Schedule tasks for the correct day

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You’d like to send a note to a colleague, asking if there are opportunities at his firm. You just might boost your chances of a favorable reply if you send the note to arrive on Monday or Tuesday.

People who work the traditional Monday through Friday week tend “to make plans on Monday and Tuesday for what they want to accomplish during the rest of the week,” notes Francesca Gino, a Harvard Business School associate professor and author of “Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed, and How We Can Stick To The Plan”. (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013)

Given the propensity to schedule projects early in the week, it just may mean that a manager would be more receptive to finding new talent to get the work done, believes Gino.

Indeed, the tendency to plan early in the week is just one of many insights researchers have uncovered into how different days impact workers’ moods and productivity.

Discovering how you own mood moves is easy, explains Richard Ryan, University of Rochester psychology professor: “Keeping a diary would reveal patterns quickly.”

For many, moods brighten on Friday and stay positive until Sunday evening, says Ryan. Moods tend to be more positive during the weekend than during weekday evenings, even though workers are off the clock then as well.

For those who experience deep mood drops during the work week, perhaps accompanied by physical ailments, it might mean your job isn’t a good fit for you, Ryan notes.

Of course, many don’t work the traditional 9 to 5 week. Other researches, says Ryan, have found that erratic schedules and irregular sleep prompt energy and wellness issues.


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