What time of day do you get your best work done?

ben profile image Ben Halpern ・1 min read


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chrisachard profile image
Chris Achard

Often it's right before bed πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ It's kind of a bad habit - I procrastinate during the day, and then smush in a bunch of work late at night. Anyone else do that? Any tips for not doing that? ... I probably just need to say, "no computer after 8" or something :)

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Franco Donati

For the timebeing I was able to overcome some procrastination though it comes and goes depending on the time of year, also I think some procrastination may be good. Mind you I suck at self control but this is what worked for me so far:

1) I blocked out all social media. I generated random passwords on all social media accounts and I did not save them. In this way I am not tempted to just have constant quick looks on useless posts. The steps to recover the passwords would make me snap out of it.

2) I like to read the news during the day. So I try to only do it for ~30 minutes when I get to the office and then at lunch time (sometimes I slip though).

3) I try to not think about the things I still have to do and I try to dedicate some time during the day to acknowledge the work I have done instead.

4) At the cost of boredom, I try to avoid having my laptop on most of the evenings in the working week. I know I suck at self control so sometimes I just leave my laptop in my office so I don't even have the option to cheat.

5) My phone is always on silent.Though I have the luxury of not having to work with clients.

6) But the most important thing of all, I stopped guilt-tripping myself for procrastinating. If I am procrastinating systematically there is a reason... I should solve that first if I want to stop doing it. Maybe I don't like a specific task I have to do, or maybe there are too many unknowns or skills I have to learn that it overwhelms me. Either way, if it happens - after the first moment of frustration - I try to stop what I am doing and reason on why I am procrastinating. Often identifying the cause is sufficient to make me stop procrastinate.

This is working pretty ok for me right now also because I throw some flexibility to the rules here and there.

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Chris Achard

I stopped guilt-tripping myself for procrastinating

That's a great point - when I'm procrastinating, it's because I'm avoiding something... what am I avoiding? Answer that question to really increase productivity :)

Thanks for your tips - good things to think about!

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lytecyde profile image
Mik Seljamaa πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ͺ

yeah, guilt tripping aparently works against actually getting to stop what one is guilty about

hkhuoja profile image
Hmmam Babe khuoja

Your self-control strategies are awesome man,
I remember that day when I left my phone on purpose silent at home and went out, but my father tried to call me to ask me to buy him something, and when I didn't answer couple of times he thought there might be something bad did happen the end of the story he went down the streets looking for me πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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Ben Lovy

If I am procrastinating systematically there is a reason... I should solve that first if I want to stop doing it.

It sounds so simple when stated like this :)

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chrisachard profile image
Chris Achard

Haha... absolutely - easier said than done... (ugh) :)

moeassal profile image

My most productive hours are between 10pm and 2am. 😲😴

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hellovietduc profile image
Duc Nguyen

Totally relate to this. I usually have to force myself to work sooner and when I have a break I can do things that I would normally do at the beginning of the evening.

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Stefan Dorresteijn

I get most of my work done "Tomorrow" or "Later"

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Donald Feury

Whenever our cats are asleep is my most productive time. It is noticably harder to work with a 15 pound Maine Coon on your lap.


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Ben Lovy

5:00a, which is frustrating because I rarely want to get up that early, usually pushing it to 5:30 or 6. When I do, though, it's clear-headed, focused productive time. Once the day gets rolling that focus starts getting muddled, and I usually find I can't think as effectively by bed.

I guess that's what introversion is all about - going about my day and interacting with people is a clear energy expenditure, no matter how positive the interactions are.

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Justin Malloy

Same. Except I like getting up that early. :D

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Jenna King

Oh absolutely in the morning. I get to work at 6:30a and am able to get in the zone easily (well, most days). But the afternoons are a completely different story. I still code, but I try to focus on less complicated stuff or shift to emails/project tracking updates and so on.

It's funny cuz I never was a morning person until I hit my thirties.

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Matthew Daly

It's funny cuz I never was a morning person until I hit my thirties.

As I understand it, this is common. Apparently teenager's body clocks are primed to wake up late and go to bed late, while as we get older they slowly move forward.

