We all have fluctuating levels of energy throughout the day. Maybe you’re more of a morning person, or maybe you’re more of a night owl. Armed with the proper information, you can maximize your most effective times to work, and rest when you need to. Read on to learn about managing energy.
What affects your energy?
Circadian rhythm: the natural process that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. It repeats every 24 hours in most animals, as well as plants, and even some fungi.
Circadian rhythms aren’t set in stone! If you commit to having a regular bedtime and a regular wake time, your body will become accustomed, and you’ll get better sleep and start the day off right. If you can’t seem to get on track, talk with your doctor about possible sleep disorders.
Ultradian rhythm: subsets of circadian rhythms that occur multiple times a day, lasting usually between 90-120 minutes. Just like circadian rhythms tell your body when it’s time to sleep and time to wake up, ultradian rhythms tell your body when it’s in work mode and when it’s in rest mode.
To get the most out of your natural ultradian rhythms, start a quick journal to track your level of energy throughout the day. When do you feel most awake? When do you feel the most low-key? You’ll begin to notice patterns, especially if you adhere to a regular sleep schedule.
Once you have a good grasp of your energy levels throughout the day, you can schedule your daily tasks accordingly. Use your high-energy times to accomplish more complex tasks!
Breaks are an important part of managing energy wisely. Make sure to plan for food, and water during low-energy times. Don’t just push through the low energy time, that will always backfire!
Just as you can use your high-energy times to get stuff done, use your lower-energy times to rest and recover. Plan for breaks to make the most of your highly effective work periods.
Sleep is one of the best things you can do to maximize your energy! Good sleep hygiene includes wind-down time at the end of the day, a routine to relax into bed, and a bedroom that works for you. Take a look around your bedroom and make sure there are no lights that could interrupt your sleep (or wear a sleep mask). Make sure all work is out of the room you’re sleeping in to avoid distractions, and keep screen time to an absolute minimum at night. Light from screens has been shown to interrupt circadian rhythms, so put that phone away! I hope these tips help you establish some necessary habits that support your best life.