When you’re most (and least) productive

Work Wisdom

When you’re most (and least) productive

There is no concrete method towards being productive every day, but there are days in the work week that are usually better for certain tasks. It’s much smarter to go with the natural flow of the week rather than lose productivity going against the grain.

Monday has a bad reputation, and for good reason: After taking two days off, we often have pressure to perform. Worse, everyone else may be feeling that pressure, too, which means a work environment with less patience and unrealistic goals. The best Monday tasks are strategizing for the upcoming week and catching up on any loose ends from the previous week.

Friday is also rough, perhaps because we are tired from overambitious goals! We also see people starting to “check out” and focusing on the weekend early. One of the best things to do on Friday is to prepare for the following week and, similar to Monday, tie up loose ends that could be a thorn in your side come next week. It is also an excellent time to catch up with your network, as phone calls, coffee meetings and other outreach have a less intense, more relaxed feel before the weekend.

Research has found that Thursdays tend to be extremely productive days. There are a few reasons why the fourth day is worth circling on your calendar. First, studies show that people in the traditional workweek get their best nightly sleep midweek, which means your mind is at peak performance. Second, by Thursday, you have natural momentum and rhythm from the past week – you’re not getting back into the swing of things after the weekend, nor are you anticipating the upcoming weekend. Third, you don’t have the pressure to perform, like the intense expectations of Monday or the fatigue of Friday.

Thursday’s power doesn’t mean the rest of the week is a waste. On the contrary, all five days of the week are awesome for being productive. You just need to be conscious of what you want to focus on each day and redefine what you consider to be productive.

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