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Mike Lockhart

In my (cough 40s) and now I'm definitely a morning person. If I can get a good start by 6 I'll be in the zone about 7 and come up for air and breakfast about 9. I peak between 10-11. When I was in my teens and early twenties I would regularly pull all-nighters though. I think having kids changes your sleep habits a lot too

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Mustafa Anas

Usually my peak I would say is 10PM to 3AM.
Im basically a batman :] but I try to keep my routine healthier so I work during the day as much as I can (still, not productive enough when there;s sun light)

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Steven Mercatante

Between 7am - 11am and 8pm - 11pm. Mornings are productive for me because I walk a mile every morning before work and have a high energy breakfast, and the evening (if I choose to work it) is productive because there are fewer interruptions and distractions.

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Saurabh Daware 🌻

2 o'clock in the night 😭🌻

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Jess Lee (she/her)

It really really really depends on my mood!

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Robin Kretzschmar

I can totally relate!
Sometimes I am a total night owl and get a ton of work done at night but on other days I'm in the mood the get up early and get things done before everyone else is waking up / comes online.

Also connected to the weather sometimes... sounds crazy but I love to watch thunderstorms and the rain outside and this is the best weather to stay in and take a night shift :)

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Gift Egwuenu

Depends for me I am more productive in the early hours of the day. Just after getting out of bed.

I spend most of the day moving around the web without doing much work and then going back into default productive mood at night. Pretty bad routine :(

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Glenn Street

I'm a big believer in getting up early and getting things done before I leave for the office. I find that my best work happens then. I wasn't always like this, but have trained myself over the years to become a morning person.

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Heval Hazal Kurt

Mostly the day before the deadline, that's my most productive hours :)

But usually, I don't like to be interrupted, so the best time for work was just after waking up in the morning, and late at night. If I don't start working as soon as I wake up in the morning, I spend my whole day hanging around, looking from one subject to another.

vip3rousmango profile image
Al Romano

I thought I knew how productive I was and then I installed Code Time (its like Wakatime, but more focused on productivity).

It syncs with your Calendar, gathers code metrics on your daily code velocity and can auto-block-off time when you actually do the most work so that you can cut down on distractions!

This has changed the game for me immensely. Everyone thinks they know their own patterns but then you see the actual data... I'm glad I did.

Attached some screenshots of my dashboard so you can see what I mean. This has helped me allocate time better for project work, understand why things don't get done if meetings steamroll a day of planning, etc.


Calendar /w Suggestions:

escalabien profile image

I am very much nocturnal, I finish most of my tasks afternoon until 12am, but I wake up very early to exercise my body and remove the stress away whilst thinking the night before.

But if needed and deadlines on school, I finish pr9jects ASAP, within the day I set goals towards my project.

hkhuoja profile image
Hmmam Babe khuoja

Often after bed between dawn and 7:30am when I go to my non-tech job
I feel awake and my head clear and I don't wonder how people work before bed when I mostly sleep on my desk when I need to do something urgent

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Dzhavat Ushev

Most days I'm more productive in the morning when my mind is still fresh and sharp. But it depends a lot on the task and the progress made during the first fifteen minutes.

I usually start my tasks with a lot of enthusiasm and motivation. But if for some reason I get stuck on something right from the beginning and need to spend a lot of time researching how to solve it, then the initial enthusiasm kind of wares out and things start to get boring.

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Tammy Lee

Inspiration tends to hit me in the morning so I write/art first thing in the morning to capture ideas then refine them in the evening or pass writing off to my PA for editing and polish.
Coding is best from about 9am to 2pm.
Meetings are best from 2pm to 5pm.
My evenings are for consumption; courses, article reading, videos.

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Simon Vrachliotis πŸ„πŸ€πŸ’»πŸ˜

Early morning. Around 5-6am. Every time I get a chance to start early (which is very rare these days with kids school dropoffs!), I am incredibly productive.

By the time the "work day" starts at 9, I have already achieved a great deal and feel super energised.


