Here’s a quick and easy way to increase productivity (and happiness!)
We are all born with a unique internal body clock that controls when we feel tired, the type of food we crave and what activities are appealing to us at any given time. Our body clock ( which is actually a group of 10,000+ nerve cells located in the brain’s hypothalamus) explains why some of us are night owls and others are early birds.
When you match your daily activities to your circadian rhythms (i.e. your bodies preferred time for doing them), magic happens. You become more productive, happier and life generally feels ‘easy’. You no longer have to rely on mental determination to get something done, or waste hours on a task that you know you are capable of doing in 20 minutes.
I first realized how powerful body clocks are when I noticed the extremely different experiences I had when running. On an early morning run, even a short one, it was both physically and mentally challenging and when I got home all I wanted to do was climb into bed and sleep. Yet if I ran in the evening, the run was easy, fast and really fun. Afterwards I would be bouncing around and couldn’t fall asleep even if you paid me.
You have also probably noticed how sometimes you can try to do a task and it feels like pulling teeth and other times it’s a total breeze. A few simple changes in your life means that you can work with your body clock and not against it to experience increased productivity and happiness.
Here is what to do.
1) Notice what is working for you right now. There are probably tasks and activities that you do at the moment because you already made the connection. Keep doing them!
2) Experiment with your other activities both at work and home to find when they are easy and fun, and when you are struggling against the grain.
3) If something is a struggle, STOP doing it at that time right away!
4) Once you realize what times suit your body clock, commit to doing tasks at these times.
It’s easy to get influenced by what works for other people (remember our body clocks are unique!) or what your mind would prefer, e.g. you might enjoy the idea of waking up at 5am to do___ but your body clock doesn’t agree.
5) Notice how more enjoyable life is and how much more productive you are when you work with your body clock.