Why 2pm is The Worst Time of Day

Time Management AfternoonIf you, like me, suffer from a mid-afternoon productivity slump, then you’ll appreciate this. (It should be noted that the following verse was written between the hours of 2 and 3pm)

Ode to 2:00

Oh 2:00 I hate you so
The worst time of the day
I get a bunch of nothing done
Much to my dismay

At 9 I’m full of energy
My to-do list is a snap
But once the clock strikes 2 o’clock
I’m poised to take a nap

I stagger to the coffee pot
And blearily rub my eyes
I watch the clock tick slowly past
The number I despise

Perhaps I overate at lunch
That soup and BLT
I know I’ll get my second wind
If I just wait till 3

Then after dark I’ll sit in bed
Wide awake again
Oh why can’t this 2:00 feeling
Come at 10 pm?

Connect with The Time Diet for more time management tips

How Night Owls Can Work With Morning People

Time Management Morning PersonTime management is difficult enough when we’re just keeping track of ourselves. When you have two or more people collaborating on a project together, planning can seem next to impossible. That’s because each person has an individual working style that may or may not match with the others on the team.  Here are the three most common working style conflicts that come up between collaborators and how to address them.

The Night Owl and the Morning Person

You’re ready to go first thing in the morning. Your collaborator needs 6 cups of coffee to get the day started and prefers to stay after hours when he’s most productive. You each think the other simply needs to “will themselves” to do their best work at the “right” time of day.

The first step to overcoming the night/morning disparity is recognizing that you each work differently and that’s OK. There is no magic rule stating that everyone must reach their optimal productivity zone at the same time. Then, try to find a way to work independently as much as possible. Meet together at a time mid-day, and then complete independent work whenever works best for you.

Priority A and Priority B

When two team members fight, sometimes it’s because their priorities weren’t lined up from the beginning. Team member A might view team member B as a lazy slacker who isn’t pulling his weight, when in reality, team member B is just devoting time to the tasks he feels are most important.

At the beginning of a project, be sure to make everyone’s goals and priorities clear so that everyone begins on the same page and is working toward the same thing. Be sure to listen to each other and be aware that others may bring a different set of experiences to the table that justify different goals and priorities.

Details vs. Big Picture

Another common reason that collaboration breaks down is when one person is focused on the details, the other person is focused on the big picture, and neither one realizes the difference. The Big Picture person will view the Detail person as wasting time on frivolous tasks, while the Detail person will view the Big Picture person as lazy and in danger of letting things slip through the cracks.

Recognize these differences and embrace them. Instead of changing your expectations for the other person, use your knowledge of your skills to better divide the workload. Let the Big Picture person take care of tasks related to the more broad vision, and the Detail person can take care of nitty gritty tasks the other person doesn’t care about.

The most important step in all three of these situations is recognizing that people work differently and there is no one “right” way we should demand of everyone!

Connect with The Time Diet for more time management tips

How to Wake Up Earlier

Time management morningWhat would YOU do with an extra hour in the day? Would you exercise? Spend it with family? Clean that room you’ve been meaning to get to? One of the easiest places to find more time in your day is in the morning. Unfortunately, we aren’t all chipper morning people who easily bound out of bed at 5am, ready to start the day.  Try these three tips to start your morning before the sun does:

1. Schedule a morning appointment

Getting up early is easier to do when you’re accountable to someone else. Try joining a networking group, exercise class, or book club that meets early in the morning. When I chose a Toastmasters club last spring, I almost opted for the 11:30 lunch break meeting, but instead chose a club that met at 6:30 in the morning. Not only does this force me out of bed earlier, but it leaves my afternoon hours free for other things!

2. Look forward to breakfast

Aren’t you much more eager to get out of bed when you know that a gourmet cup of coffee and delicious omelet are in your immediate future? A luxurious breakfast need not take a lot of time. Take a few minutes before bed and cut up some veggies and chicken to throw into a pan with some eggs in the morning. Or just spend the extra few bucks and spring for the “good” cereal or coffee. Having a delicious breakfast to look forward to can provide an extra boost of morning motivation.

3. Lay off the Snooze Button

Set your alarm clock for the time you “no really” want to be up. Setting it earlier and allowing yourself to hit the snooze button 4 times will just decrease the amount of restful sleep you get and allow yourself to linger in bed for longer than you planned.

Like most things in your schedule, getting up early only becomes part of your routine when you do it regularly and form a habit. Don’t be discouraged if it’s difficult the first week or two. Just stick with it, and enjoy the new-found time in your day!

Connect with The Time Diet for more time management tips!


Photo credit: Freedigitalphotos.net