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How to Do Your Best Work

You need to do your best work.

But the best work you are capable of producing isn’t always the same level of work. Sometimes you are tired and lack the energy, so your work suffers. Sometimes you are physically ill and not capable of producing any better work than you can squeeze out while you are suffering. You did your best under the conditions, but it wasn’t your best work.

But most of the time you can exercise control over the two interrelated factors that allow you to do your best work. Those two factors are your energy level and your attention level.

Your Energy Level

Some work simply requires more energy to do well. You have to be at your very best, your peak state, in order to do your best work at these tasks.

As you energy level changes throughout the day, you are better suited for some work. You can plan your work to take advantage of the way your energy level changes. You do the work that takes the most energy to do well when you have the energy (like prospecting), and you do the work that you can do well without much energy when you don’t have it (like paperwork).

I have more energy early in the morning. I try to do the most important work I have to do early each day, while I have the physical energy and the psychic RAM to do that work. I write early in the morning, and I handle all of my most difficult calls or meetings early in the day. As the day progresses, I plan tasks, activities, and meetings that don’t require as much energy.

I like mornings, but your mileage may vary.

Your Attention Level

Your attention level is tied up with your energy level. There are some tasks that demand your full attention, your full focus. But there are other tasks that you can do that don’t require your full attention. There are some tasks and activities that you can do while doing something else at the same time.

You can plan your tasks around your attention levels too.

I have an easier time focusing my attention early in the morning and later in the evening.I listen to content I want to hear and read late in the evening. If I need to read something to gain a deep understanding, I can give it my full attention after I have done all of my heavy lifting work in the morning, after I accomplish what I want to accomplish.

But there some things I have to do that don’t require any real focus, and I can do more than one thing at a time. I can listen to a webinar and scan all my paperwork into Evernote at the same time. I can get the value of listening to the webinar without giving it 100% of my attention, as long as it’s not content that requires me to take notes.

You do your best work when you give it the energy and attention it needs. Not every task or activity is worth your best energy and your full attention. You need to give your energy and your full attention to your most important outcomes. Build your model sales week around your energy and attention. Plan to work on the tasks and activities that don’t require your best energy or full attention for the times when your energy is lowest.

Questions

When is your energy level the highest throughout the day?

When is your energy too low for you to do your best work?

When do you have the ability to give something your full attention—with no distractions?

What tasks can you do when your energy is low or your attention is split?

Comments

comments

  • http://www.callboxinc.com/ Amber King

    Set your priorities. See what tasks need your full attention and energy and focus on that. For me, I tend to finish my important tasks first then I leave the rest later. That way, you do not need to multi-task. I read on one article that multi-tasking is not good, and it can also drain energy.

  • Marc Zazeela

    Thanks Anthony. A little self evaluation is always a useful idea. Adjusting your activities is a great idea.

    Cheers,
    Marc

  • http://twitter.com/judymartin8 Judy Martin

    Anthony,
    What I really like about this post is that you address the diverse working patterns we all have. Those patterns can change over time or even weekly. Energetically, everyone is soooo different. Add to that the daily work-life merge for those with children, those who are perhaps taking care of parents at home, or those of us who are doing a daily grind for someone else, while building a business. We have to individually assess our situation, not run blindly by the dictates of how others play their sales game.

  • http://cirquedumot.com/new-readers/ Susan Silver

    I have a different routine, I don’t get going until the early afternoon. I schedule all my quiet activities for the morning. Reading and writing. Then table meetings and phone calls until the afternoon.