Here’s a graph of my work day. This isn’t based on extended data, merely my perception of things.
You’ll notice that energy and caffeine follow each other closely. I’m not sure that’s causal. I’d have to experiment to find out. It might be a function of time, rather than mg of stimulant in my bloodstream.
You’ll also notice that I am a three-meal-a-day person. This is not good. Why? Because when you’re doing a lot of exercise (triathlon training, marathon training) you’re supposed to eat four to five smaller meals per day. For one thing, that keeps you from having horrible wrenching hunger pangs at 11:00. For another, it’s just better for you. I need to do better with that.
This graph shows what I should probably be shooting for. I realize that the “energy” item isn’t something that’s in my control. If I were going to represent an item that I had a conscious effect on, “focus” might be better, but I’ll stick with this for now.
I tend to do my most productive work in the mornings. I try to leave annoying administrative junk for the afternoons when my creativity level is lower. I also make a supreme effort to be “on” for the lunch period so I can write blog posts such as this one and podcasts for Talking Traffic.
Because I always need new projects, I may start tracking this data (in a perceived 0-5 scale) on a daily basis, just to see what the range is. After a while I’d have standard deviations and everything! Assuming my daily habits are normally distributed, of course. Stay tuned.