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Decision-Making and Time of Day

Posted December 09, 2016 11:12 AM by M-ReeD
Pathfinder Tags: decision-making Time of day

I am a morning person. I have been one all of my life, much to the dismay of my parents, who were definitely not morning people. If the sun was up, I was up. And it is no less annoying today as I try to maximize the time before going into work or before my family wakes up (at much more reasonable hours, I should note). Now, I get up before the sun.

I have often explained my preference for the early morning hours as being able to think more clearly. I have always felt more detail-oriented first thing in the morning, making plans for the day to come while my husband glares at me from a disoriented, half-sleeping haze on the couch. (He is definitely not a morning person.)

I had assumed that this feeling of clear-headedness went hand in hand with being a natural (or unnatural, as my family might argue) morning person.

Not so, as it turns out.

According to a recent study conducted by Argentinian researchers, it seems that this focused feeling isn’t exclusive to morning people. According to the research, most people make better decisions earlier in the day versus later in the day. The study, following the moves of approximately 100 online chess players, determined that regardless of whether they were morning people or not, the chess players made their most deliberate and accurate moves earlier in the day.

Not surprisingly, the study also revealed that as the day wore on, the players made chess moves more quickly without the deliberateness and accuracy of their morning-hour moves.

The study also considered additional behaviors when making their determinations about decision-making. The online players were given a survey with questions about other factors, such as age, sleep patterns, morning/evening preferences, meal patterns, time zones, etc.

It seems that these other factors only slightly influenced the decision-making results.

So why do we make our best decisions during the morning hours? The answer is pretty simple. We are not overtaxed with making other decisions. If we are overburdened with decisions throughout the course of the day, we experience a type of “decision-making burnout.”

Interestingly, related studies have found that not only do we make our best, most thoughtful decisions during the morning hours, but it is also the time of day when we are likely to make our most moral decisions, with lying and cheating behaviors more likely increasing later in the day.

Do you find that your decision-making skills decline as the day wears on? Do you have an optimal decision-making time?

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#1

Re: Decision-Making and Time of Day

12/09/2016 12:41 PM

"So why do we make our best decisions during the morning hours? The answer is pretty simple. We are not overtaxed with making other decisions. If we are overburdened with decisions throughout the course of the day, we experience a type of “decision-making burnout.”

I noted that over 25 years ago.... the company were I worked back then, anything my boss said past 12:30 PM, I held off reacting to it, until the next morning when I talked to him. And soon after, I try to make my decisions earlier in the day.

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#2

Re: Decision-Making and Time of Day

12/09/2016 6:30 PM

Same here. After working on a problem for some time, the answer often comes in the morning. I think it might be that late in the day your mind travels down the same fruitless ruts, but in the morning you start with a clean slate.

On the other hand, if I have a decision to make that requires daring, I am more reluctant to act on it in the morning. Maybe that also shows clearer thinking.

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#3
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Re: Decision-Making and Time of Day

12/09/2016 8:22 PM

Interesting, i don't know if you experience this, but earlier in my career, I'd be working so intensely... trying to solve a problem... I'd finally call it a day, at 10-11 pm. I'd go home, and when I did get to sleep, i would dream about it, and at about 2-3 AM BAM! I shoot up wide awake, and I'd have not so much a solution, but an outline to the solution, that I know would work...

its funny how the mind works and to a point, I could count on it.

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#4
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Re: Decision-Making and Time of Day

12/09/2016 9:05 PM

You're not the first...It happened to Kekule.

"In 1890, at the 25th anniversary of the benzene structure discovery, Friedrich August Kekulé, a German chemist, reminisced about his major accomplishments and told of two dreams that he had at key moments of his work. In his first dream, in 1865, he saw atoms dance around and link to one another. He awakened and immediately began to sketch what he saw in his dream.

Later, Kekulé had another dream, in which he saw atoms dance around, then form themselves into strings, moving about in a snake-like fashion. This vision continued until the snake of atoms formed itself into an image of a snake eating its own tail. This dream gave Kekulé the idea of the cyclic structure of benzene."

https://web.chemdoodle.com/kekules-dream/

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#6
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Re: Decision-Making and Time of Day

12/10/2016 6:14 AM

Also James Watt invented the shot tower when he woke up from a dream in which he was caught in a "rain storm" of molten metal.

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Re: Decision-Making and Time of Day

12/10/2016 3:04 PM

Same here many solutions come to me in dreams and some dreams are so vivid. I welcome these revelations but it is still a bit spooky even though I am quite well versed in the other intelligence or source of knowledge. It appears that at times you just need to unclutter the antenna to get the information through.

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#5

Re: Decision-Making and Time of Day

12/10/2016 1:56 AM

In India we call it "Amrit Wella" time when Eliixir is in nature. Best time to go for morning walk, exercise, study, temple etc.

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#7

Re: Decision-Making and Time of Day

12/10/2016 8:27 AM

I still "solve problems" when I sleep. I get up in the middle of the night to write a solution on paper.

I used to get up and go to work to do some programming, years ago, much to my wife's dismay!

After the coming of computers that I could bring home...not a PC by the way...I didn't have to travel as far.

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Re: Decision-Making and Time of Day

12/10/2016 12:24 PM

There where times, if I didn't do anything and waiting till morning.... if I could get back to sleep. I would forget what I though was a great solution.... how could I forget?

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#10
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Re: Decision-Making and Time of Day

12/10/2016 4:46 PM

Yup, I've gotten up in the middle of the night with a revalation to reply to someone's post on CR4!

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#11

Re: Decision-Making and Time of Day

12/10/2016 10:55 PM

In the morning I study the material, during the day I mentally review what I read, in the afternoon and into the evening I again study the material again to see how much I have retained and what areas I need to work on.

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#12

Re: Decision-Making and Time of Day

12/13/2016 4:11 AM

Always have a pen and paper by the bed, then if I think of something I can make a note rather than lie awake worrying that I'll forget it if I go back to sleep.
Del

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#13
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Re: Decision-Making and Time of Day

12/13/2016 7:43 AM

What I did when that happen is usually go into work. Then I did the mistake of setting up a home office. Where I could start working on it. No more sanctuary.

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