There’s a science to maximum performance and productivity. Daniel Pink talks about the research that shows how morning people (larks), night owls and everyone in between (third birds) can find the perfect timing to do their best work. Dan also gives a number of helpful hacks on how to take the perfect breaks, the ideal nap and even how to take a caffeine fueled nap (a nappucino) to boost your productivity.
Welcome to Episode 233 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.
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3 Insights from Dan
1. Everyone experiences 3 stages within a typical work day
Wether you’re a morning person (Lark), night owl or somewhere in-between (Third Bird), we all move through the day in three broad stages, usually in this order: Peak, Trough, and Recovery.
Peak – the most vigilant stage of the day. It’s the best time for intentional work that requires focus with no distractions.
Trough – the mid afternoon lull where distractions come easily. This is the best time to do administrative-type work like attacking the inbox and completing routine paperwork.
Recovery – mood is typically high, but vigilance is not. Work that requires mental looseness, brainstorming, creativity, etc. is best accomplished in this stage.
2. Being intentional with your time produces the best results
So if the most productive time of day is at the beginning, how do you block those peak hours without frustrating coworkers or missing out on other things going on in the office (like meetings)?
Like so many things in life, it’s a trade off. If you want to make yourself accessible during your peak work hours there are going to be costs (like being less productive). If being available to your team is more important than doing your vigilant work, then be accessible to your team. But remember, that period of peak vigilance is fleeting.
In most cases, people who think they need access to you at the start of the day can actually wait a couple of hours and meetings can be rescheduled for set times later in the day. It may be tough at first to get a team on board, but once everyone is educated about the benefits of the process and on the same page about the three stages (Peak, Trough, Recovery), you’ll all start seeing results. Being intentional with your time is the key.
3. Breaks are a crucial part of performance
Breaks aren’t for lazy workers. Breaks are actually crucial for performance. 15 to 20 minutes is best, but if you’re short on time, even a quick five minutes can still have a big impact on your day. A little can go a long way, but here are a few tips so you can get the most out of your time:
Social time is better than alone time. Be in community with others.
Get outside. Escape the office and breathe in fresh air.
Moving is better than stationary. Get the blood flowing.
Fully detach. Don’t talk about anything work related until break time ends.
Quotes from Episode 233We should be making our timing decisions based on science, not based on intuition. @DanielPink Click To Tweet We have to get past this notion that breaks are a deviation, a concession, soft. They are not. Breaks are a part of our performance. @DanielPink Click To Tweet Endings have a disproportionate effect on how we remember entire experiences. Be intentional about endings...Because endings have a disproportionate weight than other elements of the episode. @DanielPink Click To Tweet
Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?
Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.
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Next Episode: Donnie Griggs
So many leaders write off small towns and villages as places not worth investing in. Donnie Griggs would beg to differ. He tells the story of how he planted a church in a town of 9,000, only to see it grow to one with 1600-1800 people in small towns and villages. Donnie talks about how to find leaders, survive the fishbowl and what works and what doesn’t in a smaller setting.
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