Perhaps you have been partying all night. Perhaps you have pulled an all-nighter studying for an exam you haven’t prepared for earlier. Or perhaps you have just gotten a little too busy finishing a project that has taken you a lot longer than you originally anticipated. Whatever it is, one thing is for sure: you definitely aren’t going to get any sleep done tonight. And you know for a fact that there will be hell to pay for tomorrow – I mean in a couple hours when you have to actually get up and take a shower and get ready.
Well, there is good news for you. While you will undoubtedly start feeling like a zombie by the end of the day, there is also a small window of opportunity where you can actually get a lot of good work done before that happens. In this small window, you’ll be extremely alert, but this only lasts for a little while.
While you may want to get a lot of the easy things done first, your very first few hours in which you are awake will be your most productive hours throughout the day. As much as you would like to get the easy things out of the way first, do NOT do this.
How alert you are in those first one to two hours is probably going to be the time where you are most alert throughout the day. It isn’t going to get a lot better than that. So while there is still fuel in the tank, spend your early morning getting the most difficult things done. That way, come the afternoon, your mindlessness will not negatively affect you in any way, and you can just get the easier things done, such as responding to emails and scheduling meetings.
Oh, and how do you know if you are in that alert mood? The window is small, but you’ll definitely know it. You aren’t going to feel spectacular in any way, shape, or form. However, after you wake up and get yourself to work, and you start feeling “hey, this isn’t really so bad.” Then, you are now in that window. Use it wisely.