The Best Time Of The Day To Do Things As A Designer

The Best Time Of The Day To Do Things As A Designer

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This article will go through the best time of the day to do things in relation to your mental state of mind which in turn will make you more productive as a designer. I present to you… productivity tips for designers.

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Please note, these are not hard and set times because as you can imagine, everyone has different life styles, schedules and working times.

8am – Face Your Fears Time

This is the quietest time for suicide so this is a good time to face your fears – Know that you have a deadline due at 1pm, know that you have 10 other projects to complete, know that your house needs cleaning, bills need paying and know that there is no end to it. Just make sure you know all this by 11 at night as this is suicide o clock.

9am to 10am – Work Time

Time to tackle your work here, these are the most productive hours (for the majority). Even Darren Rowse thinks so.

10am/11am – Chill Out Time

This is the time that most heart attacks occur so it would be good to chill out or have a break at this time. Coffee or morning tea break anyone?

12pm – Sex & Uncluttered Mind Time (If that can go together?)

If you fancy someone in your office or classroom, now is the time to go in for the kill. As James Sniechowski, author of the The New Intimacy explains: “People are more receptive to advances then, because their minds aren’t cluttered with what they have to do that day or what they have to do when they get home.”

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Pretty much this is a great time to get your creative juices going as you have an uncluttered mind. You may also want to check out How To Boost Your Creativity.


1pm – Nap Time

The best time to have a power nap is at around 1pm when your body temperature naturally dips. An ideal power nap should last for 15 to 20 minutes.

2pm – No One Can Touch Me Time (FIG JAM)

This is the time that we have the highest pain threshold so it is a good time to ask for a promotion or get that dental filling you were meant to have last month but ‘accidentally’ missed.

3pm/4pm – Strength and Mood Time

Hand and eye coordination is at its peak and mood levels are high during this period so this would be a good time to have a break. Maybe go for a short jog or for the lazy… maybe some Photoshop Tennis.

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This is also the time that people are most awake and alert so how about you do that one last proof now before sending your job to the printer. 4pm is also known to be the time in which you are least creative.

5pm – Happy Hour Time

We all know what 5pm means but did you know that your liver metabolises alcohol most efficiently at this time of the afternoon? After work drinks never sounded so good.

8.30pm – Sweet Sweet Food Time

Despite what many people think, eating late will not necessarily make you fat says Nigel Denby of the British Dietetic Association. “A calorie is a calorie whenever you eat it.” Dig in.

10.30pm – Sleep Time

A warm shower helps to make people fall asleep as body temperature needs to fall in order to help us sleep… I don’t think I have ever met a designer who does go to bed at 10.30… 10pm is also known to be the time in which you are most creative.

This article was originally written for Meryls 8th birthday bash celebration.

Have you got any more productivity tips? What is the best time of the day for you to design?

45 thoughts on “The Best Time Of The Day To Do Things As A Designer”

  1. Interesting post. This is my first comment!
    I thought this was a great post but in all seriousness everyone is different with a different body and different lifestyle, you cannot just follow a set of rules and expect it to work. for YOU. Parts of it might though!
    Welcome back from your holiday!

    /edit, I’m sick of getting back slashes in my last name due to useless coding! dam you apostrophe! dam you!

  2. “I don’t think I have ever met a designer who does go to bed at 10.30.”

    That has to be one of the most powerful phrases around the internet 🙂

  3. Great read- my favorite part is that the ideal time to work only lasts 2 hours. So that means I’ll work for 2 hours a day and get stuff done, and go have power naps and tea times in between! Great post- very entertaining!

  4. Andrew,
    Yeah, bit of a fun post… always good to lighten up the blog.

    Yeah in seriousness everyone is different and has different lifestyles but this was just a general guide… I got most of the info from a lifestyle mag but I just converted it to be for a designer.

    Not sure what is up with the back slashes, is it just this blog or everywhere? Is it because of OpenId?

    Hehe yeah the time when everyone wakes up is the worst!

    Glad you found it entertaining and yeah everyone is different… strange you can get a lot of work done before you go to bed… this is generally the time I relax, facebook or a game or something of that sort. If I work before I go to bed I don’t sleep as well.

    And so true!

    Yeah I guess you peak for about 2 hours. I always love power naps though, I always wake up refreshed.

  5. Great read, very interesting indeed. My day looks completely different time wise, I always find that the last few hours before I go to bed I can generally get a lot of work done. Very well written and entertaining, and very informing, what more could you want from a post?

    liams last blog post..The Cutest Freebies: Twitter Bird Icons & Illustration

  6. Interesting post Jacob! If only life were so easy eh? Heh. I always find myself most productive late morning and late afternoon in work, then the weekend at home. At the moment work day evenings I’m too tired to get stuff done! Sleepwise I average 5 hours a night, falling into the insomniac designer cliche.

  7. Aaron,
    Yeah it was a nice post for some weekend reading.

    Steve O,
    If only 🙂 I always find myself working best in the morning and when on a tight deadline. 5 Hours is cutting it thin for me, I usually need at least 8.

  8. Great post Jacob! I’ve just discovered your blog, and I think I’ll spend a while looking at your other posts.

    I don’t have much time to design at night, but this time for me is the most productive (for some reason). After a coffee, between 10pm and 3am is a good time to concentrate with little distractions, but that’s just me 😉

    Andrew Kelsalls last blog post..How shocking can a Jpeg be?

