Nonlinear Workday as a Productivity Hack: What is it?

March 15, 2023

Our world is fast-paced. More specifically, it is a light-speed pace. Because of that, trying to keep up with everything during every part of the day may be tiring and depressing. Our question to you is: do you ever feel like you are just going through the motions during your workday? Like you are not really being productive but you are still putting in the hours? Well, it turns out that a traditional 9 to 5 workday may not be the best approach for everyone.

According to a recent study (2022 Brain Health Report by Muse1),people with the highest self-reported brain health scores are those who make specific lifestyle changes, like adopting a nonlinear workday. You may ask:what is a nonlinear workday? A nonlinear workday basically means working during the times of the day when you are most productive instead of adhering to a strict 9 to 5 routine.

Think about it - we all have different energy levels and productivity peaks at various times of the day. You may be an early bird, and your spouse may be a night owl(we are sorry if you share the room with the TV in it. Blue light can be atrociously annoying when you want to sleep.) So it makes sense to work with your natural energy levels instead of forcing yourself to be productive during your less-productive periods. You are just going to make yourself depressed.Believe us.

Are you a morning person? Start your workday earlier than 9 am. Are you more of an afternoon one? Easy - start later in the day. The point of working with your natural energy levels is to be less likely to feel burned out and stressed.

Remote employees can get the best out of a nonlinear workday, especially if the company is fond of flexibility. Of course, a nonlinear workday may not be feasible for everyone, especially if you work in an office with set hours. But you can still create a schedule that aligns with your energy cycles and productive periods. It may take some time to find what works best for you, but once you do, you'll feel more connected with your work and colleagues, and your overall well-being will improve.

It is also cardinal – and we cannot stress it enough - to take breaks throughout the day.The study found that brain health was higher in individuals who integrated a consistent daily routine of physical and mental breaks, such as taking a walk, meditating, or socializing with colleagues. So, fight your demons, use your legs, and leave the poor monitor alone now and then! The breaks do not have to be long. The most crucial thing is to just get your eyes off your screen.

One person, who is a great example of incorporating movement into their workday is Justyna Jakubczyk, a Dancer in Business2. She advocates for work-life balance and promotes Movement Thinking – brain in motion, a brand that encourages people to move while they work. Justyna is a great encouragement when it comes to prioritizing getting that pulse up.

Fun fact for the blog post ahead! Did you realize that a non-linear workday concept is not exactly a new one?3 Actually, it represents a return to a more conventional method of functioning that predated the Industrial Revolution. People used to labor from dawn until dusk back then, taking frequent breaks for meals and naps. However, a rigid 40-hour workweek that was standardized in factory settings and ultimately carried over to the workplace came along with industrialization. The 9 to 5 workplace structure persisted, despite the development of technology because of societal norms and conventional wisdom. However, the COVID-19 epidemic challenged this type of thinking. Many people discovered that they could be effective while taking breaks, spending time with family, and working flexible hours as they became accustomed to working remotely.

The traditional 9 to 5 routine is so 2019. Recognize and start working with your natural energy levels! 




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