Like many people, I sometimes end the day feeling that I didn’t make good use of my time that day—that I got some necessary little stuff done, but that I didn’t chip away at the initiative that’s most important to me. Or that I did make progress on the big thing, but the quality of my work wasn’t what I’d like.
In case you’re in the same boat, I wanted to pass along an easy tip from Dr. Isaiah Hankel, author of The Science of Intelligent Achievement: How Smart People Focus, Create, and Grow Their Way to Success.
Our energy levels fluctuate throughout the day. To ensure that your expenditure of energy is aligned with your values, you need to know two things. First, your values (Contact me if you need help discovering them). And second, you need to know when your energy is high and when it’s low. Dr. Hankel suggests that you set an alarm for once an hour and simply rate your energy level at that time on a scale of one to 10. Do this for three days to see your natural energy pattern. And then rearrange your day so you’re doing your most important work during your high energy time.
For instance, if your high energy time is spent in meetings, block off your calendar so you’re doing creative work during that time instead and have meetings at another time. During periods of lower energy, you can do less important things–answering emails or organizing your papers, for instance. Low energy times may be the best time for exercise because it’ll give you a boost that’ll help you keep going at a higher level for a few more hours.
I’m interested to hear how monitoring your energy level and rearranging your schedule to get the most out of those high energy times works for you.
Read more about natural cycles.