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What is your most productive time of day?

Displaying poll results.
12AM - 4AM
  3392 votes / 10%
4AM - 8AM
  1714 votes / 5%
8AM - 12PM
  8503 votes / 25%
12PM - 4PM
  3813 votes / 11%
4PM - 8PM
  3552 votes / 10%
8PM - 12AM
  4663 votes / 14%
No particular time
  2458 votes / 7%
Whenever my internet connection dies
  4753 votes / 14%
32848 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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What is your most productive time of day?

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  • by Concerned Onlooker (473481) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @12:20AM (#39423263) Homepage Journal
    My most productive times are around 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. The morning one isn't hard to explain. I've had coffee and had time to settle in on what really needs to get done. The evening one is just a natural boost I start feeling. It's kind of annoying, really. Just when I need to be getting some sleep I feel these urges to do productive and interesting stuff.
    • by V!NCENT (1105021) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @04:24AM (#39424377)

      Sounds like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delayed_sleep_phase_disorder [wikipedia.org]

      Not to be confused with insomnia...

      • by AntEater (16627)

        Wow! I never heard of that before although it describes me almost exactly.

        • by V!NCENT (1105021)

          There's a realy easy and cheap way to 'fix' this 'problem'. It's not realy a great deal of fun, though.

          What I do is take melatonine (natural sleep hormone) at 22:00 and put my alarm clock (my phone) somewhere in the bedroom where I'm forced to get out of bed in order to shut the damn thing up. When I'm out of bed I might as well start my day. After 16:00 I stop taking caffeine (no coffee, no cola), because that stuff stays in the body for about 8 hours.

          I take it from sunday 'till thurday and sleep normal ho

        • Wow! I never heard of that before although it describes me almost exactly.

          You think that one's good, check this out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anteater [wikipedia.org] hehe

      • Nope, not me! I l naturally fall asleep from about midnight to 8 am, but work life makes me try to shoehorn my rhythyms into a slightly earlier phase. Interesting, though.

      • Reading that, I starting thinking, why does everything have to be a syndrome? No one's less than genius, they have a learning disability. No one's shy, they have social anxiety. No one's a night owl, they have a disorder.

        Then I thought, OK, V!NCENT has been spying on me and added an entry to wikipedia based on my sleep patterns. This makes him (her? I'll go with the odds on /., him), while thorough, the creepiest stalker ever.

        Then I got to the management section and thought, time to move to Cali and ge

        • by V!NCENT (1105021)

          It's not that there is something wrong with people who are like that, it's just problematic for whoever has it to make 9-5 schedules.

          It's a 'disorder' because it's a defect in the way the body works in the sense that there is a mechanism for breaking down melatonine during the day, so that whenever that stops working during the night you fall asleep. The same way that there is nothing wrong with people who are paralysed. It just sucks if it blocks anyone from living a desired life.

          If you are able to get a j

          • by mcmonkey (96054)

            If you are able to get a job you like that complies with your sleep rythm than by all means don't get treatment for a non existing problem.

            I've managed to find a position with a manager who is OK with me working 10 to 7 rather than 8 to 5. I certainly appreciate the flexibility, but there are still issues.

            My natural sleep hours are around 3/4 AM to 11/noon, so even when work doesn't require me to wake until 9, I'm still groggy and generally feel an energy crash in the afternoon. Plus, my career has advanced to the point where rather than working with junior devs who are happy to get started at 10 or later, I'm mostly meeting with alpha-type

  • Peanut butter jelly time!!!!
  • Love Mornings (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Venner (59051) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @01:32AM (#39423677)

    I kind of love those days I start early - say, 5am - for some project, and by the time 9am or so rolls around, I realize I've accomplished more than twice as much as I typically do in a whole day.

    My favorite part of the day is the stillness in the hour before dawn. I'm an early-morning person stuck in a morning-hater's world; I'd do my own thing, but it places me entirely out of synch with friends and family. (What really ends up happening is that I burn the candle at both ends. Blech.)

    • Re:Love Mornings (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @09:39AM (#39426515)

      I wish society were better suited to people who are productive. I need to get x amount of work done in a 40 hour work week. I could get it done in 10, but I'd still have to show up for the other 30 hours. It's rare to find a job that can appreciate that, and more often than not it's actually bad if you can work that hard - your boss(es) will expect you to be able to work at that pace all the time.

      So I find myself working intentionally slowing my pace. I really wish there were more companies that operated on a merit-based function rather than a time-based function.

      • by microTodd (240390)

        I too have faced this same dilemma. My current situation resulted in me simply taking over 2 other people's jobs, who then got laid off.

        I've often wondered how I would handle this if I was the boss/business owner. Say I have an employee who is getting everything done in 10 hours a week. Do I happily just let him work 10 hours? Or do I give him more work? What is fair? What is a reasonable amount of work to expect someone to accomplish on 40 hours? And what about people who can accomplish more?

