The other day I was listening to Louis' and Mojca's podcast SUP? where they were talking about their different routines.
Louis has his "best productive hours" in the morning and he's "brain dead" in the afternoon when he normally goes to the gym or replies to emails. Then he's productive again in the evening around 9PM for a couple of hours.
Mojca is the opposite. She's "brain dead" in the morning, which is why she goes to the gym and only starts working at around 1PM when she has her most productive hours.
Naturally, their conversation got me thinking about my own routine.
I'm definitely more productive in the morning, usually the 3-4 hours between 9AM and 1PM. That's when I am the most lucid, creative and energetic. Then after lunch I become sluggish, like a computer operating at 25% capacity. During this time I usually replies to customer support emails, go to the gym or walk the dogs and waste time on social media. Then I have another spurt of productivity between 4PM and 6PM. After that my brain is officially dead.
This is my routine and yours could be totally different, in the same way Louis' differs from Mojca's. But if you're lucky enough to choose when to work, figuring out your "productivity routine" is probably the highest-impact decision you can make on a personal level.
There's lots of advice about productivity out there and too many people still think they have to wake up at 5M (AND do a 1hr workout AND meditate for 20 minutes AND...) to be productive. That's bullshit. Don't waste time fighting your natural rythm. Instead work with it. You just need to figure out when you are the most productive and organise your day around it.
Now, knowing when you're the most productive is only useful if you know when to take a break. In other words: don't half-ass work; work as hard as you can during your productive hours but then do something entirely different during your "unproductive hours". Go to the gym, listen to a podcast, walk the dogs. Do something physical, especially if you spend most of your time in front of a screen.