Bear: [12:32] to [15:14]
Lion: [15:15] to 17:17]
Wolf: [17:18] to [22:25]
Dolphin: [22:26] to [25:20]
Today, I want to share with you a tip to boost your productivity almost effortlessly: plan your tasks in the right moment based on your natural daily rhythm, aka your chronotype.
A chronotype is "the internal circadian rhythm or body clock of an individual that influences the cycle of sleep and activity in a 24-hour period" (Merriam-Webster, n.d.).
Each chronotype is designed to perform specific tasks in specific moments. So you'll be much more efficient if you follow your chronotype and perform your activities at the appropriate moment for your body based on its energy.
Take the test here to discover your chronotype: https://thepowerofwhenquiz.com/. Then come back to read the tips to discover how to harness its power!
The following information is based on Dr. Breus' book, The Power of When.
Of course, the following information is based on an ideal day for the dolphin chronotype. However, it's not always possible to follow it perfectly. What I recommend is to "protect" your productivity peak as much as possible because that's when you are able to get the most work done. It means trying to avoid booking meetings during that period or doing busywork. Instead, focus on your most important tasks of the day.
Facts about Dolphins:
Dolphins suffer from insomnia. They are light sleepers that get easily woken by noises, which makes them prone to waking up multiple times in a night. It's also hard for them to fall asleep.
They struggle to wake up feeling refreshed and feel usually tired until the evening.
Dolphins need to associate their bed only with sleeping (and sex) and nothing else. They shouldn't watch TV, read or work in bed.
They also tend to forget to eat, but they must eat at regular times to maintain their energy level.
The perfect schedule for Dolphins:
Wake up time: 6:30 AM
When the alarm goes off, get up right away, don't snooze.
Get dressed and, if possible, do a 25-minute workout outside. If you don't have the time to do such a long training and/or go out, or do a few minutes of jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, plank, etc. and try to do your cool-down outside.
You might be thinking this is crazy, and you'll never have the will to do any of that right upon waking up, but I swear the benefits are well worth it!
My tip is to have your clothes ready by your side, so when you wake up, you don't even think about it and just get dressed and head outside. Although, I have to admit it's much harder to find the motivation to go out in the cold during the fall/winter season... But as mentioned, you can also do some exercises inside to raise your heart rate.
Creativity peak: mid-morning
This is the best time for you to brainstorm, think outside of the box, and find innovative ideas. Journal and write down all the ideas that come to your mind.
If your job entails some sort of creative work, do it now. Creative work can be finding a slogan, creating a demo, finding a creative way to pitch your product to a prospect, writing down your speech for an upcoming conference, etc.
Productivity peak: mid-afternoon
This is the best period to tackle the most important and demanding tasks of your day. If you can, isolate yourself to be completely focused. Turn off all notifications and useless tabs that could disturb you. And get things done!
Tackle tasks that require logical thinking, concentration, and/or to learn something new. Here are a few examples of such tasks: study, do research, edit a text, solve problems, analyze data, etc.
Sleep time: 11:30 PM
Get into bed. If you're not able to fall asleep, get up and do a non-stimulating activity like reading, meditation, or journaling. Keep the light dimmed and avoid screens. When you feel sleepy, go to bed and try to fall asleep again. If you still can't fall asleep, go back to the other room and do the non-stimulating activity again.
Avoid lying wide awake in your bed without being able to fall asleep. This just makes you feel more anxious and less likely to sleep.
When my insomnia was at its worst, it was easier to fall asleep somewhere else than in my bed (until I was able to associate my bed with sleep again). For example, if you have another bedroom available, you can try to fall asleep there. If your couch is comfortable and big enough for you, you can also try to fall asleep there.
Anyway, if you do suffer from regular and consistent insomnia, I recommend you talk to your physician.
Download this free workbook to learn how to use your chronotype to better organize your day and boost your productivity:
I wish you a zenly organized week,
Breus, M. (2016). The Power of When: Learn the Best Time to do Everything. Vermilion.
© Dolphin by Saeful Muslim from the Noun Project