Polls / November 18, 2014

Do you tend to get more work done in the morning or the afternoon?

Most respondents to the eZonomics online poll say they are most productive in the mornings, with only about a quarter saying the afternoon is the time they get most done.

Rise and shine – and get to work
Are you a lark or an owl? In the bird world, larks are known to be active in the mornings, while owls are famously nocturnal and stay up through the night. It is hotly debated which lifestyle is superior, with some studies suggesting “owls” are more intelligent and other commentary claiming it is larks who tend to be more successful.

Duke University behavioural economist Dan Ariely argues that generally people are most productive during the first two hours of being awake – and that many waste that time on morning routines that do not use the thinking time to maximum advantage. His advice is “wake up, smell the coffee, and get right to work”. Ariely once launched a smartphone app that finds time in the user’s calendar to form good habits and accomplish goals.

How to be productive about budgeting too
The advice to make the first two hours of the day protected time to complete important tasks also has implications for managing money. For example, it is a good idea to regularly schedule time to work on finances – literally making an appointment in the diary at regular intervals to sit down and take stock of income, spending and progress towards goals.
There is a tendency to procrastinate and put off tasks in favour of the instant gratification of doing something more fun now. Setting aside dedicated time – perhaps during the very productive first two hours of the day – can help.


eZonomics team
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