3 tips to add rhythm to your day to boost your productivity
Add rhythm to your day. It can boost your productivity, which is one of the elements in self-leadership. With the right balance between activity and rest, you can create the most optimal working environment to work with your time and energy. I used to think that working 8 or more hours solid at super speed, made me super-productive. Although it may be a temporary solution, burning the candle at both ends never ends well in the long run. There is a more sustainable approach to creating flow in your days and keeping the balance.
Balance the rhythm
First of all, you need to get the balance right between activity and rest during your working day. We have a natural rhythm which is called the Ultradian Rhythm. First the activity phase is between 90 and 120 minutes, but if you’ve been burning the candle at both ends, this may be less at the start. Check in with your energy regularly, changes can be very subtle. Then the rest phase is around 15-20 minutes. You can use this time to sit and relax, to let your mind wander or to stretch and take a stroll (or one of my personal favourites: dance break). Answers and solutions often come after a period of rest and that is for a reason.
Listen to your natural rhythm
My second tip to add rhythm and flow to your day is that different tasks need different energy. Whether you do something creative, paperwork or sales related tasks, it requires very different energy. Besides getting yourself in the energy and frame of mind that helps you focus, you can also use the time you’re naturally better with certain tasks. For example, I am at my most creative in the morning so that is when I write, in the afternoon my energy is better matched with planning or paperwork. Experiment to discover your flow. It is very individual.
Structure your rhythm
My third tip to create flow to have a structure to your week. Some people resist structure until they experience that the right kind of structure actually gives you more freedom. Important with creating a scheduling structure is that you do not overcommit. Look at what matters to you most and give it space. Leave some time in your schedule to breathe, there are always these unexpected things that come up. If you don’t allow for space to breathe, you could end up not completing what you set out to do and that doesn’t feel good. It is better to complete less things well, than leaving more incomplete. Using your natural timings for your different tasks, you could set aside some uninterrupted time in your schedule to complete these too. Be flexible, because whilst your business grows and changes happen in your life, your schedule will change and adapt with it.
When you create flow in your day, you not only have a productive day, but you also make the best use of your brain’s bandwidth and invest your time and energy on purpose. To add rhythm to your day contributes to a healthy and sustainable work-life integration all whilst you are productive and investing your time and energy in the best possible way.
If you would like to explore how to become a better self-leader, you can book a complementary Awaken the Leader within session here.