Practice number 3 we talked about the concept of Good Enough as a tool to battle perfectionism and practice 4 addressed using the time management skill of Beat the Clock to support Good Enough. Our next practice is about Waves. The world around us ebbs and flows. You would be very hard pressed to find anything that remains constant and static, and we are no different.
Our brains and bodies work in rhythms. We are physically designed to work best by cycling between periods of energy spending and renewing.
Fact: “Research in the 1970s showed that 90 to 120 minute ultradian rhythms (ulta dies – many times a day) account for the ebb and flow of our energy throughout the day. Physiological measures such as heart rate, hormonal levels, muscle tension and brain-wave activity all increase during the first part of the cycle. After an hour or so, these measures start to decline and the body begins to crave a period of rest and recovery. Signals include a desire to yawn and stretch, hunger pangs, increased tension, an inclination to procrastinate.” – The Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
Fact: Your brain can only operate at peak capacity for periods of up to 90 minutes.
“Ninety minutes appears to be the maximum amount of time that we can bring the highest level of focus to any given activity. The evidence is equally strong that great performers practice no more than 4 ½ hours a day.” – TheEnergyProject.com, Tony Schwartz
Work intensively for up to 90 minutes at a time with brief ten minute periods of recuperation to walk around the office, stretch, or fill a glass of water. Notice the impact of this practice on the quality and effectiveness of your output.