Research shows when productivity, creativity peak
When it comes to on-the-job success, the early bird really does catch the worm, new research by The Creative Group suggests. According to a nationwide survey, 63% of advertising and marketing executives said they feel most productive in the morning. When it comes to generating new ideas, 72% of respondents said they feel most creative before noon.
The national study was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service for interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on more than 400 telephone interviews: approximately 200 with marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 200 with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.
"Creative professionals are known for being night owls but, the truth is, many actually perform at their peak in the morning, when they feel refreshed and relatively free of distractions," said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. "Starting the day on a strong note can mean the difference between getting ahead or falling behind at work, and avoiding long hours at the office."
The Creative Group offers five tips for becoming a morning person so you can kick-start your workday:
- Make a plan. Over-ambitious scheduling is a setup for failure and compels you to take unfinished work home. Spend 10 minutes at the beginning of each day (or the evening before) creating a realistic to-do list for the day ahead. Prioritize tasks that are the most time-sensitive and important to the business and plan the next eight hours around them.
- Sharpen your focus. People are more efficient when working for an extended period in the same mental mode, as opposed to changing gears frequently. Try to cluster tasks that require similar effort or resources in the same time frame.
- Limit distractions. Many creative professionals find inspiration from browsing blogs, websites, and social media. To maximize productivity without cutting off sources of creative stimuli, set designated periods to surf the Web in the afternoon or after you've completed a major to-do. Also, turn off email and app notifications so you're not tempted to review messages as they arrive.
- Don't delay. Even peak performers occasionally put off working on unpleasant or overwhelming assignments. One effective way to overcome procrastination is to break a project into smaller tasks.
- Recharge. Taking short breaks can help you replenish your energy and fight fatigue.
View an infographic of the survey results.