Body clock control for workload management
When I was travelling, my body clock was allowed to readjust to its own rhythm. No work schedules, at most having to get to the airport or bus station on time to travel (which didn’t always work!) but normal for me became different.
We naturally adapt - out body takes control, gets us up at our 'normal' time whatever that has become and we change only over a period of days or weeks.
This adaptation can be put to good use in your working hours too by using your natural energy cycle. Get things done daily, weekly even monthly within your own boundaries once you know them!
Why is this important and helpful too?
- It makes your life so much easier without fighting against the rhythm of your body and mind. Take the path of least resistance!
- Productivity increases when you take advantage of your strongest energies - morning for early birds, evenings or later for night owls!
- Slower parts of the day can be used to plan and list, discuss (not meetings) with your colleagues 'what next'?
- Schedule meetings first thing or mornings if you can, certainly not after lunch or just before close down.
- There is less procrastination for the jobs you hate - done just before you leave, you are rewarded with home time and family events! Just before lunch, something tasty to eat and a chat with friends!
- I learned to trust the universe and with that myself and my body - instincts, rising from sleep, sleeping when tired and eating when hungry. It was all so much easier and pleasant too! Less of a fight and more of a flow!
Recognising your own natural body clock and needs.
If you don’t know yours ask your mum! She will have recognised your natural rhythm and found ways to counter the difficulties. I fed my children Mars Bars because they had added glucose the ads said! It worked but it was the sugar hit that helped, I found out! Any food will do so I carried healthier options around or prepared to stop and eat on the go.
- Self-awareness. Key to personal power, choices, options and opportunities as always! 'Eat the frog for breakfast' is a motivational term to manage unpleasant or arduous tasks first. Then everything else seems easy!
- Make your work fun - dance around collecting the mail, have earphones in whilst filing, sing in your mind or quietly whilst inputting the data reports and share a comment or a joke when you are working with someone else.
- Delegate and find people who love what you hate, or are better at it so don’t feel as strained with it. Share the work and take on their bits that you would love to try - creative v structured, organised v chaotic and active, listening v writing or reading!
- Break down big, ugly tasks into smaller easy ones. Over the day, over the week or over the month where and when you can. Then it doesn’t hit you all at once with minutes to spare!
- Identify your own best hours and work to them. Use the energy highs and lapses as well as you can; utilise other's strengths as well as your own to share your workloads and responsibilities.
- Manage upwards by pre-empting your boss's needs and doing it your way and in a timely manner rather than their tendency to think on their feet and ask you to do it immediately.
- Use it to do the hard or important tasks. That big project that needs space and concentration? Do it first if you are a morning person, or later in the evening at home if you are a night owl and you feel energised in a different space perhaps!
- Take, make and create regular breaks. Not coffee breaks, or lunch but in between there too. It doesn’t need to be leaving the office or your desk. Maybe standing up and moving around after you finish a task, sitting back and stretching into a new position, reading instead of writing so a change of task to follow on, there are ways of resting and regrouping all day! And 'a change is as good as a rest' for the alternating of tasks and duties.
What jobs or skills are not your strongest? Where should you schedule these into your day or week then? Well, break them down if they are big tasks to complete and spread them painlessly over the day or week. Even if you generally are 'last-minute motivated' in general you can still do that and leave the completing and bulk until the last minute - but if you don’t prep for that you are preparing to fail aren’t you?
But we do have to co-operate and fit in with social norms and out community norms like work or family life and school hours!
Once upon at time we moved with the daylight and slept in the dark. We now have the power and knowledge to work with what we've got, who we are and make that work in our own best environment, creating our advantage!
Create some of your own strategies, ask other people and share theirs, read up on tools and techniques on business sites and blogs and ask at your next training event for tips!