Career · Underemployment

Utilizing The Most Productive Hours of My Day

I was thinking about how much my life has changed since last year. A year ago I was finishing my Masters degree in Scotland. I did my schoolwork so efficiently that I had plenty of time on evenings to read and weekends to explore the city. So much time, in fact, that I managed to publish daily web-comics on top of my largest workload ever.

This photo is from my summer in Edinburgh before deciding to study there. I used to spend 15 minutes each day walking through the garden in order to clear my mind of built-up thoughts.

But how did I do it all?

There were a number of factors – being an ocean away from family and friends certainly cut down on a lot of distraction – but there was one other thing that I think made the most significant difference.

I always utilized the most productive hours of my workday.

I know from experience that the most productive hours of my day are in the morning between 8 and 10. After a good night sleep and a light breakfast there’s nothing to distract me from the task at hand. It’s a near-perfect time interval where I can concentrate and let my ideas flow naturally.

As the day goes on, I find my brain getting cluttered with new ideas, some of which are good, but most are just distracting. I become tired, hungry, bored, and any number of other distracting feelings that build up until I’m a shadow of the person that I was before the day took it’s toll.

So with this knowledge in mind you would expect to hear that I do almost all of my job searching in the early hours of the morning, right? 

Unfortunately I have been overlooking these prime productivity hours throughout much of my 8-month (and counting) job search. I tend to put off calls until the afternoon and I make most of my resume edits shortly thereafter. I do spend a lot of mornings browsing through the job boards and making notes, but upon reflection I see that my most productive hours should be better utilized while job searching.

Everyone has their own productive time of the day.

Be it morning, afternoon, or even late night, we’re all unique in what time intervals help us to focus best. My recommendation for my fellow un/under-employed graduates out there is to make use of these productive hours while for your job search. Working for just a couple very productive hours a day on finding a permanent position is a much better use of time than dragging it out over the course of many hours – leaving you with much more time to just enjoy life. 

I may be unemployed, but I still make sure to do the things I love - like reading, golfing, hanging out with friend, and taking little adventures from time to time.

After-all: the present is a gift. So make the best use of your time and keep living life to it’s fullest even if your stuck in between university and adulthood.



4 thoughts on “Utilizing The Most Productive Hours of My Day

  1. Hi…Just started following you yesterday and didn’t even know you studied in Edinburgh! I live here and studied at Edinburgh University. Where and what did you study? About the job search…chin up…I am looking for work too and using my time to write my novel and walking in the Pentlands! Best of luck to you! :)

  2. An 8-month job search? Oh, man. In 5 months, I’ll be feeling for you. That’s when I’ll hit my 8-month mark.

    I only recently discovered my most productive hours. I use these two times of the day to write my novels, and everything in between is when I blog or apply for jobs. Since my job search involves surfing the internet, and I tend to use my ADD times for surfing the internet. Come to think of it, every time of day is your most productive time so long as you know what you do best in those hours.

    I loved this post. You’re lucky to be far from the distractions; I had to work my schedule around my family’s noise and THEN figure out what I do best at what times.

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