What is your mind and body’s best time of the day?
We are unique individuals and we work best at different times. One rule does not apply to all. For example, one may believe that it is best to exercise first thing in the morning and yet you will read elsewhere that it is completely the opposite. Since we are unique individuals, how can the same rule apply to all? It doesn’t. The truth is that some of us are great in the mornings and some of us are productive night owls.
We all have our unique body clock where we will experience flow at different times of the day. So… how do you know when you are in rhythm or flow with you? How do you connect with your internal rhythm?
Your internal rhythm is the cycle of how you behave and how you function on a daily basis. For example, you may be a morning person, when you are at your peak everything is easy, effortless and accessible, you just get things done right after the sun rises!
On the other hand, you may not be a morning person, you may be one of those individuals that you just don’t approach or even utter a word first thing in the morning (coffee anyone?). You may be a night person and are best when everyone has gone to bed, you are in your own space and you get a lot more done compared to any other time of the day.
We all have an internal rhythm. However, since we live in a fast pace world, we are not consciously aware of them or pay any attention to them.
You may be thinking right now, so… why is it so important to understand your internal rhythm? When you are in flow with what ever you do, you feel more energised, more happy and at peace. You get more things done.
When you work against your rhythm, you will feel overwhelmed, anxious and everything seems to go wrong. You can’t get things done; you procrastinate and you don’t pay attention to details. Before you know it, the day is over and you’ve spent more than half of it on Social Media or doing anything else than what you should have been working on.
Self-Awareness is key, to identify what is your internal rhythm. Start a daily journal on how you are feeling during the day, when are you most productive, happy and in flow compared to when are you procrastinating and feeling stuck. Write it down. By the end of the week you should have a clear insight as to what is your internal rhythm and what isn’t. It will be crystal clear in your journal: you will know when things became too hard for you and you were restless.
They may be small insights like doubting yourself or feeling like you want to be left alone or even feeling unmotivated and not creative.
Listen to the signals your body is sending you and respond. This, my friend, is how creative people come up with brilliant ideas: they work with their internal rhythm.
Know Where You Are Using Your Energy
Make sure that you are not overextending yourself. This is extremely important. Once you identify your rhythm, you then have to give the most energy to the right projects, you must have a balance of energy between your professional and personal life.
Creativity is at the heart of everything that we all do. If you want to work best, be your best and milk every second of your day, you have to schedule in time to think, feel and be. You have to schedule in personal and fun time to keep your energy balanced. Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual loss of energy, there is no balance and you are not connected to your rhythm.
How To Master Your Energy
Energy and the four elements – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.
Physical – the most basic human need is to consume and restore energy. Our body pulse is in constant rhythm and our body operates in 90-minute cycles, known as ultradian rhythms, during which we move from alertness to fatigue.
As demand intensifies, the instinctive tendency is to push harder and work more continuously – which only further depletes people’s energy reserves – undermines their productivity and sustainability.
It’s not the number of hours we work that determines the value we produce, but rather the quantity, quality and focus of energy we bring to the hours we work. Ultradian rhythms are recurring periods that are repeated throughout the 24-hour cycles within our body that include blood circulation, heart rate, thermoregulation, appetite and a lot more.
Research shows that taking a break of 15 minutes every 90 minutes to rest, renew and refuel, in turn, allows us to focus better and maintain higher energy levels throughout the day. By working in the more rhythmic way, it is possible to get more done in less time at a higher level of quality.
Most of us need at least 8 hours of sleep every night in order to feel fully rested. We continue to live by the myth that sacrificing one hour of sleep gives us one additional hour of productivity. In fact, even small amounts of sleep deprivation take a toll not just on health and emotional wellbeing, but also lead to significant cognitive deficits that undermine performance.
Emotional – there are numerous benefits of tuning into your feelings. It will impact your overall health and connect with the heart and mind. It will help unblock stagnant emotional energy that could be stopping you doing the very thing that you must do. By ignoring or repressing your emotions, one can become a victim, fatigued and unhappy without really knowing why.
How you feel profoundly influences how you perform. The more intentional you become about fuelling your self with positive emotions, the more effective you are likely to be.
Negative emotions are corrosive. Negative emotions are contagious, and the more intense they are, the more likely they are to influence others. Create a world overflowing with positivity; it will change your mindset, perspective and, ultimately, your whole being.
Monitor your emotions daily, schedule in some time to connect with your heart and ask your self a simple question – How am I feeling and why? Connect with your heat centre and think of the things that make you happy, and intensify them until you feel overwhelmed with joy.
Mental – our attention is under siege more than ever. More information is instantly available to us, and it is coming from countless directions at any one time. More often than not, we are not making conscious choices about where to put our attention. Instead, we shift focus reactively whenever something new draws our attention. Rather than planning, we relinquish our attention to the most urgent request or demand at that moment.
Our brain processes information sequentially and cannot process two cognitive tasks at the same time. Instead, what we do is task switching. This process is less efficient.
Create your action plan based on your personal needs or your business needs. Every day, set an intention on what you want to achieve for your day and plan for it – identify your priorities and outline an action plan but, most importantly, stick to it!
Take time out to check in with your thoughts. Negative thoughts are destructive. They prompt greater reactivity, interfere with rational, reflective thinking and quickly burn down people’s energy reserves.
Replace your negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Reframing the way that you think will improve your energy and your life.
Spiritual – Reflecting upon and regularly revisiting our core values and our larger purpose at work is a powerful source of energy and direction. The challenge is that introspection requires quiet, uninterrupted time, an incredibly scarce commodity in today’s world. The consequence is that few of us pause regularly to think about why we are doing what we are doing, where we are headed, or what the consequences are likely to be. Instead, we spend our days feeling compelled to act, react and transact.
To pause each day and to be mindful is to bring your full attention to the present moment. It is about paying attention in a particular way – fully experiencing the moment – without judgement or expectation. To be conscious is to bring awareness to your ‘here right now’ experience, with openness and receptiveness.
The benefits of mindfulness are numerous; one of the most significant advantages is that it helps you improve your focus and concentration. This is crucial when you want to manifest abundance or changes in your life, relationships or career.
Mindfulness helps with reflection and self-awareness. By doing so, it helps you facilitate better relationships. By practicing mindfulness on a daily basis – for as little as 10 minutes a day until you have the ability to do it longer – you will experience less stress, your emotions will become less volatile and you will find an ability to calmly and sensibly solve the problems in your life more easily and without distraction.
You can achieve mindfulness in a few easy steps:
- Pause – First you need to stop and just be.
- Be aware – Pay attention to what you see, what you hear and how you feel. What’s happening in your environment?
- Observe – what are the common patterns that you recognize? Do this in a non-judgmental way
- Question – ask yourself: why do you do this every day? Answer and analyze.
By being aware – or tapping into your internal rhythm – you are in flow with you; everything that you do will be effortless and you will just get things done. You will be happier, more creative and more balanced than ever before.
Use your energy wisely and keep all four elements balanced. This is truly life transformational if applied and practised daily. Will you start today?