1 p.m.: Watch a funny YouTube video: Researchers from Northeastern and Harvard studied 300 million tweets over three years and concluded that the national mood is at its lowest at 1 p.m. Why not chase away those early-afternoon blues with a video of a sneezing panda?
2 p.m.: Take a power nap: The post-lunch slump isn't just a symptom of a full belly. At around 2 p.m., your body temperature starts to drop the same way it does at night. Australian researchers found that a 10-minute power nap is the most effective way to combat the mid-afternoon blahs (although this may not always be practical).
4 p.m.: Tweet something witty: If you come up with a 140-character zinger first thing in the morning, save it. A study conducted by social media scientist Dan Zarrella found that Twitter users are most likely to re-tweet others' pithy comments between 3 p.m. and midnight, peaking between 4 and 5 p.m.
4:30 p.m.: Clean the house or play a sport: It's best to clean when your hand-eye coordination is highest, around 4 to 5 p.m. Based on this theory, I'd also toss in a sports event during this time frame.
5 p.m.: Get some exercise: Our body temperature is highest from 5 to 6 p.m. The heat increases your stamina and strength, while decreasing your reaction time. So, the added warmth makes your workouts more effective.
9 p.m.: Sell something on eBay: According to eBay users, the best time to end an auction is 9 p.m. because other people tend to surf the Web when they get home from work at night.
10 p.m.: Solve the world's problems: Difficult problems require creative thinking, and studies show that people do their most abstract thinking when they're tired. If you're not a night owl, letting your mind wander when you're worn out might lead to a creative solution to a problem that seemed insurmountable at noon.
A downside to this could occur, though, if you get yourself so revved up late at night that it's hard to go to sleep.
In addition to the circadian rhythms of nature, we all have our own patterns. While it's helpful to be familiar with these time frames, you know when you function best. So, some fine tuning of these recommendations may be in order.
Still, it's interesting to note the studies that have been done on effectiveness. If you're used to sending a tweet or taking an aspirin at another time, you may want to switch things up and try these time frames. Who knows? You may find yourself to be a more efficient exerciser, a better house cleaner or a more competitive squash player.
But there's no way I'm going to tell you when to make a baby!
Linda Arnold, M.A., MBA, is a certified wellness instructor, counselor and chairwoman/CEO of The Arnold Agency, a marketing communications firm with offices in West Virginia, Montana and Washington, D.C. Reader comments are welcome and may be directed to Linda Arnold, The Arnold Agency, 117 Summers St., Charleston, WV 25301, or emailed to livelifefu...@arnoldagency.com.