Taking Advantage of Your Internal Clock to Boost Your Productivity

Michele Warg
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The human body runs on a circadian rhythm, which acts as an internal clock that controls periods of awareness and exhaustion. If, like many administrative professionals, you handle a wide range of tasks and projects on a daily basis, and outs of tiredness can be damaging to productivity. By understanding and taking advantage of your body's rhythms, you can create a routine that helps you increase efficiency.

When it comes to creating a daily schedule, most administrative professionals work around meetings, personal obligations, and other immovable events. As you plan your day, it can be easy to ignore your body's internal clock. After all, it is not necessarily feasible to refuse an afternoon meeting with an executive because you feel tired. According to The Wall Street Journal, however, research suggests that working against your body's circadian rhythm can cause a number of health issues. Though it may be a struggle, making an effort to work with your body's internal clock and natural rhythms can help you boost productivity improve your health.

According to a recent story from The Next Web, the circadian rhythm operates on a twenty-four-hour schedule. It controls your sleep schedule, body temperature, hormone production, and other crucial bodily functions. In the late morning, most people tend to be at the height of mental sharpness. This period can be the ideal time to schedule in-depth project meetings or strategy sessions with the executive that you support. It can also be a good time to tackle complex tasks, such as drafting crucial client emails or broaching uncomfortable topics with colleagues. In general, when it comes to boosting productivity at work, the morning is the best time to accomplish your toughest tasks. The increase in mental acuity happens as the body's temperature rises, so if you have an early morning meeting, you can accelerate the process by taking a shower that is warmer than usual.

As noon hits, many people find that they are less alert. This is a function of the body's internal clock, which naturally impacts focus and concentration in the afternoon. Tiredness generally hits its peak around mid-afternoon. Instead of struggling to concentrate when you feel tired, use that time to accomplish small tasks that don't require a great deal of thought. In doing so, you can increase productivity at work without trying to fight your natural internal clock. You might confirm travel plans for your boss, go through emails, handle outstanding filing tasks, or complete routine paperwork. The Wall Street Journal also suggests that you use the afternoon for tasks that require creative solutions, as fatigue has been shown to help people solve open-ended problems.

When you are trying to stay productive at work, keep in mind that no two people have the same internal clock. As you try to work with your internal rhythms, make a note when you feel particularly exhausted or alert; doing so can help you pinpoint your body's schedule so that you can arrange tasks accordingly.


(Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)


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