Q. My natural end of day is ...

Adam Grant famously wrote on LinkedIn that rather than lengthening the school day to align with office hours, we should reduce office hours to finish at the end of the school day and go home at 3pm, suggesting that we can be just as productive (if not more) in six hours.

Modern work though is shifting towards less of a ‘standard model’ for working hours, and more flexible and designed around the needs of individuals and teams, which means different people might need or want to finish their day at different times.

But what is our body telling us about when it’s time to wrap up? Is there a natural end to our day which our energy levels or ability to focus is dwindling? Is there a time where we might not be feeling so productive?

Use this entry in your Manual of Me to consider what your body’s natural rhythms and energy levels are telling you - perhaps you are a night owl, and prefer working later into the evening; perhaps your motivation just hits a brick wall at 3pm, and you would prefer to step away sooner.

This isn’t about making changes to your working day, but rather observations at first - and sharing them with your team - perhaps you’re all struggling in the mornings, but that’s when you’ve got your stand-ups; maybe lots of you are feeling Wednesday afternoons are really hard work. Sharing this information helps you all understand the natural dynamics at play, and perhaps consider how you could work around them.

How to find your answer:

1/ Start off with noting down what you think the answer to this is.

2/ Use a daily journal or diary to capture your energy levels - Were your initial instincts correct? Are there any common times when your energy levels are higher or lower? You can use the template provided here.

3/ Try and identify the natural end of your day - when your energy levels drop and you’re just not focusing or motivated any longer. What time is that?

4/ Share with your team, and see if there any common patterns across your group, or if there are techniques which people are using to give themselves a extra little boost.

5/ This time of day is likely to change over the year, but also with the level of stress you’re currently under - it’s worth reviewing your energy levels every few months.

Answer this question yourself, and send it to your team, so they can answer too!

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