by Kirsten Simmons
Sounds like a pretty tenuous connection, doesn’t it? Energy cycles and your bank account.
But, if you stop to think about it, there’s a reasonably direct connection.
Think about where your money comes from. Whether or not you sell products, consulting, or work a 9-5 job, you’re essentially engaging in some form of trading time for money.
It might take a more roundabout route – you put time into creating value, and you’re reimbursed later when people purchase the valuable thing you’ve created.
So then, we can draw a fairly direct line between your time and your profits. Even in a 9-5 you’re still not going to be employed for long if you don’t provide some sort of value.
But where do your energy levels come into the picture?
Everyone’s energy levels vary throughout the course of the day. And everyone’s cycle is different.
Early Bird vs. Night Owl
Some people can bounce out of bed at 5am and be ready to meet the day within 15 minutes (though that involves some sort of genetic mutation, in my opinion) and others need a few hours after getting up at 9 before they feel fit to do anything more complex than turn on the coffee maker.
While the 5am
mutant riser may hit the wall by 9 at night, the person who slept in may well be getting their second wind.
Connect the (Energy) Dots
The key connection is that your high energy times are when you’re most productive and capable of producing your most valuable work. So you don’t want to be checking e-mail during your high energy times!
If you know what your cycle is, you can arrange your day so that your most important work goes into your high energy times, and the less taxing work into the times when you’re feeling slower.
Mapping Made Easy
Mapping your energy levels is simple – just list out all the hours in the day on a sheet of paper or in a text file, and pause once an hour to record your energy levels. Do this over the course of several days, and you’ll begin to see patterns emerge.
Most people have a daily cycle, but about ten percent of the population has a cycle that may stretch over several days.
It can be hard to remember to consistently record your levels each hour. The best bet is to have the page printed out in front of you, or set an alarm of some sort to remind you to pause for ten seconds each hour.
Take it to the Bank
Once you have your energy cycle down, it’s time to take a hard look at your day and what you’re doing when. Are the tasks that occur during your high energy period worthy of the turbo-boost that results from that time? Are you doing your most important work?
Put your value producing work during your high energy periods. And since value equals profit, mapping your energy and setting aside your high periods for your most valuable work can result in increased profits.
Do you know when your high energy times are?
From the Numbers Whisperer – I was fascinated by this exercise, since I am by nature a night owl. However in the corporate world night owlism (yeah I just made that up) is not encouraged. Through many years of indoctrination, and becoming the parent to a pre-schooler I have gained some early bird attributes. This surprisingly effective technique has already boosted my productivity. Try out her cool (free!) app now.