  9. “I don’t think I have ever met a designer who does go to bed at 10.30.”

    That was exactly what I was thinking… shoot, I usually go to bed around 4AM LOL!

    Erikas last blog post..Miami Web Design

  10. I am quite curious where you read all these time-body things. And the former psychology student in me begs to know if correlation proves causation. In other words, is it common things that people do around those times that makes most people’s bodies in those states at those times of day or is it the actual time of day that makes our bodies react that way?

    I try to go to bed at 10, so I guess you still don’t know any designers that go to bed at 10:30 😛

    @Brendon & Jacob: The apostrophe thing is a PHP issue. It has to escape () apostrophes because otherwise it messes up the code and PHP thinks it’s actually opening and closing strings. I don’t know how you would fix it, though (WP fixes it for comments! Maybe it’s a little script)

    LaurenMarie – Creative Curios last blog post..My Adventures in Letterpress Continued

  11. When I’m not working my day job. I’ve been a third shifter for over twenty years and the best times for me are early morning and late evening.

  12. omg omg omg When I am off into the ZONE of ‘creativity’, once I get there, usually after an hour of messing about and finding anything to distract myself… I do not stop not even for food, and bedtime is about-ish 1 or 2 am… maybe i need to slow down, relax, chill, lol If I followed this day I would get nothing done… I shall have to experiment! Tea, coffee anyone?

  13. Erika,
    4am, that is pretty extreme. I need at least 8 hours sleep for me to my best potential but as we all know, that is not always the way it can be.

    It is interesting to know when everyone’s best times are. Worthy of a poll.

    Glad to have you around Andrew. My time at night I always seem to be drawn to distractions rather than working.

    I sometimes get a magazine called FHM (For Him Magazine) – it is a lifestyle / fashion mag for men and it has a health section in it. I converted the article from health and tried to see how it could help a designer.

    I would think that it was based on a normal 9 to 5 average day job rather than the time of the day but it didn’t say so not so sure.

    10pm, wow that is a new one! What time do you wake up?

    Me and PHP really do not go together so I have no idea how to fix it at this time. A small but annoying problem but thanks for the info.

    Hope you enjoyed your Carlsberg Max.

    Yeah I find that too, once you are in the zone, know what you want to do, you just do it… there is nothing that can stop you. If there was just a magical way to get into that zone anytime we wanted, it would be an easier world for designers.

  14. Hi Jacob,

    A good effort, but unfortunately I disagree with your article or perhaps your title is misleading?

    Actually productivity times vary with different people, if you are looking for a best time in the day to do things, then that should be what works for that individual. It could well be at 10.30pm.

    Also while some of the research you have quoted has shown that at those times certain abilities are optimal, much of it are generalizations and really do not reflect everyone.

    DTs last blog post..Photo Musings

  15. Cool post, I should do one of these too.

    I also find that the first few hours of my day are the best, but sometimes I’m great late at night.

    …in front of my laptop hard at work

  16. DT,
    Yes I agree however this is based on the average individual but like you said and the others in the comments, every individual is different.

    Yeah my first few hours of the day are the best for me also. At night I get so lazy, tired.

  17. My alarm goes off at 6:15, but I’ve had little luck actually getting up at that time. I’m usually forcing myself out of bed by 6:30 though.

    LaurenMarie – Creative Curios last blog post..Enhance Your Designs with the Principle of Balance

  18. this article could really turn into a book of its own. psychology of the worker bee, or some such

    Personally, I cant be bothered following schedules. I just like to do what I want to do when I feel like doing it

  19. Angie,
    I suppose everyone is different, there is no way I could work in the dead of the night!

    But you do got to bed at 10 which is quite early in comparison so 6:30 doesn’t sound too bad!

    I am not one for schedules either, this was just a ‘guide’.

  20. Hahaha… great article! I am adding you to the feeds.

    Glad to know that my sexing, drinking and eating times match up.

    daniels last blog post..Woah, life.

  21. Basically the most creative time for our brain is at night, when you’re about to fall asleep. Your brain is full of ideas that it took around during the day. The best thing to do is to always have a pen a and a piece of paper next to your bed and whenever you have a good idea just write it down. Later on you’ll put that on Photoshop.
    Morning is the best time to do “non creative work” like retouching images, making researches on internet, or sending emails. Because the brain is sill sleeping in the morning it cannot think about anything so you can’t create. For better productivity it is better to have small lunch, big ones make you feel heavy tired and lazy for the rest of the afternoon.

  22. 10.30??! I just about to start my work.
    And I always have at least 6 hours of rest at night.
    Hey, I was wondering if you ever write a blog about how to juggle a full time job and a freelance job?

  23. wow im late to this article… There is such gold on here Jacob, thanks!

    My best time must be in darkness. I would agree with the 10pm and after time for the most creative…

    I’m more of a night owl, mornings arnt bad, I have kids so I have to get up, although when they are not around I find myself waking up naturally about 8:30 anyway – and when you do wake up naturally you feel great!

    Maybe thats the effect of being woken up my your childs weight on your chest eac day, and the releif that you managed to avoid it…

    so 5 and a bit months after you wrote it, there is my reply lol

  24. Hi Jacob, I came across your blog a year ago, then got distracted and re-discovered you when I started using Twitter. My question to you is how do you find the time of day to sleep or eat at all considering what a prolific blogger and designer you are? I always enjoy your posts, and you have inspired me to start my own blog. Thank you.

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