I always find I work better in the morning. My levels of concentration seem to be at its peak in the early hours. I find in the afternoon my mind begins to wonder and my productivity begins to dwindle as I feel more and more lethargic. Lunch especially can affect my performance, after which I tend to feel heavy and sometimes even sleepy if it was a large meal. It also tends to be warmer in the afternoon, which can lead to feeling slightly lazy and tired and is then a struggle to get anything done. The amount of work I get done in the afternoon compared to the morning can sometimes be very surprising.
Many successful people have claimed to get up at dawn if not earlier, such as Richard Branson of Virgin, Robert Iger from Disney and many presidents and prime ministers such as George Bush and Margaret Thatcher. Many even swore by getting up ridiculously early and then catching a nap in the afternoon to make up for lost sleep, claiming afternoons were made for napping and mornings were made for getting things done. Who better to try and imitate?
Creative people such as writers, musicians and artists usually claim to get most of their daily work done before lunch, and scientific research backs this up by suggesting that as humans our creative activity is highest immediately after sleep. This is yet another reason to try and get as much work in before you sit down for lunch as you can!
As well as creative thinkers, research claims that the analytical side of the brain also performs better before late afternoon. It takes slightly longer to get going than its creative counterpart, becoming slowly more active as the day goes on. However once the day reaches mid-afternoon, we again find productivity decreasing throughout the rest of the day.
Also the earlier it is in the day, the less chance that there will be other things on my mind. As the day goes on my brain seems to get more cluttered and preoccupied with tasks, worries, and other impromptu distractions that we humans deal with in our daily lives – phone calls, emails, unexpected problems, urgent tasks that need to be tackled immediately, and so on.
Another important reason that I try to get most of my work done as soon as I can is simple. The evening is time to relax, unwind and have some fun! No matter what we do, it’s important to remember to have time off and enjoy life away from our working lives. Otherwise we will quickly burn out. We tend to associate our social lives with the night time, and associate work with the daytime (Depending on the job, of course). So I find my brain and body hardwired to be more productive and active in the morning, and also quicker and more effective at accomplishing tasks and reacting to situations.