When we listen to the natural cadence of our bodies and plan our activities accordingly, we are able to maximize the outcomes of our efforts.  Without knowing our energy cycle we find ourselves fighting to manage the simplest of tasks.  Answering the following questions will help in understanding your natural energy cycle so you can increase your productivity.

  1. What time of the day do you begin to have energy? (e.g. Even though I wake up at 6am, I don’t really begin to feel energetic until 6:45am.)
  2. What time do you begin to use that energy?  (e.g. I arrive at work by 8am and begin to dig in by 8:15am.)
  3. What time do you begin to tire? (e.g. By 11:30am I begin to feel lethargic and have a more difficult time staying on task.)
  4. What time does your energy hit a low? (e.g. Around 2:30pm I feel like I need to take a nap.)
  5. What time do you refuel with rest, food, or adrenaline? (e.g. I take an afternoon break at 3pm and walk around our building for about 10 minutes.)
  6. What time does your energy typically rise after you have refueled? (e.g. By 3:30pm I feel ready to go and can tackle tasks quickly.)

Now follow these two simple guidelines:

  1. Save complicated tasks for the times your energy is high.
  2. Use low energy times to focus on maintenance tasks such as checking email, cleaning your desk, or creating meeting agendas.

It is also important to note that your energy is a cyclical process.  When you are driving home from work you may feel your energy decrease.  After a workout, dinner, or an hour of relaxation you will likely feel your energy rise again.  If you are someone who has an energy surge at night like myself, plan for it and use it to get laundry done, house cleaning, bill paying etc.  If you are someone who has an incredible amount of energy in the morning, get up early and use that time for a workout or the tasks mentioned above.

Here’s to your energy cycle!