What are some physiological careers

Performance curve: when do you work best?

The working hours are - at least in essence - the same for a lot of people. The Performance curve However, it can be very different and individual over the course of the day. This is normal and understandable, but the performance curve is hardly taken into account in everyday work. Or when was the last time you - ideally together with your boss - analyzed your personal performance curve and then adapted, optimized and upgraded your work accordingly Your needs tailored? You can see what is meant. It is a big mistake not to use the performance curve. Not only for you personally, but also from the employer's point of view. We explain what exactly the performance curve is all about, how it is influenced and how you can use it for yourself, your performance and yours Job satisfaction to be able to use…

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

What is the performance curve?

The performance curve is based on a very simple idea: Everyone experiences different phases during the day. There are some performance phases in which there is particularly high productivity, but also phases in which practically nothing is achieved and the time is actually only spent looking out the window or at the monitor without actually doing anything.

How real the performance curve is, you can probably see yourself or your colleagues in the office every day. At times, the workplace is busy. Everyone has something to do, almost everyone seems to be absorbed in their tasks or are working together on a project. But look around at a different time and instead see tired and yawning faces, employees rubbing their eyes strainedly or looking at the clock that simply doesn't want to show the end of the day.

The average performance curve, in which you may already recognize yourself, looks like the graphic above.

Classic high phases in productivity are the Morning and afternoon. A large part of the entire work performance of the day is performed here, which compensates for the weaker times. You don't have to feel bad or ashamed if you have the feeling that you have achieved little or nothing in the last lesson. Maybe you are just in a low right now and the next high phase is still ahead of you.

At the end of the day it comes down to that Overall result Right. One or the other hangover is allowed if the service phases are designed accordingly.

A closer look at the average performance curve reveals a few Events during the day who are jointly responsible for the development of the phases throughout the day.

At the beginning of the working day there is Motivation and productivity. The morning tiredness has been overcome, maybe the first coffee will work and the early tasks will be tackled right away. With smaller holes, this performance phase can extend into midday - but then the big day's low awaits. The schnitzel coma describes the time after eating when productivity almost comes to a standstill.

There is no drive, everything is difficult and concentration is out of the question. However, once this phase of exhaustion is overcome, it usually comes another upswing for the rest of the working hours, before the willingness to perform decreases again in the evening, before the day finally ends.

What is my personal performance curve like?

Orienting yourself to the above average performance curve is a first step to better understand the different phases in the course of the day and to use them for yourself, but you can only achieve the far better results when you have your very individual performance curve know.

This is to be analyzed and set up not that difficult at allas you might think. You don't need any complicated methods, time-consuming tests or calculations. All you need is a little self-discipline and an honest observation of your own work.

The easiest way to find your performance curve is through self-reflection. Question your own work performance in relation to the time of day. For this, watch yourself very accurate and absolutely critical over a period of at least one week in order to obtain a complete and as accurate as possible picture.

Write downwhen you are particularly productive, when even complicated tasks are easy for you and when, on the other hand, you notice that your concentration is falling and you are falling into a productivity hole. A small table of the individual days on which you can enter the times of day in advance can be helpful. So you can immediately make a note if you notice a change.

At the end of the time, consider your entire week and observations put patterns togetherto see your performance curve. It is not a matter of predicting exactly to the minute when the exhaustion phase will begin, but of getting a better idea of ​​how your internal clock is ticking in order to be able to adapt your work processes accordingly.

This is why you shouldn't ignore your performance curve

The performance curve has no effect on your working hours. You will probably not get very far if you explain to your boss that your performance curve recommends that you come to work after 10 a.m. and that you therefore don't want to start until two hours later in the future. Because of this, the Effect of the power curve often belittled or even ignored completely - a mistake!

You don't have to change your working hours to take advantage of the curve. The way to more success is your daily routine and your tasks adapt to your individual performance curve. In other words: If you know that there is a very important task ahead of you for the day that requires your full concentration and costs some energy, put it at the beginning of a high phase. So your productivity will carry you through the big task that you might not otherwise be able to do in a day.

Smaller and less important projectsOn the other hand, which can be done more incidentally, can easily be pushed in between when productivity has hit a low point anyway.

Such a use of the power curve has the same several advantages. First, of course, the better results. Those who know their best times on the working day can use them specifically to achieve better results in a shorter period of time. Productivity, motivation and the right tasks are brought together - the result is a remarkably good performance that is also noticed by the boss.

In addition, your satisfaction increases and even your self-confidence can benefit from the performance curve. You have the job less stress, can instead show more experiences of achievement and have the feeling that they are really achieving something.

Performance curve: these factors can influence it

You now have an idea of ​​what the performance curve looks like and what its use is. However, there are a few factors that make the performance curve what it is. On the one hand, these ensure the basic form and the phases in the course of the day, but they are also responsible for deviations and changes and can influence the performance curve day in and day out.

That also means: A performance curve is not necessarily set in stone. It gives a direction that could be described as the normal case. However, every employee knows that things are by no means always normal or according to plan at work, which is why the following factors should always be taken into account when looking at a performance curve.

