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By: Chad Brooks
Have you ever noticed that on some days you can get a ton of work done with ease, and on others you struggle to get started? You’re not alone. Multiple studies and surveys have tried to determine whether there is a day of the week that tends to be most productive for everyone. The results vary, though, and they suggest that there are many factors that go into which days and times people feel the most productive. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the research into the most productive day of the week, as well as offer some tips on how you can improve your own productivity.
The most productive day of the week depends on who you ask. Multiple studies and surveys have shown that it isn’t easy to pin down a particular day as the most productive of the week.
There is some evidence that the beginning of the week is the most productive for many workers. A Robert Half survey discovered that Monday and Tuesday are the two most productive days of the week for employees. Employees self-reported Monday as the most productive day, with 29 percent of respondents citing it as the day they get the most work done. Tuesday was a close second, with 27 percent of respondents claiming it’s their most productive day of the week.
A survey from Redbooth found similar results. Roughly 20 percent of respondents said they complete the most tasks on Monday and Tuesday, and that percentage slowly declined throughout the week. Unsurprisingly, the weekend was the least productive time for most respondents, with only about 2 percent saying Saturday or Sunday were their most productive days.
However, a Moneypenny survey found the most productive day of the week was largely a matter of geography. While workers in many states reported Monday and Tuesday as their busiest day of the week, roughly half the U.S. tends to get more done in the second half of the week. It could be the case that workday productivity is as much a matter of local or regional culture as anything.
Ultimately, your personal productivity will depend on your natural tendencies, your workload, the type of job you do and how you plan your day. Consider your natural rhythm and approach to work when planning out your week so you can take advantage of when you feel most productive and provide yourself more flexibility when you don’t.
Remote and hybrid work has become more common in recent years, and it turns out these workers tend to hit a different stride than their onsite counterparts. According to a study by Prodoscore, remote and hybrid workers tend to be most productive on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, specifically between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
If you’re managing a remote team, consider these windows when you schedule meetings. You may be better served by letting your team focus on work in these windows and saving the meeting for another time. Of course, every team is different, so consider conducting an employee survey and monitoring your team’s active times to determine what works best for you.
Remember, some remote and hybrid teams have members across multiple time zones. If that’s the case on your team, t’s important to account for the time difference when setting team calls or deadlines. Consider when each team member is at their most productive and ask for deliverables clearly. For example, rather than saying “I’d like this in by the afternoon,” set a specific time like “3:00 p.m. EST” so everyone is on the same page regardless of their local time zone.
If you’re looking to boost your productivity no matter what day of the week it is, there’s plenty you can do. Consider the following tips and how they could improve your routine to help you get more done from Monday to Friday.
Ax the excess: Start by creating a to-do list for the day. Then, cut that list in half, focusing on the top priorities. Too often, workers overestimate what they can accomplish and become frustrated by their lack of progress. A shorter, more realistic list that leaves room for unexpected projects and setbacks will help employees become more productive.
Aim for quality, not quantity: In theory, multitasking seems like a good way to increase productivity. But it often leads to oversights and errors. Repeatedly switching from one project to another also slows workers down. They should do their best to focus on one item at a time.
Optimize your workspace: A cluttered or noisy workspace is a sure way to prevent you from getting work done. Clean your workspace and make sure you’re well stocked with everything you need to get the job done. For tips, check out our guide on how to make your workspace more productive.
Know your prime time: Employees need to tackle critical or challenging assignments during the time of day when they’re most productive. They should handle less-pressing tasks, like online research, when their energy level starts to wane.
Dodge derailers: When working on important assignments, workers can increase productivity by turning off mobile devices and signing out of email and social media. That allows them to give full attention to the task at hand. They can prevent interruptions by politely informing colleagues they don’t want to be disturbed.
Explore apps: Consider taking advantage of the wide selection of software that is specifically designed to increase productivity. Digital calendars, task management apps, and other time-saving programs can help employees keep track of projects, meet deadlines and be more productive.
Whatever your naturally most productive days are, plan around the way you work. That means understanding that if you tend to be sluggish one day, set yourself up for success by tackling the tasks you’re able to. And if you tend to be more productive another day, handle some of the biggest tasks of your week on that day. Sometimes you can’t set your own schedule and simply need to get the job done, regardless of how you feel. But to the greatest extent possible, plan ahead so you can tackle the most important work when you’re feeling your very best.