10 Tips on the Right Time of Day for Your Personal Best
Does choosing which time we do an activity really make a difference?
Have you ever wondered what would be the best time of day (or week) to do different kinds of work? Every person's internal clock runs on the Human Circadian Timeline. Except those who have been on graveyard shift for years!
This is the schedule by which our body systems (including our brain) 'take care of business'. Every work day is divided into cycles that match our naturally heightened abilities - both physically and mentally. The trick is to take advantage of identifying and using this information to schedule your work and life activities accordingly.
Circadian rhythms are present at birth and the body temperature cycle emerges between 6 to 9 months for infants. By the age of three the adrenal system is coordinating a complete daily cycle or timeline. The adrenal glands in coordination with our pituitary, hypothalamus, pineal glands control both our internal clock and our stress reaction.
This means our stress levels are in direct proportion to how far off we are from our natural time cycle.
Body temperature cycle doesn't vary so much from person to person. However, our natural rhythms do shorten as we age. Mental conditions like depression in which sleep disturbance is common and physical illness of any kind disrupt the daily cycle. However, healthy people keep their innate circadian cycle throughout their life.
Although each body system has its own rhythm, generally cell replacement peaks between noon and nine pm. The skin and the liver are the only organs which replenish worn out tissues with new ones at night and this process peaks by midnight. The brain is the only organ that functions without cell replacement - So, we'd better take better care of the one we have!
Setting Your Internal Clock
To work and live at our best, we need our internal circadian rhythm in harmony or synchronized with the environmental cues (i.e., light and dark, temperature etc). Human beings grow faster, produce more offspring, enjoy better health, do better work and live longer when time setting environment cycles match.
This makes it easy to understand the fact that graveyard shift (midnight to eight am) workers experience more accidents than day and evening shifts combined. Also, that more of the worst auto accidents occur after midnight. Our bodies 'know' we should be asleep!
One night of short sleep does not affect overall performance. However, several nights of sleep deprivation leads to dull sensory perceptions (vision, hearing etc.), longer reaction time, slow motor coordination, reduced memory retrieval, lowered new memorization ability, as well as increased irritability. These are exactly the functions we need to do good work - including decreased irritability.
In almost all life on this planet, light is the number one influence?and most powerful internal clock setting factor. Obviously, different mammals have different clocks; cats are active at night and sleep all day and people are active during the day and sleep at night. No one had heart attacks prior to the 1800s (city dwelling, rise of industrial work using artificial light).
Number two influence is temperature?
For example, people's sleep and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) or dream cycles are disturbed and they awake more often when the sleeping temperature is above 75 degrees. When the sleeping temperature is below 65 degrees dreams become unpleasant and contain emotional conflict. Working in a cold room increases your chances of a repetitive stress injury.
Number three is eating.
Did you know that Japanese people who are most Americanized have five times the heart disease compared to those who practice more traditional cultural habits and diet?
Number four is sounds for most species on the land and in the oceans. As you might expect, sound is an especially strong factor for auditory dominant learners like myself. Studies have indicated that among people living under the airport approach route there is a thirty percent higher rate of admissions to mental hospitals.
Regular exercise increases everyone's cognition capability and releases stress from our bodies. For most men, the best time to exercise is in the afternoon. Women who exercise in the morning raise serotonin levels, which prompts a positive mental state.
If you exercise in the evening it disturbs the natural slowing down cycle leading to sleep. So a good thing like exercise can be even better if you know the best timing. If the only time you can exercise is the afternoon - go ahead!
We can't live without stress - but, what we need is the right type of stress in the proper quantity and at the right time. When mental (adrenal) skills are high sensory sensitivity is low and vice versa. We were designed to concentrate on the physical or the mental - but not to peak perform in both at the same time.
Stress causes our internal rhythms to lose synchronicity. It subverts our natural circadian rhythms into a dis-ease progression which affects sleep, eating and all functions.
Stress response is the same as if you were physically wounded and losing blood. This in turn breaks down the immune system and leads to weakness to new diseases as well as injuries healing more slowly.
Physical stressors include temperature, sound, vibration, movement and humidity.
Physiological stressors include sleep disturbance, irregular eating, alcohol and nicotine (depressants) and caffeine (stimulant).
