If you're looking to tweak your daily routine to boost energy levels and all-around productivity, there's no shortage of people who will tell you that a morning workout is just the ticket.
My Inc.com colleague Marcel Schwantes just made a splash with a post that outlines just how many big name business leaders start their day at the unbelievable hour of 4am -- many by hitting the gym. Sir Richard Branson and others also claim working up a sweat in the wee hours sets them up for all-day success.
There is no one-size-fits-all daily routine.
With so many executives and entrepreneurs recommending the practice, it's easy enough to start believing that a morning workout will benefit just about anyone. But the perfect routine for each person depends on that individual's personal body clock and preferences. There's no one-size-fits-all solution to the question. A fact Blogger, Twitter and Medium co-founder Evan Williams apparently knows well.
On the coach.me blog he came out in favor of the exact opposite idea to the prevailing wisdom on morning workouts, noting he's benefited hugely from moving his gym session to lunchtime.
"I used to go to the gym first thing in the morning. Exercise is, of course, great for energy levels and I believe it makes me more productive no matter what. But energy and focus naturally ebb and flow throughout the day," he explains.
For Williams, the peak of his productive energy is in the morning, so why waste that ideal work time at the gym? "My focus is usually great first thing in the morning, so going to the gym first is a trade off of very productive time. Instead, I've started going mid-morning or late afternoon (especially on days I work late)," he continues.
While Williams concedes that "it feels weird (at first) to leave the office in the middle of the day," but he's found this slightly unusual routine pays big dividends. When it comes to his work, the "total time spent is nearly the same with higher energy and focus across the board," he concludes.
Can it work for you?
If early morning workouts are a struggle for you, should you give Williams' schedule switch-up a try? Inspired by Williams' routine, Business Insider's Alexa Pipia recently test drove the mid-day workout break and found it to be a great success for her, while also turning up a few important tweaks and suggestions to improve the idea.
As for Williams, he does have one tip for those hoping to follow his lead: make sure your gym is close to your work. Williams' is right across the stress from his office, but he notes that "if there were more travel time involved, it might not be worth it (or it might be worth switching how you exercise)."
When is the most efficient time for you to squeeze a workout into your day?