It’s what you do with your hours — and how you identify your ‘prime time’ — that makes the difference.
As posted on Entrepreneur.com
Identify your peak hours.
For decades, scientists have studied the body’s natural cycles in a field called chronobiology. You’re probably familiar with circadian rhythms, which are 24-hour cycles that affect our sleep, hormones and body temperature, among other functions
The energetic peaks and valleys we feel in the average work day, however, are due to ultradian rhythms — a shorter cycle that repeats multiple times during a 24-hour day. It’s often useful to approach ultradian rhythms as 90- to 120-minute chunks of time that occur whether you’re asleep or awake: The body’s natural toggle between deep and REM sleep follows roughly this same schedule. Ultradian cycles also explain why you’re checking emails and rummaging for snacks just two hours after you’ve started a project feeling fresh and highly alert.
You can’t outrun biology, and you can’t avoid these natural energy shifts. But you can track your own patterns and use them to your advantage. Author Chris Bailey outlines a three-week experiment to rate your energy levels, motivation and focus at the end of each hour. Bailey admits collecting hourly data from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. is “a pain.” Think of it this way: The more information you gather, the more clearly your own patterns will emerge.