Do you have a lot of important decisions to make today? Or even maybe some not-so-important ones, like where to eat lunch? Well, you might want to get them done right after that first cup of coffee. According to new research published in the Harvard Business Review, you should get your to-do list finished as soon as possible in the morning to make good decisions.
We might all be multitasking pros who can work while also reading The Bachelor recaps, gabbing with our friends, online dating, thinking about our kids, making plans with our significant others, working out and wondering if Lindsay Lohan will ever make a comeback. But surprise! Our brains get a little tired. This cognitive fatigue, as it’s called, can really affect choices and behaviors as the day goes on, especially when it comes to making decisions.
Harvard Business Review cites one particular study that found that time of day affects students’ performance on tests; the later the test, the worse students did on it. A different study in the journal found that doctors were more likely to prescribe unnecessary antibiotics in the afternoon than in the morning. That’s cray!
On the plus side, the study on the students’ testing abilities found that taking breaks helped them perform better. And plenty of other research, like this study by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, shows that taking breaks throughout the workday can do wonders for productivity and creativity. So while your afternoons aren’t total lost causes, the gist is this: You MIGHT not want to get your hair cut right after work, should you walk out of the salon with bangs and have no idea why the next day.
Do you try to finish your to-do list in the morning? Tell us your strategy @BritandCo!