Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Early Bird vs. Night Owl: What's Really Better for Productivity?

Maximize Your Day: What's the Best Way to Work When You're Overworked? When there aren't enough hours in the day, should you work late or get up early? start-up, entrepreneur, side business, small business, start-up launch, going pro

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Whether you're a busy executive juggling a demanding work schedule or an aspiring entrepreneur with a business to get off the ground, more often than not there just aren't enough hours in the day. Although it would be nice to get everything accomplished between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day, when that can't happen we're forced to choose between being up with the sun or burning the midnight oil. No matter your career or business goals, experts say there is a smarter way to work when you're overworked. Check out best strategies for your busy days.

If you're a busy executive ...

"If it's not on your calendar it's not going to get done," says Steven Raz, co-founder and managing partner at executive search firm Cornerstone Search Group. "You are always going to get pulled in different directions, but if you block off two or three hours a couple of days a week just for administrative duties or processing your email backlog, then you'll ensure that those things get done."

Busy executives also have to learn to maximize every moment of their work day -- even on their daily commute or on a business trip, Raz says.

"There is no clock on your day. There is no 9-to-5," Raz says. "If you're traveling on a plane, in a car service or on a train and you have a little bit of time to focus, you've got to be working."

Many executives embrace the power of early office hours to accomplish more than they can when surrounded by co-workers, Raz says.

"I like to get into the office early, around 7, about an hour and a half before everyone starts getting in at 8:30. I find that I can get two to three times the amount of work done than I could in a normal hour-and-a-half stretch in the middle of the day," Raz says. "Those morning hours are critical for responding to emails, doing proposals or other things that have to happen with minimal distraction."