How to create a Team Chronotype Map to better align team energy levels

Your Chronotype refers to your natural 24-hour sleep-wake cycle, which ultimately influences the peaks and troughs of your energy throughout the day. Scientists have found that matching your work schedule to your body’s natural 24-hour energy cycle is enormously beneficial to improving productivity. Understanding your own and your teammates’ chronotypes can help you structure your team rhythms and working habits to get the best out of everyone.

Aim

To map out your team’s chronotypes to better structure ways of working to align with natural energy levels.

Resources

  • The Chronotype Quiz – AKA: the Morning/Eveningness Questionnaire (you can access that here)
  • Around 5 minutes to complete the Quiz
  • The Chronotype Map template (here)

Method

  1. Educate your team about different chronotypes and the impact on how you can structure your day. Check out this article to understand more. You will also need to understand Deep work and Shallow work (How to get Deep Work done).
  2. Ask each team member to complete the Chronotype quiz and have them share whether they are a Lark, Middle Bird, or Owl.
  3. Add each team member to the team chronotype map template based on when each person will do their best Deep and Shallow work.
    1. For Larks, Deep work is best scheduled between 7-11 am, Shallow work between 11-2 pm, and rebound Deep work between 2-4 pm.
    2. For Middle birds, Deep work is best scheduled between 9 am-12 pm, Shallow work between 12-2 pm, and rebound Deep work between 2-4 pm.
    3. For Owls, Deep work is best scheduled between 6-9 pm, Shallow work between 1-4 pm, and rebound Deep work 10-12 am.
  4. You should now be able to identify when the best times are for team ‘Deep’ work activities such as strategic thinking and decision-making and team ‘Shallow’ activities such as team update and work-in-progress meetings.
  5. Communicate the results to your team and align activities to suit, encouraging each team member to work as close to their chronotype as possible.

Outcome

You will get more done and finish the day feeling much more energised because you have matched your activities to your biological rhythms. While flexibility is required, creating a shared understanding of how your team works best, empowering them to work to their Chronotype, and being deliberate about when you schedule Deep and Shallow work, will be a game-changer to becoming more productive.