Since the moment we could conceptualize what a job was, we’ve probably been ingrained with the “9-5” mentality. Picture this: Alarm goes off. Get ready. Commute. Start Work at 9. (Lunch?) Work until 5. Drive home. Sound familiar?
Well… what if we told you there’s a better way to work? In this Thrive, we discover the new productivity model that breaks the 9-5 mold.
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“9-5” is Old News!
What if you could determine when to work based on the times of day where you know you’ll be most productive ?
There has been a lot of research correlating time of day to aspects that we know affect productivity. One in particular is mood. It’s basically common knowledge that those who are in a good mood are more productive than those in a bad mood. So if we knew, generally speaking, what times of day people are more likely to be in a good mood, it makes sense to work during those times.
Daniel Pink, best-selling author, explores timing in his New York Times best seller When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. Based on the research he references, the typical 9-5 workday falls within a time of day when peoples’ moods are diminishing.
While this research doesn’t give us causation, it does allow us to understand the best timing for completing specific tasks, whether or not you can actually change your work schedule. For example:
- More difficult tasks that require more focus and positive vibes should be completed in the morning, before our mood starts to decline.
- Important meetings shouldn’t be scheduled in the afternoon when our mood is in its deepest trough. The same goes for important decisions.
- Easier, more-enjoyable tasks should be completed in the afternoon to help balance out a decreased mood and maintain productivity.
Apply the Five!
The big picture created from big data is great for an overall understanding, but every individual is different. We need to take the time to understand our own peaks and troughs throughout the day, which is what our “Apply the Five” is focused on.
To help with this, we’ve created a tool to help you track your mood throughout the day. Using this tool, you’ll be able to understand your own mood’s trends to help inform when you should do certain tasks and when you can be most productive. Click below to access the tool, and go to File > “Download as” to save your own copy!
Tip: There are also some apps if you prefer to have something easy on your phone!
Learn How Evans Thrives!
What better way to inspire you to thrive than to hear about real people making it happen? And what better way to learn about Evans than to make those real people Evans employees and partners?
Meet Jennafer (Naffer) Miller!
As a summer camp staff member and administrator, I often said that at camp, a day feels like a week, and a week feels like a day. Each summer was magical in its own way, but camp is a high-energy, jam-packed experience, and a very real time of each camp season was the “Sixth Week Slump.” Throughout his book (see above), Pink refers to peaks, troughs, and recoveries.
We didn’t focus on “the slump” every year, but we planned towards it, for it, and how to rebound from it. It was our seasonal “trough.” It was a period when there was heightened camper drama, staff illness, a lower creativity and energy for planning and participating in activities, and a general camp-wide dip in mood. Knowing it was going to happen influenced the way we set up the weekly schedules, special events, and staff programs. My own kids, who have grown up at camps with and without me, have both felt it, and more profoundly so when they were still young enough to be living with me during the summers. With careful planning, however, we were able to get through the slumps with higher spirits, productivity, and energy than those seasons when we just plowed through.
So much of what we do at Evans includes thoughtful considerations of our individual strengths, how we function in groups and as teams, and our company’s DNA as a whole. A thoughtful consideration of time could be another element for us to include. Within each day or over the course of a year, we can all keep those peaks, troughs, and recoveries in mind as we plan.
Until Next Time…
Evans’ Talent Engagement Team
(Kaitlin Hurley and Nicole Anderson)
(This image was adapted from a commonly shared internet image.)