Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time!

Photo cred: danskognes.com
Photo cred: danskognes.com

There just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Chances are you’ve said it before, and you’ve certainly heard it before, and it isn’t true. Our orbit of the sun is the definition of enough. You just have a problem with time management.

Or do you?

Maybe you’ve been guilted into early mornings by ‘early-bird-gets-the-worm’ clichés, or you’ve justified hitting the snooze button through ‘second-mouse-gets-the-cheese’ retorts, but either way, something isn’t working. That’s where we’ve gone wrong: our focus remains on time rather than on energy.

Just like the diurnal rhythm of the tides, our energy levels rise and fall according to our circadian clock. Successful fisherman know to work with the tide, not against it, and so too should we fashion our schedules around our energy levels.

As we wake, our cortisol levels rise and stimulate us. As the sun goes down, the pineal gland starts producing melatonin, the chemical that signals our brain that it’s time for bed. Track your energy levels throughout the day.  When do you feel most “on”? Do you get most of your work done in the morning and crash in the afternoon? Or do you find you peak between 4pm and midnight?

Provided that you are being mindful of your neurochemistry (as in, don’t drink espresso before bedtime), own and honour your own personal rhythms. Try colour coding your daily agenda according to times of high- and low-productivity instead of making a hierarchical to-do list of boxes to check off. Schedule items of highest priority according to your times of highest productivity.

Work with the natural ebb to find your flow.

 

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