Have you ever wondered what the most productive day of the week is for you? We did, so we decided to do some productivity research, TextExpander-style. We looked back on four months of TextExpander stats to find out which day saw the most snippets expanded.
The results surprised us a little – because guess what, it wasn’t Monday – but they also got us thinking.
Today, we’ll be sharing not only which day our stats say TextExpander users are most productive, but also how to sustain your productivity across the rest of your working week.
Sound good? Then let’s dive in!
As we said above, we thought Monday would be the winner on this one, but we were wrong!
Tuesday was actually the most productive day of the week for the TextExpander community, according to the number of snippets expanded.
Just behind Tuesday was Wednesday with Monday not long after, followed by Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
It’s cool to know that we can think of Tuesday as our Power Productivity day, but Tuesday is literally just one day of the week! So today we wanted to ask ourselves: what can we do to stay productive every single day of the week?
Don’t worry if your productivity peaks don’t align with the average. There are many different work schedules and styles; learning more about yours can help you to maximize your productivity.
Maybe you have therapy on Monday nights, so Tuesdays are usually a quieter day for you as you regroup. Perhaps you have limited childcare on Tuesdays, making it a shorter workday overall. You might even have a schedule that means you take Tuesdays off; if so, how do you figure out your peaks?
There are plenty of guides on how to calculate your peaks, but the general premise is simple: start charting. One of the most basic is to create a spreadsheet, set an alarm to go off every hour, and score your energy levels out of ten. If you’re feeling dedicated, you might be able to get a month of data under your belt. For those of you struggling not to pass out at the thought, try a week of charting. If you’re not a spreadsheet lover, try your notebook or bullet journal. Regardless of your medium of choice, the goal is to make this doable.
If you’re ready to go one further, why not look at your chronotype? You may not have heard the word before, but if you’ve ever been called an early bird or night owl, you know what a chronotype is. Research has found that we all have our own innate circadian rhythms, determining when we’d most like to be awake or asleep. As tribes back in our cave-dwelling days, a watch of night owls and then early birds would have kept our villages safe through much of the night. We’re less used to keeping watch nowadays, but our chronotypes persist, so find out yours to leverage your natural productivity levels.
With information on your peaks and troughs, alongside insights on what suits your chronotype, you can customize your schedule. Perhaps Friday afternoons are a write-off for you? If so, why not switch them with your Sunday evening, if you experience a boost for a couple hours then?
Pushing beyond our limits might feel like a short-term win, but longer-term we perform best when we look after ourselves.
The first work boundary to honor is your schedule: sticking to the hours we’ve decided we will work. A great concept to introduce here is Parkinson’s Law. Named after the British historian and author Cyril Northcote Parkinson, Parkinson stated that “the amount of work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” Excitingly, the evidence backs him up.
What does this mean about your work schedule? Well, simply put, the more time you give yourself to do a task, the longer that task will take to do. The inverse is true, too. If you have no choice but to file that report in three hours, rather than three days, three hours is how long it will take.
When we put in more hours, it doesn’t necessarily mean our output will go up. In fact, the evidence on working late is pretty damning. Working late harms our brains, leads to weight gain, and one study found 745,000 people die annually as a result.
Another important work boundary is to avoid overcommitting. So many of us feel we have to say yes to every work request, regardless of our own workload. Doing so is natural and understandable. We don’t want to let our team down and we’re worried saying no will harm our reputation at work.
Although understandable, we all have our limits. Consistently overcommitting can actually lead to much more harm to our reputation in the long run. Instead of showing that we’re helpful, repeatedly pushing back tasks that we shouldn’t have taken on makes us look unreliable.
If we do manage peak productivity, we risk burnout. We all have internal surge capacities designed to get us through crises, but these are for short-term, emergency use. Doing this regularly might score points with coworkers in the here and now, but if our health decline forces us to take time off, they’ll be even more stuck than before.
Boost Your Productivity by Working Smarter, Not Harder
It’s getting some buzz for good reason: working smart is the way of the future. Instead of logging more hours, here’s what to do instead:
- Stick to one task at a time. Your brain focuses best when it’s not being interrupted; avoid multitasking in favor of mono-tabbing.
- Try a Pomodoro timer to get in the habit of taking regular breaks at work. When you’re on a break, do something mindless to stay fresher.
- Batch your schedule. When you plan your week or your day, group similar tasks together to minimize cognitive load.
- Get mindful with technology. The less disciplined you are, the harder it is to filter out distractions when at work. Be ruthless with the apps and notifications you allow on your tech. As a bonus, keep your phone off your desk at all times.
- Use a note-taking system to keep your brain clear. Maybe it’s on paper or with your fave app, but any time a distracting thought or task comes up, write it down. Our brains aren’t computers after all!
- Reduce repetitive tasks where you can! Automate emails or processes you do repeatedly using apps that will do the work for you.
- According to the number of snippets opened, Tuesday is the most productive day of the week for the TextExpander community
- Make every day more productive by figuring out what works for your productivity
- Chart your peaks and troughs and use a chronotype quiz to map out a more impactful schedule
- Stick to your work hours for higher long-term productiveness
- Make sure you’re not overcommitting to coworkers
- Work smarter by mono-tabbing, taking breaks, batching tasks, brain dumping, and getting mindful of tech use
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