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Team Productivity

3 of the Most Popular Ways to Structure Your Workday

Daniel Threlfall
January 21, 2014

To really get your productive groove going, you’ve got to discover your own rhythms. The body’s complex circadian rhythms, metabolic processes, and behavioral cycles can either work for you or against you in your pursuit of productivity.


There are three main models for structuring your workday. When you discover your most productive time, you’ll turn into a productivity machine. Here are the three most popular ways to structure your workday. When do you work best?

The Morning Crush-It


Those who thrive in the morning, get the most done from 5:30 to 10:30. These are the annoying Benjamin Franklin freaks of the human race who smile and give you a cheery slap on the back at 7am while others wander around with the the just-got-run-over-by-a-school-bus look in their eyes. Some of these people actually exercised before you even got out of bed.

The morning people have good science backing their practices, plus the admiration of unmorning people. According to a Forbes piece on workday best practices, the first few hours of a workday predict how the rest of the day is going to roll. One of the best ways to have a “good day” is actually to have a good morning. This involves more than just waking up on the right side of the bed. It’s about waking up early and then crushing it in the first few hours of being awake. Seize the advantage of quiet early mornings hours to slay your toughest tasks.



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The High Noon Heavy Hitter


High Noon Heavy Hitters find that their best time to work is from 12 noon to 5 or 6 in the afternoon.

 Some people hit their streak right around noon. The morning is the runway, and by noon, they’re at cruising altitude, knocking out projects, checking off tasks, and feeling like David Allen. There’s some science that nods affirmatively to this. Environmental stimuli make the afternoon hum with activity. On the flip side, all that buzz of commotion can mean big time distraction time.



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The Night Owl Ninja

Night Owl Ninja

Night people really get going when the early-to-bed group is retiring — around 8pm or 9pm. These people, whether fueled by adrenaline or fear of vampires, churn out wondrous deeds when the world is fast asleep.

In “The Peak Time for Everything,” the Wall Street Journal reports that “evening people tend to wake up later, start more slowly and peak in the evening.” There’s no shame to being a late-riser, lazy-morning kind of person. If your super streak is the evening hours, do it and own it. Be aware that most of us are not evening people. YourBrainAtWork claims that “fewer than 2 percent of older adults show a tendency toward evening arousal, while nearly 80 percent are morning types.” If you’re a true night owl, then you’re a rare bird.



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How do you structure your workday, and why?

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