Since having my second baby, I’m noticing how profoundly different my energy levels are throughout the day than before.
Like most people, I used to have an afternoon slump but with a little extra focus and a square of dark chocolate, I was usually able to get done what I needed to get done.
Perhaps because of sleep deprivation, postpartum depletion, or who knows what, I’ve noticed that I’m capable of doing very little after 2pm. If I try to do anything that requires mental focus, I end up aimlessly scrolling email or social media as though the act of touching technology is getting something done by osmosis.
(Spoiler alert: it’s not.)
I have the option of beating myself up, of course. Finding ourselves wrong, especially when our life experience is so different from what’s celebrated as the norm (in this case, sitting at a desk and working from 9-5 or more), tends to be the default for women – and anyone else who doesn’t fit the standards that were created by straight, white, able-bodied men.
But instead, I’m simply rescheduling my day in a way that works for me.
My body and its new needs are not wrong. They’re simply different than before and different than the “standard” work day which wasn’t designed with me in mind anyway. So why would I work that way?
Now when I sit and do my weekly planning ritual on Sunday nights, I keep things light between 2-4pm. It’s a good time for me to consume content that I need to review, take a walk, or exercise. It’s not a good time for content creation or teaching.
Losing focus, spacing out, or feeling tired is not my body’s signal to push harder and buckle down. It’s my body’s signal that I need a break or a different flavor of activity.
When I pay attention to what my body is asking for, I tend to get the things that actually need doing done. Plus I’m much more able to discern and let go of what didn’t need doing in the first place.
Try this out with me:
Track your energy throughout the day.
Experiment with different types of activities at different times. (For example, I find if I write first thing in the morning, it’s really easy for me to get on a roll. So I write in the mornings because it feels good and I get way more done in less time than if I tried to write at 2pm.)
Keep notes on what types of activities feel best at which times of day. Reschedule your day accordingly without making yourself wrong.
When I let my body be my scheduling guide, instead of other people’s priorities or conventional work standards, I get the important things done really well and I feel good at the end of the day.
I know that in order to change our culture, I have to change the way I do things. I choose to make honoring my body with my work schedule part of my revolution.
OVER TO YOU:
When do you feel the most focused during your day? What kinds of tasks do you need the most focus for? How does your body ask for a break? What time during the day is that? How could you honor the request with your schedule? Tell me in the comments!