All of us have different personalities and different biological rhythms. Some of us are “early birds”, some of us are “night owls”. It means we’re more effective at accomplishing certain tasks at different times of the day. And that’s totally fine. If we can understand this principle, it can help us to save time and intentionally look for ways to maximize our results during the day based on our body’s natural rhythms.
These rhythms might change with time. I used to like to get up early in the morning and go to bed early in the evening. I just could not stay up late. Now things have changed and I still like to get up early, but I’m also fine with staying up late.
1. Identify your “peak” hours for maximum effect
Each of us is “wired” differently and we come to know when we’re the most effective at performing certain tasks. For me, the most productive hours are during the day – from 8-11 a.m. and then 4-6 p.m. These are my “peak” hours, when my creativity and strategic thinking are at their best (most days). So, I try to plan anything that relates to strategy or solving challenging issues for these times, so my mind can work quickly and clearly. That saves time, since I can accomplish a lot more on these important tasks during my “peak” hours than I could during my non-peak hours.
What are YOUR “peak” hours during the day?
If you don’t know your “peak” hours:
- Take one typical day (today, tomorrow)
- Mark your energy level for each hour of the day
- Connect the dots on the graph
Here is an example of how it might look like.
You may want to repeat this exercise several days in a row, or on days with varying levels of activity to get an even better picture of your energy levels.
What can you plan during “peak” hours to achieve maximum effect?
2. Plan enough time for rest, so you have “peak” hours!
We all have situations when we need to work extra hours to finish something on time (a project, a paper, a product launch, etc.). That’s totally fine. Remember, the plan should serve you, not you serving the plan. Rigidity in working your plan can be as bad as not having a plan. In both cases, you’ve lost conscious control.
Even in the crunch times, though, make sure to devote enough time to rest and sleep. Our bodies needs to refresh and get strength for the next day. Have you noticed that when you don’t get enough sleep, you function differently the next day? Of course you have! It’s the same with your health – if you don’t take care of your body today, tomorrow it won’t serve you well. Your body is your primary resource that helps you produce results. Only when it’s working well can you use your time well.
3. Get some physical exercise everyday
If you don’t have exercise in your daily routine, start today. Even if it’s only 5 minutes. Small changes will have a huge impact in the future. It’s not only about health benefits. As you exercise you prepare your body to work harder, but you’ll notice that you also have more energy, a better self-image, you feel happier and can think more clearly to accomplish your most important things.
Have a meaningful day!
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