Peaking at the Right Moment

To peak means to reach the highest point of something, usually the highest level of your abilities or capacities. We sometimes talk about sports teams “peaking” at the right time or right moment, meaning that they seem to play best exactly at the best possible time (such as during the championship game).

An article I read recently reviewed (talked about) evidence that suggests (indicates; supports the idea) that all of us have “peak times” when certain activities are most likely to be performed at the highest level. For example, for most people the late morning (two or three hours after waking up) seems to be the peak time for doing intellectually (using the mind to reason and think) difficult or challenging work. The explanation for this is related to the fact that our body temperature increases in the morning, and this increase improves our memory and concentration. (Taking a warm shower in the morning can speed up this process (make it go faster).)

Dr. Stephen Kay of the University of Southern California here in Los Angeles says that our body has a natural clock that it follows. If we follow that clock, we will be able to perform better at our daily tasks (things we do).

Here are some other suggestions based on the research on your body’s natural clock as to when you should do certain things during the day:

  • 9:00 AM: Have a tough (difficult) talk.
    We need a lot of energy and concentration when we discuss a difficult issue with friends or coworkers (people at our job).
  • 2:00 PM: Naptime.
    A nap is a short period of sleep during the day. People get drowsy (sleepy) around two o’clock in the afternoon, so taking a short nap is recommended.
  • 3:00 – 5:00 PM: Work out (exercise).
    Muscle strength peaks during the late afternoon, as does the ability of your lungs. This makes it a good time to do physical exercise.

So now you have your schedule for today!

I’m writing this post in the late morning, so so far, so good (I’m doing well up to this point, but I’m not finished yet). Now I’m looking forward to my afternoon nap.


Photo credit: Soldier Running in Water, Wikipedia PD

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11 Responses to Peaking at the Right Moment

  1. sirjoe777 says:

    My peaking time is from 0:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. (really!)
    when I can enjoy all my English reads
    – no matter if in the morning I need to wake up at 6:30!!!
    P.S. My naptime? The rest of the day, obvioulsy…

  2. Betty says:

    Dear Jeff

    Thank you for this interesting topic.

    I heard that people’s blood flow works according to the sun and the moon’s positions, and therefore our body has weakest point at a certain time during the day and night.

    This is a very complicated matter, but some experts in Kung Fu (Chinese Martial Arts) claim that if someone have learned the special skill to a very high level, they can point their fingers at a certain point of someone’s body, that person can die within a certain time.

    Scarily, huh?

    My own philosophy is: live life to the fullest, don’t care what time it is, don’t care what age I am.

    Good Day, Jeff, thank you for allowing me to write something here at any time of the day.

    Best Regards

    Betty 🙂

  3. Maryam says:

    I think the only activity that we don’t have to be worried about the time when we do is listening to your podcast and learning English in the way you teach.
    Because you teach English in a way that makes each time peak time.
    In fact, my peak times are usually the time after having listened to your podcast.
    Thank you very much.

  4. Vito says:

    I, for one, think that the best time for working out and doing calisthenics is from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.. Confirmed by my own experience 😀

  5. Tania says:

    “… Life is not quite over,
    Even if the year has done with corn and clover,
    With flowers and leaves; besides, in fact is true,
    Some leaves remain and some flowers too.
    For me and you.”

    The Months by Christina Rossetti

  6. Peter says:

    U know , my dreary workday life doesn’t allow me an afternoon work out , or a power nap!!

  7. Richard says:

    Hi ,everybody.
    I think that regardless of the natural inner clock we have ,some environmental factors also contribute to give someone ,the best performance or peak
    in terms of intelellect and phisical .An example of environment factor might be, and almost definitely listening to ESL Podcast .ESL podcast enhances
    those peaking moments and since I started to listen to your episodes,these peaking moments have been sensed in all its fullness.
    Best regards

  8. Tania says:

    Hi! Listening to Mr. Niel in English Cafe 366 I thought it was about Niels Bohr from my Physics course.
    No. It couldn’t be him. Niels Bohr (1885 – 1926) is a “Danish physicist who made foundational contributions to understanding
    atomic structure and quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922.”
    “The Bohr model of the atom, the theory that electrons travel in discrete orbits around the atom’s nucleus” similar with our solar system.

  9. Tania says:

    Hi! We use the same words : astronaut, era, fizica, atom, structura atomica, model, teorie, electron, nucleu, orbita.
    The same scientific language. And I am proud of that.

  10. Tania says:

    Hi! Any satisfaction studying the atomic structure?
    Maybe The Rolling Stones rock band is right:

    “I can’t get no satisfaction
    I can’t get no satisfaction
    ‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
    I can’t get no, I can’t get no”

  11. Ghazaleh says:

    For people who go to office from 8 am to 5 pm, it is hard to take a nap at 2 pm or do exercise between 3-5 pm 🙁
    I can do it just on weekends.

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