One day I went into an interview as prepared as someone could be. I had studied up on the company, I had gone over the qualifications the company had listed on the application, and had looked up what others in the position were doing. Then I had composed a list of questions that I had and a list of all the ways I could contribute to the position (based on all the research that I had performed and my own experience). Everything was in my favor, as far as I was concerned. And there was the added bonus that I had always been offered every job I had ever interviewed for. I felt pretty good.

My interview unraveled faster than the goals of someone who failed to plan (i.e. pretty fast). In my preparation I had ignored one tiny, obvious, simple thing; timing. The day before the interview I had worked the graveyard shift at the hospital where I was employed. I departed work the morning of the interview, then headed to my parents’ home to help them out with a project. Then I drove home (an hour away) to calmly get my mind organized and review all the preparations I had made for the interview.

I was so excited for the job that I ignored the fact that it was not the best time for me to be interviewed. And because I ignored this simple fact, I missed out on an opportunity I truly wanted.

Know yourself. Clarity is gained when you know what times you are the most productive and aware.

I did a one-on-one consultation with a client who was setting up a business while she was working full-time somewhere else. There is nothing wrong with doing this. In fact, many entrepreneurs start by doing their own business on the side until they have the chance to quit their 9 to 5 jobs. But this client did not account for the fact that she would have to grow her side business once she got off work…in the afternoon. My client felt exhausted after work, thus she enjoyed unwinding by just relaxing at home. Instead of the business being something she enjoyed and that made her feel as if she was headed in a purposeful direction, she felt trapped and overwhelmed. She ended up surrendering on her business goals. In the end, she thought that running a business was too complicated and that she was not cut out for it.

I disagree. I think you need to know what kind of business works best with your ambitions, talents, personality, monetary goals, and your internal schedule. When I started freelancing, I knew it would keep me busy. That is why I sat down before I took action and organized my mind (I cannot emphasize this step enough). One of the things that was clear to me was the amount of time I wanted to spend on freelancing and the way I wanted my schedule to look. One of my unbreakable rules is that my priority is my family. I considered my family’s needs first and then I organized my schedule around them. I did not mind working during the day or during the night, but my best time was any juncture that did not take me away from family time.

When to you perform an activity and how much time you spend in that activity, are necessary questions you have to ask yourself. Timing is everything. Once you know the answer to those questions, you will be surprised at how much and how well you accomplish things.

What about you? When is your best time?