Scientific secrets of perfect timing. WHEN might be the reason your next negotiation fails you and that workout you planned never happens.
I’ve just finished another book on perfect timing, on scheduling activities in my days according to my bio rhythms, according to our bio rhythms.
The more I surf the waves of timing instead of trying to fight the time tsunamis – the more I get out of my time, my days, my life.
It might seem insignificant to you, but think about it for a moment, remember the time…
On most days, it’s an early morning – you feel like you can change the world, like you can power through any task at hand. The world seems so much friendlier, everything seems to play in your favor, even people around you seem to be nicer.
And then the afternoon comes, and you want to do nothing, you don’t know how you thought you could accomplish all of this you planned earlier for today, “What was I thinking?!” And even your co-workers and friends seem to be so much less co-operative , complicating everything, getting in your way with “perfect” timing! You just wanna shut down and do nothing, see no-one, talk to no-one!
And then late afternoon comes, and the skies are blue again, the clouds give the way to sun rays. You find a creative solution to a challenge, that seemed daunting and impossible, and your energy seems to be coming back, and you feel like being around other nice people again.
Mornings, afternoons, nights – we follow cycles, whether we want it or not, all of us. And it’s not just about your productivity, it’s other people’s too – so don’t schedule lunch meetings, when you are not at your best and most importantly the other party is not at their best. So why don’t you take a nap or go for a walk with a friend instead? You won’t get the best answer or make the best decision at your afternoon meeting anyway. Not because you do something wrong or there is something wrong about you – the timing is wrong.
Decisions, meetings, work, energy aside, there is a better time for just about everything, exercise included, coffee included.
Did you know that it’s best to exercise for weight loss first thing in the morning to burn more fat?
Cardio workout for a better mood that lasts the whole day? Again, morning is the time to do it.
Having troubles sticking with exercise routine? Studies show that you are much more likely to stick with exercise, when you do it first thing in the morning, when your motivation, energy levels and optimism are at their highest.
Want to build strength? Testosterone, that helps to build muscle, peaks in the morning, so head to the gym and crush that weight workout with the first rays of the Sun.
Want to improve performance? Run faster, lift more, set an Olympic record? Afternoon is definitely the time to do it (3-6 PM)! That’s when your lung capacity is at its highest, your heart works better and can distribute more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles, your body temperature peaks preventing injures, your strength peaks, reaction time increases, hand-eye coordination sharpens, heart rate and blood pressure drop – it’s the best time for athletic performance. AND we also tend to enjoy even the toughest workouts more in the afternoon, studies show.
Use perfect timing to be a better exerciser.
I know that I’m not performing at my best physically in the morning, not setting personal records, but I know, that I’ll always stick with my morning workouts VS evening god-knows-if-I-have-energy-or-time workouts. I’ll get stronger each workout, giving it my best strongest moments and I’ll build mental and muscle strength, that will definitely power the day ahead. Plus there is gonna be an accomplishment very first thing in the morning – that always boosts my motivation for the rest of the day.
I really want to share the importance of one habit most of us love and share – a cup of coffee. Whether it is to enjoy the drink as a part of your routine, to boost energy and focus, to wake you up – we love our coffees, but now it’s time to enjoy it at the right time to get the most out of your daily cup, instead of increasing your dependence on the substance and tolerance to caffeine.
Did you know, that coffee first thing in the morning is REALLY not a good idea? (You must drink 0.5 of water instead)
In the morning there is a hormone our body releases, a stress hormone called cortisol, that is on a mission to wake us up. Compared to cortisol, caffeine is weak tea, and when taken at cortisol-peak-level times, first thing in the morning, caffeine does very little to wake you up – it increases your caffeine tolerance and need for more caffeine later in the day instead.
The best time to drink you coffee is when cortisol levels go down, and when your alertness starts to decline, your sleepiness increases. Drink the first cup of coffee at least 60-90 minutes after your wake up, and schedule the last one between 2-4P M – that’s when we feel the sleepiest, when cortisol is at its lowest, that’s when we will benefit from a cup of coffee the most.
These are some practical pieces of advice, that you can use today to improve your energy levels and focus, to improve your health, to get the most out of exercise and finally stick with your workout resolutions.
But the most important skill I want you to grasp and understand, and start using – riding the time waves.
Schedule the most important work, the most demanding work for morning hours and do not let some unimportant, mundane tasks to creep up in there, wasting your most productive and precious time.
Use the afternoon for non-essential tasks like emails, grocery shopping, taking mental breaks and naps, socializing etc.
Use later afternoons for the second work period (4-7 PM), especially for more creative work, brain-storming, group activities.
Ride the waves of time instead of fighting time tsunamis, where you have no chance of winning.
“When I began working on this book, I knew that timing was important, but also that it was inscrutable. At the start of this project, I had no idea of the destination. My goal was to arrive at something resembling the truth, to pin down facts and insights that could help people, including me, work a little smarter and live a little better.
I used to believe in ignoring the waves of the day. Now I believe in surfing them.
I used to believe that lunch breaks, naps, and taking walks were niceties. Now I believe they’re necessities.
I used to believe that the best way to overcome a bad start at work, at school, or at home was to shake it off and move on. Now I believe the better approach is to start again or start together.
I used to believe that midpoints didn’t matter— mostly because I was oblivious to their very existence. Now I believe that midpoints illustrate something fundamental about how people behave and how the world works.
I used to believe in the value of happy endings. Now I believe that the power of endings rests not in their unmitigated sunniness but in their poignancy and meaning.
I used to believe that synchronizing with others was merely a mechanical process. Now I believe that it requires a sense of belonging, rewards a sense of purpose, and reveals a part of our nature.
I used to believe that timing was everything. Now I believe that everything is timing.”
~ Daniel H. Pink
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