The entire course of our life follows a cyclical pattern of good and bad, up and down, more then less. Everything flows this way, years, months, weeks, days, hours. High energy, then low energy, creativity, then boredom, tremendous focus, then distractibility.
The key is in understanding how to use these shifts to our advantage. We can channel these fluctuations, if we understand how they affect our moods, actions, and productivity. It can be a valuable tool lower stress and improve the quality of our lives.
How can we do this?
When are you the most focused? The most distracted? The most tired? Energized?
How does lunch affect you? Difficulty concentrating or energized?
Are their times when you prefer to be more social? Periods when you want to be left alone?
Are there periods when you can’t seem to sit still?
When do you find it easier work on long projects?
Do you see a pattern starting to emerge?
Look at what you do each day…each week…each month.
Shift whichever projects, tasks, or activities you can so they better match your energy?
Propose changes for activities that involve others. Altering the schedule may help them as well.
Schedule detail work or highly creative activities; designing, writing, idea development for times when you are better able to focus?
Do social tasks/activities during times when you feel the most social; meetings, calls, project collaboration.
Save tedious or repetitive tasks, like data entry, billing, reports, filing for when you can be quiet and alone.
Everyone is unique. Don’t conform to other people’s cycles or moods.
Some things are beyond our control. Manage what you can. Deal with the rest. You’ll be surprised at how flexible other people can often be once they understand why you’re making this type of request.
Think about what happens throughout the year. Some months are usually busier, while some are quieter and more flexible.
Consider commitments that you have in the other area of your life. If you have young children, parent who needs care, or a spouse who travels or works a lot, take that into account when taking on a new project, role, or responsibility.
Our persistent tendency to compel our brains and our bodies to conform to a schedule that conflicts with our individual energy patterns adds stress to our already unbalanced lives.
Stop fighting it and go with the flow…at least sometimes.