Know your Work Pulse

First time I had a 9-5 job, on the heels of a showbiz career that came with a more mercurial schedule, I was stumped. I mean, how did people function between 3 and 5 in the afternoon? By then I was fully spent. I just faked my way to the end of the day.

I have since built up some stamina. But I am also describing my daily pulse.

My daily pulse is likely different from your daily pulse.

Tony Schwartz, Founder and President of The Energy Project, is an outspoken champion for the benefits of knowing and respecting our various pulses (“The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working”).

Allow me to explain some pulse principles:

1.    Your Daily Pulse

There are times of the day when we are more physically energized, more mentally attuned, more emotionally primed. For many folks this occurs in the early part of the day. Not for everyone.

If at all possible, schedule the most critical tasks to match your peak-pulse-times. When I write, I tend to write in the mornings. That is my peak

2.    Your Weekly Pulse

Debbie Moskowitz, a researcher at McGill University, found that any given work week tends to have its own pulse. According to Moskowitz, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the days when our capacity to focus and engage are likely at its peak. Mondays are often warm-up days, best suited for less rigorous administrative tasks. By Thursday afternoon, our mental and physical energies may wane. Fridays, Moskowitz suggests, are best suited for open-ended work, relationship-building, long-term building.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Do you consider your weekly pulse as you plan your week?

3.    Your Yearly Pulse

Most of my clients work with great intensity week after week. And then there are those weeks or months when intense becomes hyper-intense. Budget time. Sales convention time. Internal reporting time. These hyper-intense periods are cyclical and predictable. They are part of the annual pulse of your work.

Tony Schwartz created a Survival Guide for Sony UK to help its staff better manage their energy during these annual-peak-times. The guiding principle: The greater the demand, the greater the need for regular renewal.

His suggestions for Sony UK: Reduce alcohol intake during evening meetings. Ritualize morning exercise. Eat more frequently and more lightly. Go to sleep at a designated hour.

Again, common-sense stuff. The results, according to Sony UK’s Commercial Director, were astounding!!!

The moment we know our pulse and arrange our work in harmony with it, we become more impactful.

The moment we incorporate words like renewal, recovery, and managing energy into our daily thought process, we are actively aligning with our pulse.

It actually is that simple.

This week, choose to be mindful of your pulse. Make daily choices that support your pulse. Notice how your work instantly becomes clearer, sharper, and more effective!