For years, I’ve believed that my most productive time of the day was between 10:00 PM and 2:00 AM. I’m a night owl. I like it when it’s quite. No one is emailing me. No one is calling me. I can just get stuff done. However, I think that I’ve been lying to myself. Don’t get me wrong, I am a night owl. Actually, I think I’m just a big kid who doesn’t want to go to bed. But I think I’ve been fooling myself about my most productive hours.

For the past 2-3 years, this is what my schedule has looked like. Monday, stay up late and get some good work in between 10:00 PM and 2:00 AM. Sometimes I’ll get on a roll and crank stuff out until 4:00 AM. The next day, I’ll start to get stuff done and fall asleep at 11:00 PM and be frustrated that I missed out on my most productive time. The next day I’ll be recharged and I’ll pull another late night, but I’ll be distracted because I want to watch a movie. I’ll end up staying up late, but it wasn’t as productive. The next night I’ll fall asleep early again. Although I like being up late, I don’t think that its consistently a productive time for me.

However, this week I spent three mornings at a new coffee shop. Each morning I arrived between 7:30 and 8:00 AM and typically stayed until 11:00 or noon. Every day I left the shop feeling like I killed it, highly productive time… consistently. I’m starting to rethink my life. Maybe I can make sure I get 3-4 mornings a week where I can crank out 2-5 highly productive hours and then spend the rest of the day meeting with people and helping others with their stuff. Maybe this means I can just hang out most evenings and do the fun stuff I like to do. In the end, I get as much (or more work) done and my schedule is more consistent. I think this could be a lot of fun… I’ll give it a try.

I think it’s important to realize when we’re the most productive and schedule your day to protect that time. Otherwise, you’ll end up frustrated.

What about you? When is your most productive time of the day? How do you protect this time and maximize it?