Prime Time is about being self-aware regarding your energy and concentration levels and when they are at their peak. It is knowing when you perform at your best, with a greater level of focus and motivation and with this awareness aligning tasks and activities accordingly. I touched on this in my previous post Interview Preparation the SPREAD Technique.
Prime Time awareness can influence your time management and organisational skills, as you can assign tasks giving yourself the greatest potential to be productive resulting in a more efficient day.
Personally, my peak is in the morning, I can work double time between 8am-2pm, with better ability to focus, better multi-tasking capabilities and I find I can have a more favourable and satisfactory response to brainstorming initiatives or questions.
I wasn’t always aware of this, I never really associated myself with being a ‘morning bird’. If you’re slow coming out from under the covers like I am, don’t discount your Prime Time from the AM – you want to think about when your brain is firing on all pistons and what, when or how this is triggered.
Prime Time is not just a consolidated period of time either, maybe you find you’re good for a couple of hours in the morning and also a couple of hours after lunch or later in the evening. Again consider influences which can come from various activities including eating, drinking, exercise, team based activities, as well as considering the types of foods and drinks you’re consuming etc.
In knowing my Prime Time I am aware that I am in better form and less fatigued and therefore schedule and get through actions that require greater levels of concentration, Frogs (the jobs I don’t want to do, but I’ll get through them quicker) or anything that requires my full attention when I need my brain buzzing!
What helps me do this? I schedule and block out time in my calendar, I’m very structured about what I want to achieve during my Prime Time, allowing greater flexibility for interruptions and last-minute tasks as they arise in the afternoons. I highly recommend doing this, I personally follow this rigorously and it definitely makes a difference. When various requests for meetings come through, my availability is allocated for times I feel I can best deal with these.
Of course we do not all have full autonomy, personally working with others, across time zones and within an agile environment aligns itself to constant change. What is more important is knowing yourself best and being capable of influencing the scheduling of activities and advising others of when is a more suitable time to reach out to you.
Consider the below questions to help you determine when you are at your peak energy levels:
- Do you prefer certain tasks at different times of the day?
- If you were asked to do a presentation or sit an exam, what time of the day would you have preference for and why?
- Do you hit the gym, walk or exercise in the AM and find your are awake and ready to rock your day, or is this an evening activity for you?
- Do you feel energised or sluggish after a lunch break?
- Do you feel you need a lot of coffee to get you going in the morning or in the afternoons to close out the day?
Monitor your energy levels for a couple of weeks and make note of when you are focused and motivated around tasks. Reflect on your results and see if you can find a correlation of peak energy times. Also consider what may have helped influence you in becoming more concentrated and productive.
Once determined, consider what responsibilities you need to complete that will give you the greatest return. Structure your day by scheduling these actions for your Prime Time. You want these activities locked in to ensure you are performing them at your peak energy level, to help perform at you best.