How the Ebb and Flow affect You
Planning our days based on our natural energy levels and the biological clock within can greatly aid in accomplishing the tasks we need to cross off our list while remaining focused, dynamic, and able to do our best work. Not only are there basic laws of personal energy that everyone adheres to, there are individual energy equations that are unique to each of us. Excitingly, there are also ways of naturally 'hacking' our energy levels to provide more when we need it most.
Let’s take a closer look at understanding the natural ebb and flow of personal energy, how to use it to our advantage, and how to cultivate more energy to get more done throughout the day.
Understanding the 'When'
Tasks that need accomplished within our day are often thought of in terms of 'How?' or 'Why?' but rarely 'When?' In his 2018 book When: The Scientific Secrets Behind Perfect Timing, Daniel Pink makes the case for just how much knowing the when in doing something can benefit us. Daniel breaks down the day in three separate parts based on the natural energy levels we all share in common. These levels are the Peak, the Trough, and the Recovery.
- The Peak- According to Pink, assuming that we wake in the morning, the Peak period of our daily energy cycle takes place right after waking and runs up until the beginning of the afternoon. Our Peak is the best time to take care of analytical work and the work that needs our most energy and focus throughout the day.
- The Trough- The Trough period in our day begins directly after the peak and lasts until the evening. Though many think the last stage of our day is the part with the lowest energy levels, the trough period of daily energy is actually our shallowest energy reserve. During the Trough it is recommended that we take time for less analytical necessities such as filling our TPS reports or responding to e-mails.
- The Recovery- The Recovery period of daily energy is just what it sounds like, we begin to recover some of the energy we lose during the Trough of our day. Though our energy levels certainly won't be as high as during the peak of our day, the Recovery period occurs during the evening and is the perfect time to brainstorm, plan, and partake in creative aspects of your day.
Having even a base understanding of these natural energy levels that go on within us all is the beginning to better understanding how your body's energy reserves function and can greatly assist in creating your daily and weekly energy maps.
Now that you have an understanding of how energy levels work the same within all of us, the next step is understanding your own biological clock. Though the Peak, Trough, and Recovery stages occur within all of us, they may occur at different times throughout the day. Some of us may do our best work, or be more focused, in the later part of the day instead of upon waking.
This is part of understanding the unique biological chronology of your body. Are you more awake when the rest of the world is asleep or are you an early riser ready to get the work done as soon as your feet hit the bedroom floor? Pay attention to when you feel your most focused and ready to work. Once you have a better idea of your unique energy levels you can further map your activities to correspond.
Taking Advantage of Natural Lows in Energy
Now you may be asking, 'I'm a night owl who has to be at an office job at seven in the morning, how can I optimize my energy levels?' Luckily, there are a few different ways to prepare for low energy periods during your day, and ways to increase your energy levels naturally when you need them most.
If you are someone who reaches their peak late at night yet is required to work early in the morning try preparing for the day ahead as best you can. Lay out your clothes, prepare your work, and do whatever you can to take the strain off your sleepy mind in the morning. Examine your energy map and find when you experience your biggest lulls of energy. Many times this can be caused by the wearing off of meals and the drop in blood sugar that is an effect thereof. Something as simple as having a mid-day snack could revitalize you if you're experiencing energy lulls during your peak.
Applying Energy Mapping to Your Life
Taking all of these tips, tricks, and techniques into account you can begin to squeeze the most energy possible out of your days and weeks. Take your time and analyze your energy habits. It may take some time to develop a routine and map that works best for you.
Also, don't beat yourself up if you're experiencing an energy low when you don't feel like you should be. Instead, walk away from the task and come back later when your energy levels have returned. This will keep you from wasting time grinding away at a project you may be able to do your best work on at a later time.
At Hirevibe we want to help you develop your talents and skills to their utmost excellence. Contact us today to find out how we can help you develop both personal and professionally.