Job Performance Linked to Body Clocks

body clock
A recent study of athletes published in the Current Biology journal showed that the time of events affects ones performance depending on how synced it is to ones body clock. Tests showed that someone who sleeps late and wakes up late can be as much as 26% slower in the morning compared to the evening. It doesn’t mean that these people will not reach peak performance within the day, just later. Previous relevant studies concluded that in general, performance peaks in the evening. This latest test though from the University of Birmingham revealed otherwise after grouping the subjects based on their circadian rhythms.

They tested 22 squash players and 20 field hockey players in sprinting, alertness and concentration six times daily. They grouped them into early risers, intermediate risers and late risers. The early risers peaked at midday, the intermediate risers performed best in the afternoon, while the late risers did best in the evening. Everyone’s worst performance was at around 7am.

What does this have to do with your performance at your job? Well, a lot. For most brain power and productivity, it is suggested that you be there to work when you are at your peak. If you’re not, you are most likely spending a lot of time at work in non-optimal condition. This will make it more difficult to give your best and produce better results. If you peak when you are already off work, then that’s not doing you any good. Now you may not be able to change your work schedule, but the good news is that you can obviously tweak your body clock through your sleeping habits. Some athletes who are naturally late risers have gone as far as undergoing professional “circadian coaching” if they have competitions in the morning. You can definitely do without such coaches as long as you have enough willpower and determination to improve your own job performance.

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