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Lee Michaels



• Early Morning: Now is the time to do the most difficult tasks you have to do all day. Several hours before you open your eyes, the stress hormone cortisol rises, increasing your blood sugar and giving you the energy you need to manage difficult situations effectively. So take advantage of the increased cortisol to accomplish that difficult task.

• 10am: This is the best time to make a presentation because your voice is most rested now. Whether you have to speak before a roundtable meeting of colleagues or make a sales pitch to a large group of clients, do it mid-morning after you drink water. We said WATER. Not milk. Dairy products can increase mucus, which is not good for public speaking.

• 10:30am, 2:30pm, 4:30pm: This is the best time of day for a stretch. Think of it as your personal seventh inning -- times three. Loosen up your back and shoulder muscles with a well-timed stretch. This is especially important if you spend hours a day working at a computer.

• Late morning: Think! Decide! Strategize! This is the best time to make major strategic decisions. Who knew your body temperature was critical to making the right decisions? It is! When your temp is rising, you're more alert and your brain can process information better. This is also a great time to solve problems.

• 11:55am: The best time to seduce your beloved or the one you would like to be your beloved. Ask her (or him) out to lunch. This is when your intended's mood is supposed to be at its best. People are usually more receptive right before they leave for lunch because their minds aren't cluttered with what they have to do that day or what they're planning to do when they get home.

• Early afternoon: This is the best time to read boring reports with lots of tedious numbers in them. Not that YOUR company would ever produce boring and tedious reports...but if it did, this is the right time to read them. Early afternoon is when your vision is sharpest.

• 2pm: This is the best time to have a snack. Go for a protein snack, such as nuts. It will increase your energy and keep you full until dinner so you won't get fat eating candy bars at 4pm It’s GOOD to eat snacks. But you have to do it at 2pm Sharp.

• Mid-afternoon: You know it has to be done. That guy down the hall just isn't performing. NOW is the best time to fire him. Okay, so you'll ruin his day with this news, but you probably won't kill him. Heart attacks are more likely to happen in the first three hours after awakening. Dr. Richard Stein, a spokesman for the American Heart Association, recommends that all firings and layoffs take place AFTER 10am.

• 3pm: This is the best time to have a cup of coffee or take a walk. Here's a secret: Caffeine can jump-start your afternoon, too. It's not just for the morning. Drink 8 ounces of a caffeinated beverage and you're good to go. If caffeine gives you the shakes, take a brisk 15-minute walk instead -- even if it's just around the office halls.

• 3:30pm: Get on the phone! This is the best time to make a call or return one. You know that coffee you just drank? While you're waiting for the caffeine to work its wonders, do mindless tasks. And talk to people! That will revive and stimulate you so you can finish the day with a kick.

• 4:50pm: This isn't about all work and no play! Now is the best time to tee off with clients. We're assuming it doesn't get dark early, of course, but late afternoon is the best time to show off your golf skills because hand-eye coordination reaches optimal levels then. Because of this, it's also a great time to answer e-mail or play computer games.

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