        Counting h

        • Genuinely interested. Has the pay matched the increase of responsibilities somehow? How did the laid off people react? What was the given reason?

          • by microTodd (240390)

            Has the pay matched the increase of responsibilities somehow?

            No, of course not. Although it was remembered during my annual performance evaluation and helped me get a good review.

            How did the laid off people react? What was the given reason?

            The reason given to the laid off folks was that this was simply a cost cutting measure. The company just couldn't afford to keep all the people on staff, they needed to reduce. They were just the unlucky ones. (there were more than 2 people laid off at the time, I just took over only 2 of their duties)

            Herein lies the heart of this thread. What took these 2 people 40 hours a week each to

            • by neonKow (1239288)

              Its tough for me to figure out the "fairness" of this situation. i.e. do I deserve a raise?

              I feel pretty strongly that you do. You should get paid more for doing more work, because that's how the company is earning its money. There are few situations where the company is making money off of effort alone or hours worked alone.

      • by Jstlook (1193309)
        Society is perfectly suited toward this. Contract work allows you to charge for a service you provide regardless of the time spent on that. If you can do a contract in ten hours, you could make four times what other contractors do, which allows you to run rings around their service, quality, and networking abilities.
      • Re:Love Mornings (Score:5, Interesting)

        by war4peace (1628283) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @02:03PM (#39430255)

        Yeah, that sucks.
        I always had issues with my co-workers and management for spending "too much time" in breaks and whatnot. When I was working as a support analyst (for web-based service requests), we had a quota of 32 worked per day to meet expectations. At 42 and above, you were considered "outstanding".
        After a while I could finish 42 in about 3-4 hours, depending on how difficult they were. Of course, people didn't like that. They checked my work for mistakes, there were about 70% less than any other analyst (no bragging, it was a mundane task but people didn't care about work quality, whereas I did). Then they asked me to "work more". I did that for ONE day. Told them I could break the magic 100-per-day number. It happened. Then I told them "you either pay me on a per-ticket basis, with 100% of salary at 32 per day and going up from there, or I'm going to work 42 tickets a day to stay Outstanding and I'll slack 4 hours per day for 100% of salary".

        They chose the second part.

        So yeah, businesses don't want to pay, but they want you to work your ass off even if you work double the amounts of everyone else for the same salary. Well fuck you, not gonna happen.

        • Yeah, that sucks. I always had issues with my co-workers and management for spending "too much time" in breaks and whatnot. When I was working as a support analyst (for web-based service requests), we had a quota of 32 worked per day to meet expectations. At 42 and above, you were considered "outstanding". After a while I could finish 42 in about 3-4 hours, depending on how difficult they were. Of course, people didn't like that. They checked my work for mistakes, there were about 70% less than any other analyst (no bragging, it was a mundane task but people didn't care about work quality, whereas I did). Then they asked me to "work more". I did that for ONE day. Told them I could break the magic 100-per-day number. It happened. Then I told them "you either pay me on a per-ticket basis, with 100% of salary at 32 per day and going up from there, or I'm going to work 42 tickets a day to stay Outstanding and I'll slack 4 hours per day for 100% of salary".

          They chose the second part.

          So yeah, businesses don't want to pay, but they want you to work your ass off even if you work double the amounts of everyone else for the same salary. Well fuck you, not gonna happen.

          Sounds like you just need a new job that challenges you more instead of complaining about other's performance, why not advance your career and look for something better? You obviously aren't challenged by the job, you have a good work ethic, and you are obviously capable of doing more. Instead of wasting your time in that shitball job, do something better and make more money working the hours you want to work on things you like to do.

          • Oh but I have moved on. The story happened about 4 years ago. That was an entry-level job and I wanted in.
            As a matter of fact, Thursday I will hold my final interview for another job, where, if I get hired, my salary will increase almost twofold. That, after I have waited for 5 fucking years for a raise which never came although I got promoted twice.

            But that's not the point; the point is management usually doesn't care whether their directs are too good for the job.

            Here's some stuff that managers usually do

      • Drop everything like a bad habit and start your own company. Meet new people and try new things. Fail about three times and take five years, and then you'll finally get it right and you'll be semi-retired in 10 years. Your financial life may go to ruins, people that only loved you because you gave them money will hate you, but you'll eventually be on top. It's the only way we can reshape this broken society and system of working 40 hours a week in a dumpy building for a pittance to make someone else ric
    • by metlin (258108)

      Same here. I work best early in the morning.

