“Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.” – Dale Carnegie, American writer
The average American works 8.5 hours a day. Now I know some of you reading this might not work the typical 9-5 job. Maybe you work for yourself, or you are in ministry, or you work from home. The principles in this article will remain the same. The best way to set yourself up for a win at work is to identify the most important tasks of the day.
In an article written by Barbara Atikson, she explains:
“Humans run on a 24-hour internal “clock,” which is why we all typically go to sleep, wake up, and experience alertness peaks and valleys around the same time every day. The times may be different for everyone, but the cycle is universal. We refer to that 24-hour cycle as a “circadian day;” within that 24-hour circadian day, we cycle through periods of 90-minute blocks of productivity and heightened focus. Those blocks of premiere productivity time are known as “ultradian cycles,” and the manner in which we cycle in and out of them is called our “ultradian rhythm.” The start of each ultradian cycle is where your brain is most energetic and focused. Eventually, your energy slowly depletes. At the end of each ultradian cycle, you can keep working, but you simply won’t be as effective. Your brain needs downtime.”
You can read more and download a template to help you track your most productive times of the day in the article link above.
It matters not just what we do, but when we do it. The best way to invest in your work is to: invest in a plan!
I advise setting tomorrow’s schedule before you leave work, then close it out so you can go home and be fully present with your family. Take a look at what’s coming up and set your schedule where you are tackling the biggest projects first thing. Use your downtime when you’re feeling less creative and energized to do the small tasks, like responding to emails, etc…
When you are able to fully close out your day, it frees you to keep work at work and be fully prepared to be present and engage in family time.
With that being said, as you look at the circle on the life margin wheel, it can move. Things won’t always go the way we planned. Our plans will fail us from time to time. Life happens, and that’s okay! Give yourself grace. Plans are meant to help free us, not tie us down.
The most important thing no matter when you begin your workday, is that you are giving yourself enough time to invest in yourself.
Are you enjoying this series? I’d love to hear from you! If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to reach out!
In case you missed it, click here to read last week’s post in the Life Margin Wheel series!
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