When Aristotle made the legendary line “know thyself”, I am sure it was in reference to the inner self. That is your talents, gifts and inner soul. But I have found that there are other things you ought to know like your body rhythm. This includes how you perform and times of the day your body performs at its best.
This is important because when you understand your body rhythm, you are able to know when you should do what. For example, when your body is at its best, you can schedule your most important assignments during that time frame.
You can also schedule engagements that require the least amount of concentration during the times when your body is at its lowest in terms of performance. For example, I usually surf the web to keep track of sports related stories during such times. Yes I do, just in case you thought I only work till my back aches.
You see, when you don’t understand your body rhythm, you might distribute work equally in the course of the day.
Over time, this may prove to be a mistake. Can you imagine carrying out key assignments when your body is at its lowest performance and then your least important work during your peak hours? Now you might say that it would be silly to do so. And you are right.
But here is a question. Have you ever done the least assignments first and the most important last? I have done that so many times. The difference is now I am more aware. And that is the key word – awareness.
If you have been a victim of the same, I urge you to start being aware of your body rhythms. Start by asking yourself simple questions – when am I at my best physically, mentally and emotionally? What time of the day is that? When am I at my lowest mentally, physically and emotionally? When is my energy moderate in the course of the day? If it is challenging to keep track, you can get a notebook and record the times when you feel like you are at your best, at your worst and in between.
Then, schedule your assignments according to the energy and emotional rhythms in the course of the day as defined above. This is one of the secrets to productivity. Knowing how your body behaves and leveraging it accordingly. That is intelligent scheduling and energy management. Or should I say intelligent action management. Well, time to let you go study your body rhythm and schedule your activities.
Ethan Musolini is the CEO of Success Africa, a motivational speaker, author and HR consultant