Since I started working for myself, I quickly realized the necessity of effective time management. The most important lesson being, schedule your energy, not your time.
How to start scheduling your day around your peak energy hours.
The first thing you need to do is figure out when your energy is at its peak. Whether it’s the morning, the afternoon or at night. Then, schedule your whole day to block out that peak energy time to do your most creative, difficult and/or important work.
I’m 100% a morning person. So as often as possible, I try to block out the hours from breakfast till lunch to focus on my biggest projects. That usually looks like designing a website, figuring out a complicated little bit of development. Or writing and planning for my business. I do my best to protect those precious hours when I can be super productive.
Mid-day is usually the time that I prefer to hold meetings. It’s not always up to me, but when time allows for it, I like to hold meetings then. I still have pretty good energy, I’m fully awake, and I’m also ready to start talking with people. As opposed to the early morning when I have tons of energy, but I’m still in “introvert mode.” My creativity is starting to wane a bit. So, I can still hold an effective call or hold an effective meeting, but it’s not my prized hours.
Mid-day is also a time where I might try to squeeze in a workout, take a run or a walk, or even just change my setting. By this point I’m starting to feel a bit tired of sitting or standing in one place all day. So I like to try and shake it up for the afternoon.
Mid-afternoon is my lowest energy point of the day. So I take it easy and try to go through all the low-energy tasks that didn’t fit into the first couple chunks of the day. This can be responding to emails, support requests, comments on social media, etc. Doing this in the mid-afternoon ensures that I get it done, but it doesn’t take away from my prime energy hours.
Hopefully this helps you get your schedule on track. Everyone isn’t the same though, so what works for me may not work for you. Experiment with separating different tasks at different points in your day and see what works best for you!