This is the fifth post in the continuing series 31 Tips to Spend Time Properly. These tips will help you invest your time more wisely, productively and energetically each day. Some of the tips can be done immediately; others require cultivation. All are time well spent.
31 Ways to Spend Time Properly
Tips 21-24: Scheduling your time for maximum energy
21. Use your high energy hours for your most important projects. Read Tony Schartz‘s article at Harvard Business Review for his insights on one approach using 90 minute cycles of work and rest. Another great article can be found at the Wall Street Journal entitled A Peak Time for Everything. Think you can beat your body’s natural rhythms – don’t bet on it!
22. Use your low energy hours for easy-to-do projects and reading. Develop a work schedule that supports, rather than fights against, your body’s natural rhythms. If you know that you have a low-energy hour during the day, cooperate with your body. Maybe what you need is a power nap! There’s lots of evidence for the value of a “quick snooze.” Check out Power Napping for Increased Productivity, Stress Relief & Health or WebMD’s The Secret (and Surprising) Power of Naps. Prior to becoming a professional organizer, back in the day when I worked at the Navy Federal Credit Union, that’s what I did. I took a 45-minute nap and was energized for the rest the day.
23. Eat lightly at lunch time. If you have important meetings in the early afternoon, avoid that big plate of pasta your coworker ordered. Scientific American, in their article Why do I get a slump in mental energy after eating a meal?, explains how eating a large meal of carbs and fat triggers sleepiness and a loss of mental alertness. It all has to do with your small intestines, nervous system, and brain cells.
24. When a day’s work is taxing, get out of the office at lunch time. You don’t need an expert to confirm the power of doing something recreational or having lunch with a friend. But there is strong evidence about the power of laughter. Check out Give Your Body a Boost — With Laughter and The Benefits of Laughter from Psychology Today. OK, so you’re an introvert like I used to be. Going out to lunch with a friend is as taxing as work. If that’s the case, then fall back on Tip #22, like I did!