By Katie Corbett
I’ve always known that, for me, attempting to solve a logic puzzle at midnight is harder than brainstorming short story ideas. What I didn’t think much about is that science backs this up. In my quest to become more productive, I decided to delve deeper into this topic.
I read the book, “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing,” by Daniel H. Pink, and learned that chemicals in the body and circadian rhythm can inform how well humans do at various tasks throughout the day. Here are some lessons I learned about myself through applying the lessons in this book:
• I tracked my time for a week. I learned that, in a given 24-hour period, I only need 7 hours of sleep to function optimally.
• I discovered that it is helpful for me to take melatonin at night to fall asleep faster and stay asleep all night.
• I only need one cup of tea in the morning on workdays to attain optimal alertness.
• I figured out that it is good for me to stop work at around 2:30 p.m. in order to avoid the afternoon slump.
• I found that I socialize and network best in the afternoons and evenings.
I encourage you to track your time and observe your habits, likes and dislikes around your routine. Note that preferences could change as you get older or your life circumstances change. (For example, in college, I used to be a night-owl, but have found I have transitioned to more of a morning person as I have gotten older.) What do you notice about yourself that could inform your decisions going forward? What would you like to find out in order to make changes for greater fulfillment and life satisfaction? What goals are you working towards? How do you hope that the science of perfect timing will help you realize them? If you feel like sharing, let me know in the comments.
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