Psychological stressors: fear, frustration, social and work or business pressure.
Generally adults operate in ninety minutes activity cycle - while under stress the cycle shortens to a one hour cycle (the same as in infancy). The natural activity cycle we are programmed for is made up of 30 minutes rest followed by 60 minutes activity followed by thirty minutes rest. Being at rest doesn't mean sleeping! It means alternating the kinds of activities you do every day for a little physical and mental variety.
The perfect ten-minute break is to drink a glass of water and walk around in the sunlight for ten minutes ? wear a hat but, no shades. You want your eyes to pickup light without glare. It is remarkably refreshing to both mind and body.
Did you know an aspirin taken at seven am lasts for 22 hours but, taken at 7 pm it lasts only 17 hours? Here's why. Our mental abilities and physical functions coordinate with our body temperature which goes through a daily cycle of warming up in the morning and cooling down at night.
No matter what time it is, the colder you are the slower your senses function. Our ability to multiply quickly and accurately varies directly with body temperature, too. This is one of the reasons why cold is a strong stress factor.
Around 4 AM we settle into our lowest body temperature and the pituitary and adrenal glands start sending out wake up hormones. Our temperature begins to gradually rise until awakening around 5 AM - 7 AM. This also gives your body the opportunity to discharge the chemicals that keep you paralyzed during dream state (so you don't hurt yourself). Then, you can get up and move about without stubbing all ten toes.
You can trade in your morning cup of coffee for a quick warm shower because it wakes you up by increasing your body temperature, blood circulation and your breathing rate deepens.
Both men and women's hormones flow more quickly as body temperature rises and peaks out around mid-morning.
Memory works best up til approximately noon. So for most any kind of testing mornings are best.
11AM body temperature reaches its daily plateau and remains with slight variation throughout the day.
Midday mental skills both speed and accuracy in mathematics and cognitive projects peaks out in early afternoon and then gradually declines through the afternoon.
After lunch performance level dips along with a slight temperature drop while digesting.
Heavier meals (high fat, more than 4 ounces of meat, etc.) the more physical lethargy and deeper loss of mental focus. Plus, the longer it takes our after-lunch fade to lift because digesting uses oxygen that would otherwise be available for brain functions.
Once the body has reached it's daily temperature of 98.6 degrees, motor skills remain steady throughout the day with mechanical skills peaking in the afternoon.
All five senses (seeing hearing, feeling, touching, tasting) peak in the afternoon as well. This is one reason why an enjoyable spicy dinner tends to be an unappetizing breakfast.
Pain sensitivity takes until mid-morning to reach its daily peak and is highest between 10am and 6pm. Then, our pain threshold falls off after dinner meal and into the night.
So by late afternoon most every one of our abilities has peaked and our temperature begins to drop at night before we sleep. This is especially true after 10PM. Then, it's "good morning", and the cycle starts over again!
You'll only find out if it makes a difference in your performance to align your activities with the time if you try it out and notice the improvement!
Copyright, Eve Abbott All Rights Reserved.
Eve Abbott's newest book "How to Do Space Age Work with a Stone Age Brain TM" is available online at http://www.organize.com Remember to sign up for more of the Organizer Extraordinaire's time-saving tips. Enjoy free brain quizzes to help you work at your personal best!
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You Cant Buy Time
Our daily lives are inundated with a crammed to-do list. We are often rushing throughout our day trying to keep up with ourselves. Although technology has improved and simplified our lives, we are as pressed for time as past generations. Often your day seems so full, and you are so pressed for time that it is impossible to get in all there is to do, and yet a little quiet thinking will show that the important things can be easily put into two thirds of the day, and the remaining third is free for rest, or play, or both. You can feel normally pressed for time; and because of this pressure you can arrange in your mind what best to leave undone, and so relieve the pressure. If one thing seems as important to do as another you can make up your mind that of course you can only do what you have time for, and the remainder must go. You cannot do what you have time to do so well if you are worrying about what you have no time for.
Top 10 Ways to Manage Yourself - Time Wise
"Time management" is a myth. Time ticks by, whether you achieve what you want to or not in the run of a day or week. "Time waits for no man" as the saying goes. The only thing that you can manage, time-wise, is YOU.
Time: Do You Spend it or Invest it?
