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Blog > How to Schedule Work Around Your Personal Energy Cycle

How to Schedule Work Around Your Personal Energy Cycle

Tailor your to-do list to your body's natural rhythms
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If you’ve heard of the concept of power hours, you may associate them with the simple act of setting aside an hour of your day — often first thing in the morning — to work on important tasks before you do anything else. This time management approach allows you to prioritize projects and goals that you might not normally get to, given your everyday demands.

Power hours are a great tool for productivity, but what if you took these power hours and leveled them up by tapping into your personal energy cycle? By scheduling a power hour for the time of day when your mental energy is at its peak, you can fully experience the benefits that this time management approach can provide — and achieve more of your goals, more quickly, as a result.

Here’s what you need to know to understand your energy cycle, and how to schedule your performance around it.

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Understanding Your Energy

Everyone’s energy ebbs and flows throughout the day. You don’t wake up with energy that remains stable throughout the day. There are dips and peaks. Learning to identify these dips and peaks, as well as what affects them, can help you better manage your time (and schedule in those valuable power hours) so that you’re working on your most important tasks, when your energy is at its highest.

Factors That Influence Your Energy Cycle

What factors influence your energy cycle? Some main factors include your internal clock and current schedule.

1. Your Body’s Internal Clock

Known as your circadian rhythm, your body’s internal clock sets a 24-hour cycle that regulates a host of bodily functions, from your immune system and metabolism to hormone regulation. This built-in schedule is pivotal in shaping your mental acuity, stress levels, and overall health. The choices you make daily, such as when to eat, can profoundly influence your circadian rhythm. It’s this rhythm that ultimately determines the rhythmic rise and fall of your energy throughout the day.

Typically, a person’s circadian rhythm will prompt an energy boost in the morning shortly after waking, followed by a post-lunch energy dip in the early afternoon, and then another increase in energy during the evening.

By understanding the workings of your internal clock, you can better organize your activities and tasks to align with your body’s natural energy fluctuations.

2. Your Time Management

Your current time management — or lack thereof — may be affecting your energy cycle. If you’re heaping all your highest-demand tasks for those times when your energy dips, you may be depleting energy reserves that have little to offer in the first place, making it more difficult to recoup later in the day, leading to overall less energy.

Luckily, when you adjust your time management to your body’s internal clock, this issue can be remedied, and you’ll no longer be forcing your body to struggle through high-energy tasks during low-energy periods.

Keeping the Different Types of Energy in Balance

As you delve into the exploration of your energy patterns, remember that your energy manifests in various forms, each with its own rhythm of highs and lows. Physical energy is just one aspect; mental, emotional, and spiritual energies also play crucial roles. Mental energy fuels your cognitive functions, while emotional energy influences your mental well-being and interpersonal connections. Spiritual energy, on the other hand, propels your pursuit of passions and meaningful projects.

By harmonizing these diverse energy types and aligning tasks with the periods when each energy is at its peak, you can achieve a comprehensive form of productivity that enhances your overall performance.

Getting the Most Out of Scheduling Tasks Around Your Energy Levels

Having gained insight into the ebb and flow of your daily energy levels and the elements that may affect this rhythm, you’re now equipped to strategically plan your tasks in sync with your energy peaks. Begin by implementing these four methods.

1. Schedule Tasks Accordingly

What does scheduling your tasks around your energy levels look like? Essentially, you need to assign high-energy activities to the times of day your energy is highest and assign less intense activities to low-energy time periods. For example, you might do creative, innovative, brainstorming-style work during peak mental alertness hours, but then save routine busy work for low mental alertness hours.

To make this process easier, after you’ve identified your peak energy hours, you can indicate them on your calendar app, and then begin scheduling tasks accordingly.

2. Create a Virtuous Cycle

This process may take a while to settle into, and it may be difficult to get started at first, especially if you’ve been managing your time in a completely different manner. However, if you can stick with it, you’ll realize you’ve created a virtuous cycle that increases motivation and willpower. As your high-energy engagement in high-energy tasks leads to positive outcomes, you’ll see greater results, which leads to boosts in mood and success, which then leads to higher overall energy.

3. Sustain Energy Through Rest and Rejuvenation

As you become more attuned to your natural energy levels, also take greater care to sustain your energy and boost it, through rest and rejuvenation.

Schedule blocks of free time for rest. You might even schedule a “think week,” wherein you take off an entire week, completely unplug, and spend all your time in mindfulness, deep reflection and planning, allowing you to come back to your work and “real life” with a greater sense of clarity and purpose.

4. Delegate and Outsource

As you schedule tasks around your energy cycles, if you find that you just have too many low-energy tasks on your plate, and you’re having trouble squeezing in those high-energy tasks during your high-energy hours, it’s time to delegate and outsource.

Free up your personal energy by moving non-crucial tasks to team members that can handle them. This will allow you to reach maximum efficiency — though it does require that you build up a support system that can handle these lower-priority tasks. It’s an effort that’s well worth the investment.

The Bottom Line

Maximize your daily energy levels by identifying your personal energy cycle and then scheduling your life accordingly. You can reach peak performance through all the techniques discussed above, including personal power hours, delegation, investing in rest and relaxation and more.

To further improve your time management skills, schedule a free executive coaching strategy call to learn how we can support you.

Get practical strategies you can apply for personal and professional growth. Sign up for The Weekly Return newsletter today.

By providing your email address, you agree to receive email communication from Arootah

Disclaimer: This article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be and should not be taken as professional medical, psychological, legal, investment, financial, accounting, or tax advice. Arootah does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or suitability of its content for a particular purpose. Please do not act or refrain from acting based on anything you read in our newsletter, blog or anywhere else on our website.

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