                          Whether it was deciding to treat yourself with a little something or travel for some R&R, how often do you practice self-care?

                          Well, as good as above sounds, there’s a common misconception that many of us have about self-care: that it’s only about indulgence and enjoyment.

                          However, self-care goes far beyond indulgence. It’s actually about respecting your mind and body, understanding its limits, and being able to take care of every part of yourself, in a holistic way.

                          And, you really don’t have to go to extreme measures or do anything specific–like meditating or following a plant based diet–in order to practice self-care. You just have to make sure that what you’re doing is in your best interests.

                          So how can you make that happen?

                          Below are a few proven methods that will help you become a better version of you. Follow through with these regularly and you’ll be well on your way to living your very best life.

                          Listen to Yourself

                          The bulk of self-care is knowing yourself.

                          This means knowing your body’s limitations, and being in tune with your feelings, emotions and thoughts. So it’s important, then, to know who you are and what you want to do in life, in order to truly say that you know yourself. 

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                          What is your purpose?

                          Have you ever thought about this question?

                          Your purpose doesn’t have to remain the same throughout your life. What you found a purpose in at age 19 would likely be different at age 49.

                          In your current situation, think about the different roles that you have – as a working professional, a spouse, a partner, a parent, etc.

                          Do you feel like you are fulfilling your purpose through any of these roles?

                          All you have to do is ensure that what you’re chasing is meaningful to you; this will bring focus and motivation as you strive to achieve your goals.

                          If you have your purpose defined, then that’s awesome! You know what drives you and why.

                          But, if you don’t feel like you have a purpose nailed down, it’s good to start by asking why.

                          For example, why are you working in your particular job or industry? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. In which case, you may find yourself not having a direction for where you’re headed in life.

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                          If you’d like to learn more about finding your purpose, then I recommend you check out this article:

                          How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

                          Seek Out Continuous Education

                          Now, this may seem less common when you think of self-care, but lifelong learning is incredibly useful and an important component of taking care of yourself.

                          It’s Super Practical

                          Lifelong learning is extremely practical these days and does not require as much effort as it may have in the past. Long gone are the days when you could only find information on something by visiting a library. In this day of the internet, anything you can imagine is at your fingertips.

                          You don’t need to physically go to a learning institution to learn. You can watch Youtube videos to learn new skills, take online courses to earn a degree, and scroll through an endless amount of articles, books and journals from reputable news and informative sites.

                          When you’re constantly pushing yourself to learn and take up new things, your mental health also improves. Research shows that an active and engaged mind is responsible for diminishing age-related memory loss and improves overall cognitive abilities.

                          Your Confidence Will Skyrocket

                          You’ll also have improved self worth as it teaches you to step outside of your comfort zone, which will undoubtedly improve your confidence.

                          You’ll also connect better with others by expanding your knowledge base. Learning exposes you to a multitude of new ideas and perspectives that you may have otherwise never considered. This also increases your adaptability. Whether it’s at work or just wanting to adapt to society, your peers, and loved ones, life long learning prepares you to take on new challenges.

                          You’ll Be More Desired in the Job Market

                          Another obvious reason for continuous education, is that your employability will also increase.

                          With the ever changing economy, and huge influences from technology, social media, science etc., job descriptions today are moving targets. Assignments and roles change so quickly in response to changing business demands, it becomes a Herculean task to keep a job description database current.

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                          In years past, stability was a characteristic of the world of work. Procedures, information, jobs, and organizations were established and provided continuity. Education was completed in the first 14 to 22 years of one’s life, followed by a long career occasionally punctuated by short-term job training.

                          Today, however, jobs, companies, and technology are disappearing and being created simultaneously. To remain current and maintain a competitive advantage in the human capital marketplace, an individual is challenged to continually learn.

                          People return to school at every age to enrich their skills and knowledge for their current positions. Some even prepare themselves for new jobs or career changes, moving them forward into new opportunities and technology.

                          We can be assured that we will be challenged to continue to learn new tasks and information throughout our lives. Successful careers belong to flexible, curious learners who are prepared for opportunities because they know themselves and where they make their best contribution. As Peter Drucker, the father of modern management stated,

                          “Knowledge is choice.”

                          Lifelong learning also increases social awareness and perspective. To genuinely understand and empathize with others, increase social awareness, and foster strong interpersonal relationships, it’s important to seek out new perspectives. Enhancing the skills that positively impact emotional intelligence can bring even greater happiness and success, both personally and at work; and, this is all part of self-care.

                          Improve Your Habits (Both at Work and at Home)

                          Now, the last piece of advice I want to introduce to your self-care regimen, is to improve your habits.

                          Habits define who you are, and are built up over time. You are what you eat is a great example of this. If you make it a habit to eat foods that nourish your body, rather than make your body feel bad, then you will be much healthier overall.

                          Good Habits Allow You to Reach Your Goals

                          Since habits dictate your days and nights, such as waking up every morning to get to work before a certain time, or brushing your teeth before bedtime every night, they play a major role in whether we do or do not reach our goals.

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                          When you form habits that allow you to progress towards your goals, you’re automatically living a purposeful day, everyday.

                          Habits Make Your Time a Priority

                          How do you spend your free time? Do you opt to lounge on the couch watching Netflix passively, or do you engage in activities that support your purpose in life?

                          It’s natural to waste a lot of time during the day, but fostering good habits will make you set a pattern for how you spend your time and give you the choice of what you choose to spend your time on. By improving your habits, you’ll find that you can be a LOT more productive. When you create good habits, you become more efficient with your time and a lot less is wasted.

                          This in essence creates an overall positive influence on your life, allowing you to treat your mind and body well, which is why improving your habits are so important to self-care.

                          Your Well Being Comes First

                          We live in such a fast-paced society, where we are often so caught up in our work, families, maintaining our social lives, our studies and everything in between. It’s an understatement to say that life can get a little overwhelming at times.

                          If you’ve ever watched the safety video onboard a plane, you’ll know that they always ask for a parent or adult to put on the safety mask first, before tending to the child. This may sound selfish, but the fact is that if you truly want to ensure the child’s safety, then your safety needs to come first so that you can protect and care for the child without complications from your end.

                          The same goes for self-care. We need to ensure that our well being is priority, so that we can be the best for the people around us.

                          Listening to yourself, practicing lifelong learning and improving your habits are steps that you can take to ensure you’re constantly in the best state of mind, alongside the indulgence and rest that you reward yourself with.

                          Featured photo credit: Photo by Raychan on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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