“To laugh at yourself is to love yourself” - Mickey Mouse
In this blog post, I’ll chat about how I have worked out a great system where I work to my energy rhythm and create healthy boundaries - after all, we never know when something is going to drop on us like a ton of bricks (hello the big C!!).
I would love to help you explore your own energy patterns which will help you to adapt your own workflow. This means that you can optimise your own productivity and, most importantly, your well-being and self-care.
If we don’t look after ourselves first, who is going to look after everyone else?
Let's dive in!
What the blooming heck are my energy and rhythm patterns?
We all have certain times of the day, week, month and year where we feel absolutely fabulous and certain times where we feel like absolute crap!
Whether you are working for yourself or you’re still in the grind of the 9-5, it’s still important to know when you feel at your best (and your worst).
I know that I do my best stuff around 9:30am and then again around 1:00pm (pretty much when I’ve eaten) so this is when I schedule in creative or harder tasks.
Here’s an example - I’ve been doing some Java script coding (yes, totally different from Canva but equally as creative) for one of my clients as they have developed a quoting system for their reps. I need to be at the top of my game to write and check (and test) the code. I can’t do this if I’m feeling low or having a shitty day!
It might help to keep a habit tracker or log of your energy fluctuations through the day - this will help you to know when you feeling your best (but also helps you keep track of your mood, how you were feeling etc).
Once you know when your energy is high and low, you can start working that into your day.
Now you can plan your work schedule
If you know that your energy is low in the morning, leave your hardest tasks until later in the day.
If you’re a definite morning person and don’t need more than a sip of water to get you going (what? you don’t need at least two coffees first?), then schedule your hardest things first up.
Low energy times definitely need less demanding activities - hello scrolling Instagram and Threads. I mean checking your emails or something that doesn’t take much energy.
Can you explore flexible work arrangements? If you have kids for example, can you work while they are at school or napping? If you need a nap at the same time, give yourself permission to do that too.
Things that work for me are taking time away from my desk at lunch time - it might be sitting in the garden or in the comfy chair in my office. It’s time when I’m not staring at my screen.
Do what works for you and your energy levels if you have the capacity where you work to do that.
We need to nurture our own energy - how the heck do you do that?
The first thing I do is prioritise my self-care.
For me, this means doing some drawing or illustrations on my iPad instead of browsing on socials while I'm having breakfast.
It means getting outside in the sunshine for a walk and following the exercises that I have from my exercise physiologist and my scar therapist.
I make sure I stop regularly and make a cuppa or grab an extra glass of water. I always stop for lunch and don't eat at my desk (unless I have something else later).
Here are my tips for you:
Prioritise self-care practices that replenish your energy.
Incorporate regular breaks and physical movement into your work day - even light stretching helps.
Consider mindful activities to boost mental clarity and focus.
Putting up our barriers and creating realistic boundaries
I have boundaries in place with my clients which are in my Notion portal and include my working hours, when and how quickly I will respond to emails and holiday time (one of my values).
It is important that we both have boundaries and that we implement them.
If we don't implement them ourselves how can we expect others to respect them?
Learning that “no” is a complete sentence is a lesson that we probably all need to learn.
Embrace change and flexibility
My final thoughts on this are to embrace and adapt to change while also embracing flexibility in your day to day.
Are you open to adjusting your schedule based on external factors?
Remember to practice self-compassion and adaptability during challenging times (especially with yourself).
Working according to your own energy can revolutionise your productivity and overall work experience.
By understanding your energy patterns, planning your work schedule accordingly, nurturing your energy, establishing boundaries, and adapting to change, you can create a harmonious balance between your personal well-being and professional success.
Remember, it's not about working harder but working smarter and in alignment with your unique energy rhythm.
Embrace this approach, and watch your productivity soar while maintaining your overall sense of fulfillment.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this - leave a comment or jump over to my Instagram and let's have a chat.