Most of us lost an hour yesterday due to Daylight Savings Time. Many parole applicants will not be happy today. Studies show that judges give the harshest sentences the Monday after we have lost an hour due to Daylight Savings Time. Studies also show that judges give more lenient sentences after a break.
Why is this relevant since most of us are unlikely to commit a crime?
According to Daniel Pink, author of When, the timing of when you do something can be as or more important than what or how you do it.
We fall into three categories based on our sleep and awake preferences.
- Larks – early morning
- Third Birds – early-mid morning
- Owls – night
Two-thirds of us are larks and third birds. I am sure each of you know which you are.
For most of us, energy rises in the morning and peaks, then decreases in the afternoon (trough) and starts to rise again in the early evening (rebound).
Based on our style and the time of day, we are more effective doing certain activities.
Larks and third birds prefer:
- Analytical tasks – morning
- Administrative tasks – mid-afternoon
- Brainstorming and insight thinking – late afternoon
Reverse this for night owls.
In addition, what we learn from judges’ sentencing practices reveals that people have more energy after breaks and are more lenient. Therefore, if you have an important ask to make, do it mid-morning, mid-afternoon after a break or after lunch.
What else does timing show us?
- If you have a brainstorming meeting, schedule it for the afternoon if you have larks and third birds on your team.
- If you’re working on your taxes or other analytical challenges, do them in the morning if you’re a lark or third bird.
- Due to our energy cycle, breaks are important to take. Rather than plow through, the most productive people work 52 minutes and break for 17. Like interval training, it will keep you fit.
As you catch up on your sleep, think about when you are doing something. You might be able to add additional time to your day by working smarter.