      Wake up early (~5 am), have a great workout and a filling breakfast, and get a lot done until about 9 or 10. And that's when the "meetings" start. Ditto for the afternoons, around 2-6 pm. The most unproductive time is in the evening, when it starts getting dark. I'm usually tired after my evening's work out and exhausted from the day. So, I have trouble focusing (of course, I end up staying late on a good many evenings, and I save coffee for those occasions).

    • I'm the opposite of you, I get in late, then basically kill time until everyone else leaves, then get my days work done in a couple of hours. I tried to do the early morning thing, but I can only make it last until I have to stay up late for one reason or another, and then it takes months to get the rhythm back.

    • by dindi (78034)

      Used to work with Europe (from Central America), so we tried to push early hours (to get as much time together as possible).

      5am is pushing it (sun rises here at 5:30-ish), but 6am was perfect. The feeling of getting a great deal of work before the hordes arrive and being home at 2:15 (I live 5 mins from the office and take no formal lunch breaks) is just GREAT.

      We still stick to a 7-3 schedule for most of the time (developers) so we can actually work before non-tech managers arrive and bug us with crap (mail

  • I'm retired; I don't have to be productive any more.
    • by jd (1658)

      "Productive" doesn't have to mean earning money. After my grandfather retired, he planted trees for the local community, maintained a substantial vegetable garden and was highly active. To me, that is being productive. He did stuff that left things better at the end than they were at the start.

      To me, 90% of all jobs out there are unproductive. They don't forward anything beyond profit and that simply doesn't count as leaving things better. (Doubling your ability to do nothing useful still leaves you doing n

      • After my grandfather retired, he planted trees for the local community, maintained a substantial vegetable garden and was highly active.

        And you have every right to be proud of him. However, he did that because he wanted to, not because he had to. Right now, I'm very active in this world's oldest SF club, [lasfsinc.info] including helping run their annual convention and I'm also getting a novel ready for self-publication. The point of my post is that I do all of this only because I want to, working whenever I feel li
  • by NetDanzr (619387) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @05:43AM (#39424703)
    I have productive environments, not times. It just so happens that the most productive time for me is early in the morning - not because of the time frame, but because I'm still alone in the office, without any distractions. Had my coworkers worked from midnight to noon, my most productive time would be in the afternoon. Generally, at least for me, an empty office (not home - too many distractions there) is my most productive environment. Time is unimportant.
    • by Kjella (173770)

      Mornings are decent enough for reading stuff like email and whatnot, but I can't code or script or anything worth a damn in the morning. Also the first part of coding is usually knowing the specs and code and docs so I know what's the best way, it's important but doesn't feel very productive as you're not putting much down on paper. That's why I picked after lunch for work, at home it's really no particular time, I just get into the flow and keep going.

    • I have productive environments, not times. It just so happens that the most productive time for me is early in the morning - not because of the time frame, but because I'm still alone in the office, without any distractions. Had my coworkers worked from midnight to noon, my most productive time would be in the afternoon. Generally, at least for me, an empty office (not home - too many distractions there) is my most productive environment. Time is unimportant.

      But the office is only empty at those times? How are you insightful? That's the dumbest self observation I've heard in a while. Yes, I am most productive in an environment built for my needs when I can block out four to six hours of uninterrupted time! We all are. The poll asked what time range that usually happens for you. If I have a laptop and four interrupted hours I can be productive anywhere, including the middle of Time's Square. Location doesn't mean anything as long as you have the tools you nee

  • That option is missing, so I chose 12PM - 4PM. Actually, sometimes I'm not entirely lucid before 12PM.
    Some days, I don't even feel quite awake until 5 or 6 PM, depends a lot on the weather.
    Grey, dark weather makes me sleepy and definitely not productive.
    High humidity and/or the day(s) leading up to thunderstorms can give me a headache, but when the lightning storm approaches, it's gone.
    Back in my teenage years and in my twenties, my day rhythm was screwed up a lot of the time.
    I could be awake most of the ni

  • Sure (Score:5, Funny)

    by ignavus (213578) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @06:12AM (#39424803)

    Sure I'm productive 8AM - 12PM.

    I produce lots of ZZZZs

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Whenever I'm not hungry, angry, sleepy, intoxicated or otherwise sick/disabled. That does happen ... sometimes ... :P

  • Define productive? I earn the most bucks during insane early morning hours at work, probably before most people even sit in "rush hour". But I don't really do anything productive there, at least compared to what I'm capable of doing, the usual underemployment thing, etc.
    I do the most interesting productive stuff at home at my workbench or computer desk at what for my work schedule is "late at night" but you guys would probably call "just after dinner time". So I averaged it out to "afternoon" even though

  • For instance, just this morning I was very productive between 4:00am and 8:00am because I had nothing to distract my working conversation with a client.

    It is really just a matter of how important the task at hand is and what deadlines are closest and looming.

