Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Should You Be Setting Aside the 3-5 A.M. Time Slot for Work?

By Laura Vanderkam

Part of making the most of your time is breaking free from traditional notions of when things should happen.

If date night doesn’t work, you can try date breakfast.

If you need to work 12 hours a day and don’t want to work from 5-8 p.m., you might be able to take that off and work from 8-11 p.m. instead.

If you’re training for a marathon and don’t want to clog up your weekends with long runs, you might be able to get up early one weekday morning, come into work a little later, and work a little later in the evening.

Just because other people use certain hours for one thing doesn’t mean you need to. And if you use unconventional hours for certain things, that doesn’t make you crazy.

Sometimes it can make you more productive.

I saw a great example of this the other day in a time log that came in for my Mosaic project (the subject of my next book, which looks at how professional women with kids spend their time). On one night, this software engineer’s sea of “sleep” entries was broken up by 2 hours of “work” from about 3-5 a.m. I thought that was just a fluke — a weird bout of jet lag or insomnia — until I got this woman on the phone.

She told me that, in fact, this 3-5 a.m. shift was pretty typical, at least in the sense that it happened a few times per week. Her days got booked solid with meetings. But she still needed to produce the work she was being paid for. She also liked to do that sort of creative, productive work that drew her to her job in the first place. So what to do?

Read the rest here.

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