When and how to do your best work

It’s 2:30 p.m. in the afternoon and you look around at your coworkers – chances are they are not the same people who arrived to work first thing in the morning. Research shows that most people are at their most productive peaks between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. As morning turns to afternoon, on average, people struggle to process new information and will find it more difficult to avoid distractions. This is why top entrepreneurs, like Tim Cook and Tom Ford plan to do their best work earlier in the day.

Being an early riser isn’t about trumpeting how hard you work. It’s about doing everything within your power to help your business achieve success; and if that means you have to get up at an hour not known to most, then you might as well enjoy the sunrise. – Richard Branson

Arguably, the best way to maximize your productivity is to align your most important work activities with your natural energy fluctuations throughout the day. But if you’re a night owl, when everyone else is working fast and furious in the morning, it will be challenging for you to coordinate your schedule with that of the rest of the world. Whether you’re a natural early riser, or a lifelong night owl, there is more incentive to do your best work in the morning.

Here’s why and how to develop the ultimate morning work ethic:

Early risers are one step ahead. The earlier you wake up in the morning, the more time you have to get organized and lay out your strategic plan for the day. Before your emails start flooding in at 8:00 a.m. you will have more quiet time to think, brainstorm and breathe. Imagine the possibilities for what you can do with even just one extra hour.

Your morning will set the tone for your day. Slept through your alarm? Forgot your lunch? Rushing to make your first meeting on time? Starting your day off on the wrong note will not only distract you from time you could have been using to strategize, it will also dampen your mood. Set the stage for a successful day without the rush and attack your to-do list with more ease and confidence. The earlier you wake up – the less stressed you will be.

Morning is the perfect time to get energized. Whether you use the early hours in the morning to exercise, meditate or spend a few extra moments with your family, it’s important to spend time before work fueling your passion and generating energy for the day ahead. Plus, having an activity you’re passionate about to wake up for is a great way to motivate yourself to turn the alarm clock back.

Being an early riser isn’t just about waking up 30 minutes earlier than you usually would. It’s about creating a game plan for your day and doing everything you can to map out a path to success. What will truly define your success is how you use your time to deliver value, regardless of where or when you work.