6 ways to maximize every minute of your day

Navigate the peaks and troughs to use your time more productively with these tips.

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Communicators are rarely short of things to do.

We rush around ticking tasks off our to-do list, but like a leaky boat it quickly fills again.

It’s important to prioritize, of course, but performing up to our potential also means making the most of each day.

Science can help steer us in the right direction.

In “When: The Scientific Secret of Perfect Timing,” Dan Pink highlights research that suggests our ability to surf the peaks and troughs of each day governs our effectiveness more than we may think.

For example, many of us experience the mid-afternoon trough. Our attention wanes as our brains struggle to get out of third gear. But does it really make much difference?

Yes. Studies show that this trough can have a dramatic effect on performance. Attention to hand washing in hospitals can fall by almost 40 percent. Medical errors are up to three times more likely. Driving-related accidents spike. Employees are less likely to act ethically. Overall, our performance can fall by around 20 percent.

By understanding our daily peaks and troughs we can make sure we’re always operating at the top of our game.

Here are six ways to plan your perfect day:

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