  • Mornings suck. (Score:5, Informative)

    by AntEater (16627) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @11:46AM (#39428157) Homepage

    That's about all there is to it. I'll come in to work in the morning but I won't like it. In fact, don't talk to me if you can avoid it. Those of you who wake up in the morning all happy and eager to start the day are just forcing a deep cloud of evil on the rest of us. This oppressive Puritanical society with their twisted notions of virtue condemn those of us who would sleep in. I say it's the virtuous who will stay up and revel in the most productive hours of the night.

    "Early to bed, early to rise...." Bah!

    • by PPH (736903)

      Define 'revel'. Studies have shown that the best time to have sex is around 4:00PM. Puritanical society dictated that these sorts of activities be moved into the late night hours so as not to upset the children. And once that habit has been formed, its difficult to change. Late night 'adult' activities are for old people.

  • by erice (13380) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @01:52PM (#39430047) Homepage

    Roughly 9:30 - 1:00pm, which doesn't match any of the available buckets. Before 9:00am is useless. I'm not awake yet. It helps to push lunch into early afternoon to maximize the duration this time slot. After lunch is pretty useless too. Another useful and annoying slot is about 6:30pm - 9:30pm especially on Friday. I really want to leave but I'm getting so much done...

  • I'm most productive in the hours after I get out of my day job and return home. Because then I can stop wasting tme solving other people's problems for them, and get to work on my own projects.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php?f=1219

  • Huh. From the results so far, the afternoons genuinely suck; the larks are tired, and the night owls are just waking up. Siesta time!
  • by SuperCharlie (1068072) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @04:13PM (#39432503)
    Well, I generally come in at least fifteen minutes late. I use the side
    door, that way Lumbergh can't see me. Uh, and after that, I just sorta
    space out for about an hour.

    Yeah. I just stare at my desk but it looks like I'm working. I do that
    for probably another hour after lunch too. I'd probably, say, in a
    given week, I probably do about fifteen minutes of real, actual work.
    The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy. It's just that I just don't care.

    Don't, don't care?

    It's a problem of motivation, all right? Now, if I work my ass off and
    Initech ships a few extra units, I don't see another dime. So where's
    the motivation? And here's another thing, Bob. I have eight different
    bosses right now!

    I beg your pardon?

    Eight bosses.

    Eight?

    Eight, bob. So that means when I make a mistake, I have eight different
    people coming by to tell me about it. That's my real motivation - is
    not to be hassled. That and the fear of losing my job, but y'know, Bob,
    it will only make someone work hard enough not to get fired.
  • I recognized when I was about 14 that I could do an incredible amount of work in the hours between 00:00 and 04:00. Of course school and work schedules have all conspired to shoehorn my life into the 09:00 to 17:00, but the really early morning is my favorite time of day. I think that it's one reason that Astronomy is my passion.
  • when it is absolutely silent and I can concentrate totally on what I'm doing with no distractions whatsoever and no need to build myself into a sensory deprivation chamber.

    I mean, I love my wife but when I need to concentrate the LAST THING I WANT TO HEAR is her talking about Big fucking Brother!

  • by tgeek (941867)
    What is this "productive time" thing you speak of?
  • I usually try to get in at around 7 AM, and find that the hour to hour and a half before anyone else is buzzing around is my most productive time.
  • Sleeping is my most productive activity!

  • If "getting REM sleep" is considered productive.

  • Productivity should be inversely proportional to the activity in the Slashdot web server logs. Adjust for timezone and there you have it.

  • by cra (172225) on Friday March 23, 2012 @06:30AM (#39448993) Homepage

    Yeah, definately.

  • Definitely not my most productive time of day... especially after a liquid lunch ;-)

    More so on a Friday

  • by DontBlameCanada (1325547) on Friday March 23, 2012 @01:33PM (#39453531)

    I dunno about the rest of you, but email and corp text chat are by far the worst productivity vampires for me. When those die, I get a few blessed hours of interrupt-free coding.

    Sadly, being in an international corp, work non-standard hours just means I get queries from different folks in whichever timezone is normally working...

  • when slashdot has an outage.. Productivity... UP!
  • I wish the whole world would consider the benefits of a 6 hour work day, distributed by 4 or 5 days a week. Some people starting at 7, some at 10, some later on. Imagine what your city could look like and your life could be like.

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      I get paid by the hour, so 6 hours a day for 4 days? my life would look like a homeless person, or working 3 jobs and not getting anything accomplished at any of them, so highly frustrated and going crazy

  • AM (Ante-Meridian) meaning before midday and PM (Post-Meridian) meaning after midday, it is not possible for 12 to be either before or after midday because 12 is midday. Similarly, 12 midnight, being equally distant from the preceding and following midday cannot be labelled as either AM or PM. Thus, 12 may be referred to as midday, noon or midnight but never AM or PM.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen

 



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