10. Get to know your biorhythm
Not to go all science nerd on you, but each of our bodies is aligned with different rhythmic patterns that dictate our behavior. Those ultradian patterns—ones which recur regularly over the course of 24 hours—can be measured on any number of levels (physical, emotional, etc.), but you'll want to focus in on your intellectual rhythms. To find out when you're personally at peak performance or concentration levels, create a spreadsheet and log your energy and concentration levels every hour during the workday for one or two weeks. Then, plot them on a graph to find out what time of the day you're typically feeling most concentrated, and schedule coffee breaks, lunch, or more menial stuff (replyling to emails, etc.) around them. It's a little involved, but it may be well worth it in the long run.
11. If you need to be creative, start early No matter your particular biorhythm, everyone's brain gets tired later in the day. Experts suggest that if the work you're doing requires creativity (or more brainpower in general), reserve time early in the day to knock it out.
12. Treat yo'self It's important that you lock in a schedule and stick to it, but it's equally important that it comes with built-in rewards. For example, if you set aside an hour or two to finish building that big presentation in the afternoon, make sure you're treating yourself to something once it's finished, be it a delicious cookie, Facebook check-in, or a brief YouTube binge.
Joe McGauley is a senior editor at Supercompressor. His biorhythm is best described as a samba or bossa nova.