Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 


Does your life have defined patterns?

Do you have a work o'clock, a wine o'clock and a third-glass-of-port o'clock?

The body is a strange thing.

Which is why researchers have spent quite some time looking at how human beings respond to life's tasks at different times of day.

Your body doesn't just have one clock. Different parts of your body have their own little mechanisms that function well at certain times, but not at others.

Surely you've experienced this. (Oh, your memory clock isn't working as you're reading this?)

Apparently, 8am is a very fine time to try for a baby. Male sperm counts are buoyant at the hour when NBC's Matt Lauer has already been flexing his muscles for 120 minutes.

10am is, however, the magical time.

This is the time when your brain is truly rested and your hangover is past its best.

Researchers therefore suggest that this is the time you can best digest and remember information.

I'll extrapolate, therefore, and suggest that this may be the best time to perform your presentation too.

You want to be sharp. You want to have all the relevant information dancing on the tips of your lips, waiting to hit the stage.  

A presentation is a performance. It exists to impact the listeners emotionally.

You don't merely have to sound as if you know what you're talking about, you have to make your audience feel as if you know what you're talking about.

You also have to be very prepared to ask their (sometimes) utterly inane questions.

This is to be contrasted with 11am.

Researchers believe from 11am till the early afternoon concentration, logical reasoning and short-term memory are at their finest.

Let's decide, therefore, that this is the best time for you to prepare that presentation.

After all, you have to make it sound logical, don't you? You have to focus on getting it all in the right order too.

You have to anticipate the (sometimes) inane questions and prepare (relatively) non-inane answers.

You've got three hours at best, says the research. At 2:16pm you hit a wall. It might be postprandial. It might merely be the point at which your soul begs you to be somewhere else other than at work.

At this point, apparently things get so bad that you shouldn't schedule a medical procedure between 3pm and 5pm. This the time period when things go most awry.

Wait, which one is the gall bladder again?

I suspect you're probably the type that likes to exercise early in the morning, so that you waft into work on a breeze of physical alertness.

Science says you shouldn't. Instead, 4pm is the best time for a workout.

Apparently, this is the time when our breathing hits its optimum. And you thought that you were breathing more easily because you could sense the end of the day is nigh.

I should stress, however, that 4pm is only perfect for aerobic workouts.

If you're more inclined to weight-based exercise, then you should wait until the 6pm-8pm period.

Of course, there could be an alternative to all this science: just listening to your mind and body and seeing what works for you.

Scientific research is highly entertaining, but hardly gospel.

If it were, then every 10 am meeting would full of alarmingly alert humans taking on the problems of the world and slaying them with the sheer force of their alert minds.

Instead, it's the time Dr. Phil is scheduled on my local TV.

It's worth, though, considering whether you simply respond better at different times of day than at others.

It's also worth observing whether others have temporal weaknesses.

That CMO, he's a bit slow around 5pm, you know. Let's schedule him then.

If you can gain just a little advantage, it might be worth it.

I wrote this at 8.15am. Research says I should have been trying for a baby instead.