Time is our greatest and most precious asset. Time is the great equalizer of all us human beings. Why then do we not recognize and treat it with the respect it deserves?
10 Tips on the Right Time of Day for Your Personal Best
Does choosing which time we do an activity really make a difference?
Are you obsessed with getting everything just right? Do you do everything yourself because no one else can do it as well as you can? Do you believe that everything you do has to be absolutely perfect? Although striving for excellence is a good thing to do, demanding perfection in everything you do is not.
Do You Put a Value on Your Time?
As a small business owner, does the following paragraph sound familiar to you??
How to Find More Time in Your Day-Balancing Career and Family
Goal Planning-Achieving balance in a person's life requires assessment of one's goals and priorities. This translates into sitting down in a quiet atmosphere and taking just a few minutes to think about "What are my priorities in life? What could I never live without?" When one is clear about the things that are important to them in life, it is easier to determine which errands, assignments, and projects to take time out to complete or to dump or delegate. You will then be able to do the things you love to do. Thinking about goals is a crucial step in striking balance for our busy lives.
Tips to Manage Your Time
Time and money are both very important in business. Yet, like me, many business people tend to give a lot more specific thought as to how to spend their money. Too often, how we spend our time is only thought of in terms of "What am I going to do today?" or "What should I do next?"
Procrastination, the habit of putting tasks off to the last possible minute, can be a major problem in both your career and your personal life. Missed opportunities, frenzied work hours, stress, overwhelm, resentment, and guilt are just some of the symptoms. This article will explore the root causes of procrastination and give you several practical tools to overcome it.
When is the Best Time to Plan Your Day?
When is the best time to plan your day? Well, everyone is different. Let's take a quick look at some of the different possible times:
Sprint Through Your Workday, Even if Youre a Marathoner
Whenever you have projects that can't be done in one sitting, they have to be broken up into steps. Some people are marathoners and work best when they can spend long, uninterrupted hours on their projects. They hate to stop working because of piddly considerations like eating or sleeping, and they look forward to their next sessions. They're motivated by their goals, and they enjoy the process. That keeps them on track.
Taking Time Off For Your Business
As a business owner, wouldn't it be great if you could take time off whenever you needed to? Unfortunately, most small business owners worry that the business will fall apart if they're not there to mind the store. Too often, they simply lack the appropriate resources for their business to keep going in their absence.
Time Management is Life Management
Many of the clients I work with in success coaching can relate to the following example.
Time and Life, Bit by Bit
Looking out through my picture window during a recent winter storm, I felt like I was in a giant snow globe. Big, fluffy snowflakes were falling, covering everything with a nice wintry blanket. Ah, how nice. I love snow... all two feet of it in my driveway!!
Productivity at Home
Increased productivity, the ability to get more value for our time, our land, or our invested money, is as important at home as it is in the workplace. Let's consider the case of our imaginary friend Jane, and her grandmother.
Managing Worry: Productivity Tips for High Achievers Who Worry
Are you a worrier? Do you frequently spend time and energy worrying about your finances, your children, your career, world politics? Worry can be a highly useful, brilliantly engineered cue to action or a useless and destructive energy drain. The challenge is to decide which it is, on a case-by-case basis, and manage yourself accordingly.
Work at Home Moms: Time Management Tips
"How do you DO it?!" If I had a dime for every time I heard that, I would be able to quit my home business.
There are the golden rules that apply to time. If followed, your life will be successful. If you ignore these, however, you will always be scratching to catch up. Do not be one of the people you always here say "I don't know where the time went, it just flew by!".
6 Time Management Tips for Moms
Many of you have expressed the challenge of not having enough time to accomplish all your needed tasks and not being organized. Having good organization and management skills is absolutely imperative to your business. Being well organized can greatly affect your successfulness. Applying a few of the following tips will help you become more organized and make better use of your time.
Time Management: Set Yourself Up For Success
Any habit of mind or body that interferes with taking decisive action contributes to your tendency to procrastinate. Think about your good habits and the environment that leads you to be most productive. Consider your preferred working hours, your optimum concentration periods, and the ways you have been successful in the past. You can begin to build on your good points first by recognizing them and giving yourself credit for them. Then, enhance the skills and techniques you already have with those presented here and beat the specter of procrastination once and for all.
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