Figuring out your daily rhythm is important to setting your daily routine. If I had my druthers I would sleep until 10 am and be up until 1 or 2 in the morning. I can be very productive in the evening and tend not to get interrupted. However, I’m a wife and mother and my schedule has to mesh with the rest of the family.
Kids have to get to school in the morning with completed homework and packed lunches. Husband works outside the home and believes everyone should be up by 7 am since he has to be. So I’ve had to adjust my natural rhythm and it doesn’t always work out so well for me.
Currently I’m up between 7 and 7:30 a.m. By 8:30 the day is usually mine. At 3:00 p.m. school is out and kids return home. From then until about 8 p.m. I’m in mom mode – snacks, homework, dinner. Then there is some time available between 8 – 11 p.m. Depending on what has occurred during the daylight hours, my brain may be dead by 8 p.m. or I could be raring to go.
Unfortunately, I tend to enter a high productivity mode around 2 p.m. which then gets interrupted by the kids coming from school. I used to hit a high productivity mode in the evening, around 7 p.m., but that mode eroded away when my children were small. I have noticed that it’s showing signs of returning. The morning is peppered with interruptions from phone calls, emails, and the occasional visitor. What can I do make my available time more productive and weed out some of the distractions?
Firstly, I need to have a firm grasp on what must be accomplished that day, that week, and that month. This is being addressed by the task list worksheet I created at the beginning of this series. There are certain things that need to be done everyday, and some tasks that need to be dealt with less frequently. Unexpected things come up all the time and need to be added.
Secondly, I need to block out some distraction-free time. Do not answer the phone, the door, or emails. Do not check Facebook or Twitter. Potentially go media free for a bit. It is likely that this block of time will vary both in duration and in start time each day to fit in with my scheduled appointments and other obligations. But that’s okay. I’m coming from a very flexible and organic schedule. This flexibility suits my personality, but it would not necessarily be beneficial to everyone. Ideally, I will block out a part of the day that includes my high productivity mode.
Thirdly, I need to start taking a look at which tasks can be delegated to someone else – either a family member (in the case of planning meals), or a virtual assistant (for some of the business oriented tasks).
My work for the next few days is cut out for me: creating a system for this week that focuses on a schedule that best uses me highly productive modes and fits into my family’s schedule.
Have you determined your natural rhythm? What time of the day is your most productive time and does that fit in well with the rest of your schedule?
This post is Part 4 of a series on Daily Routines. Read more of the series: