Most of us schedule our tasks based on when we're free.
You're probably thinking, this seems like I'm making the most use of my time. And you'd be right.
The problem is, you're not making the best use of your energy.
What's the difference?
Scheduling around your time means doing things solely based on when you're free to do them.
Scheduling around your energy means doing a specific task that your body or mind is most optimized for during a specific part of the day.
Our body and mind are optimized for different activities at different times. And you can accomplish more in less time if your energy levels match the specific task at hand.
For example, most writers get their best work done in the morning because that's when our brain is most creative. Scott Adams, the founder of Dilbert, claims he can get more writing done from 4-5 a.m. than in the entire afternoon.
Some of us schedule time to learn new skills in between chaotic meetings and presentations. If you're learning how to speak Spanish, your mind will struggle to get in language learning mode with an important meeting coming up. Scheduling your Spanish lessons when your mind is less distracted, say early in the morning or late at night, would allow you to learn faster in less time.
The point is, we should be paying close attention to our energy levels throughout the day, and scheduling specific tasks around it. If you find yourself having meetings when you're exhausted, or writing when there's no creativity, take it as a sign to adjust your schedule.
The good news is, our daily energy levels won't change often. You'll only have to do it once to reap the long-term benefits of getting more done, with more energy, in less time.