  • Chronobiology

    The so-called chronobiology, and more precisely the one, has the greatest influence on the performance curve respective chronotype of a person. Basically, two different types can be distinguished: On the one hand, the Early riser - the larks. You get going quickly in the morning, jump out of bed and can get started right away.

    Their counterparts are those Late riser, also called owls. They like to sleep a little longer (even if not until late noon), but are also better at tackling new problems in the evening. In comparison, the performance curves of the two chronotypes look like this:

    You can find many more explanations and a test to help you determine your chronotype in our Article on chronobiology.

  • Working time

    A frequent misbelief is: the more I work, the higher my productivity is. Scientists discovered a long time ago that this supposed connection is nonsense - rather the opposite is the case. The psychologists Robert Yerkes and John D. Dodson developed the Yerkes-Dodson curve named after them more than 100 years ago.

    This shows: First of all, more commitment and increasing working hours result in higher productivity with himself. So if you poke around and really sit down, you get a lot done. But this is only true up to a certain point. Then the process is reversed and productivity quickly decreases again.

    Too long a working time can therefore reduce the Completely change the performance curve one day. Force yourself to keep going because you believe that then you can do more and you can reverse your high phase. Instead of more productivity, you end up harvesting absolutely nothing for hours of plowing.

  • Challenge

    Every job has different tasks and responsibilities. Some are more fun, others less, some suit you, and others you have little use. For the performance curve, it is particularly important how big the challenges arethat you face on the job.

    Behind it is the so-called Flow theory. Accordingly, people are particularly motivated and willing to perform when they are not bored with a task, but rather face a small challenge. There is a fine line between being under and overstrained.

    If you are under-challenged and have far too high qualifications for a project, you will only get frustrated, see no opportunity to develop and have accordingly no motivationto accomplish something. The situation is similar when it is hopelessly overwhelmed. Here come fears and self-doubt.

    It is critical to your performance curve that you small challenges that last as long as possible meet on the job. You can grow on these without losing motivation. In other cases, the performance curve quickly becomes a line that runs only along the bottom.

Tips to get the most out of your performance curve

Getting to grips with the performance curve is already the first step. Next, you just need the knowledge really implement and integrate it into your everyday life. Sounds easy, but it does require one or two adjustments and discipline in order to maintain the changes and not fall into old habits.

So in conclusion we still have some tips collected that will help you to use the performance curve and to enjoy its advantages:

  • Make use of your high phases every day

    If you are not suffering from absolute demotivation and are actually just waiting to change your job, there are high phases in your performance curve every day. Even on bad daysIf you are not in a good mood or do not feel as productive, the course of your performance curve remains the same.

    The upward swings may not be as strong, but they are still noticeable. Don't fall into a motto setting Nothing works today anyway ... Especially on these days it is all the more important that small productivity boosts in the performance curve to exploit.

  • Involve your colleagues

    It is good to stick to your performance curve and to orientate yourself to the phases of the day, but you can difficult in the office when colleagues don't know. You are particularly productive and highly concentrated at the moment - one colleague after the other comes with a question or a request.

    To prevent this from happening, you need one clear communication. Talk to your colleagues and explain at what times you only want to be disturbed in exceptional cases. Most will show understanding for this.

  • Take enough breaks

    Breaks are a necessity in order to be able to use the performance curve in the long term. The high phases, which are spread over the course of the day, result from new strength and recoverythat you could treat yourself to in between. If you simply work through it, you only fly from one low to the other - as the Yerkes-Dodson curve described above shows.

    This point is particularly important on particularly stressful days with a high volume of work. Here many employees tend to forget about the breaks. A big mistake. It is much better and more effective to let work rest in betweento then carry on with new strength.

  • Sleep for a few minutes

    At German workplaces, the power nap is the one Nap in the office - not very widespread yet. Internationally, however, it is enjoying growing popularity. In fact, closing your eyes for a few minutes at noon may even match your performance curve.

    The schnitzel coma at lunchtime, for example, is predestined for this. Productivity is at its lowest here anyway, so why not? Doze off for 20 minutesinstead of doing nothing? It's amazing how much energy such a power nap can release.

  • Really switch off after work

    End of work means end of work. No more work e-mails, no more work to take home with you ... Only when you relax in your free time will you be ready the next day for new tasks and the stress that comes with it.

    Don't stick to it, yours may Chronobiology out of rhythm devices. Your sleep shifts, your performance curve suddenly begins at a different point in time and you can no longer use your high phases as planned.

  • Control your performance curve

    Notice whether your performance curve changes over time. Over a longer period of time it is quite possible that it will smaller or larger shifts gives. Perhaps you notice that you can concentrate better in the afternoon or that your motivation declines earlier than before.

    It therefore makes sense to check at regular intervals whether the Performance curve still the previous picture corresponds to. If not, you can make the necessary adjustments.

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[Photo credit: Karrierebibel.de]