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Harsh Shandilya

Really boils down to how I'm feeling that particular day but in general, past-midnight is my genius zone. HORRIBLE for my sleep, but very rewarding. I tend to reserve that period for meeting hard deadlines of working on problems I have been stuck on for a while. Otherwise I just scout around for an OSS project that could use my help :)

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Rachel Soderberg

I am also very productive in the morning. 2-5am seems to be the sweet spot for me, but I rarely ever work during those hours unless I can't sleep. On days I work from home I get up at 4:30 and get straight to work, and it feels wonderful! Perhaps one day I can do that everyday :)

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Jan Kosutnik

I have discovered that in recent years I get more stuff done in the early hours. I start my day around 6-7am, so the majority of important or "can't-postpone-them-anymore" I like to do when energy is high. That goes for coding / learning also. But some days are differently organized, so there are times when I work into the night, but that doesn't happen very often.

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Anmol Shukla

Early in the day, between 9 am and 1 pm. I can see how some people might consider that really late. πŸ˜‚

This answer is statistical, as I gathered this data for over a month. I also wrote a blog post on it, which you can find here: cazaimi.tech/2019/08/25/Ultradian-...

Will be publishing to DEV, Medium soon.

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Saurabh Sharma

In the morning.

morning person gif

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Marco Slooten

I feel most creative late in the evening, but working then interferes too much with sleep. So the second-best time of the day would be mornings (say 9-12am). In the afternoon I prefer to finish the morning work, prepare the next day, write docs and other stuff. The hard coding problems are best in the morning, after sufficient caffeination.

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Ashley McPeek

Recently, it's been first thing in the morning, which has certainly been odd because I'm definitely not a morning person. I've been having fresh cups of inspiration in the morning with a good helping of French vanilla cappuccino lately and I can honestly say it's a good change of pace for me.

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Dani Meier

from 5 AM to 7 AM
from 10 PM to 1 AM

... which is a very unhealthy combination πŸ˜‰

bobbilee profile image

I definitely work best in the morning or after I exercise. Or I guess when my dog is not bothering me to play which is typically from 7-10am and then again from 1-4pm.

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Mike Healy

4:30pm - 4:50pm.

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Yaser Adel Mehraban

Mine is 8-10 am. Best time of the day with no interruption, no meeting and a focused brain after a cup of coffee. And let's not forget the almond croissant πŸ˜‚

bradtaniguchi profile image

Whenever I get to work on my own project at the time. Could be early, late, on my lunch break. If what I'm working on is what I want to be working on the sky is the limit :D

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Omar Ajmi

After every one leaves and i find myself alone in the department, i have no idea why but i do double the work i do all day long.

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Lisa Armstrong

Mornings. What I start doing first thing, I'll stay at for the next 4-5 hours.
The trick is to make sure it's productive, not 'researching' some obscure thing (you know what I mean) :)

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Stephen Adams

Usually 20 minutes before I have to leave to get the train home.

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Gayan Hewa

When the kids are sleeping

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Ynoa Pedro

Early morning for sure.

codebrotha profile image

At night. But then I've always been a nocturnal creature.

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Pedro Massango

11pm. I'm not very productive at the office. I usually do the chores before bedtime

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Derek Rosenzweig

Depending on the work, whatever time I'm able to focus for at least a few hours uninterrupted. Preferably with food already provided/eaten, or easily available right after.

mxoliver profile image

Between 9/10am and 4:30pm. Luckily my circadian rhythm fits in nicely with usual work hours, but I'm completely useless after 6pm

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Fulton Browne

0500 to 0900 and 1500 to 2100I don't know why, but its true.

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Adam Crockett

πŸ¦‰ when I get home from work I can be creative.

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Asim Dahal

Right after I wake up in the morning 😁

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Antonio Radovcic

if I slept enough the night before and didn't have a stressful/meeting-ful day then its around 23:00 when everyone sleeps

cantnopwontnop profile image

Definitely the evening. 8pm to midnight would be my peak.

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Holy-Elie ScaΓ―de

Either between 1pm and 4pm or 7pm-midnight

morales_eze profile image

From 8am to 12am.

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Zohar Peled

Night time. 22:00 to 03:00. Unfortunately, most of the time I'm to tired to work this late.

kamalhm profile image

Early morning or late at night, when it's quiet

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Giuseppe Vetri

Before lunch