Working to Your Rhythm

Since working for myself I’ve been able to design my own working day. Over the last ten years I have become attuned to my mood, my emotions, and my motivation levels.

Author Esther Freud said about her working day in The Guardian “My morale is higher in the morning, my eye sharper, my doubts ring less loudly in my ears. In the morning anything seems possible. In the afternoon I can’t imagine why I bother at all”

This accurately describes about 90% of my days. All the motivation and enthusiasm during the morning which starts to tail off from around 2pm. By 8pm I wonder if I’m producing anything of value at all, and then I start thinking about chucking it all in. I know at this that point it’s time for bed.

I had a look for research on this but didn’t find anything of interest. I guess on a simple level it comes down to energy levels. I also think there’s only so much in the tank to give to each day. As the hours of work pass it becomes more difficult to produce quality. The problem with 9-5 working is that we’re not designed to work those hours in those shift patterns. Our bodies are designed for short bursts of activity followed by periods of rest. I’m sure that to some extent nature has allowed us to adapt to our new environment and the requirements of work but 9-5 has never really worked for me. Finding my own rhythm has done wonders for my health, and it’s useful to know when you’re likely to produce your best and build your day around that.

4 replies
  1. Monika aka mumonthebrink
    Monika aka mumonthebrink says:

    I totally agree with you Erica!

    There’s some info out there on biorhythms, though we are yet to find proper scientific proof from the tools available today.

    I also believe there is a seasonality to one’s own rhythm that needs to be taken into account for work and other activities we choose to undertake.

  2. Debby Marcy
    Debby Marcy says:

    So true, Erica.

    I feel the urge to work at 6.00 am in the morning – and that’s fine. That fits in with my rhythm and it’s amazing how much I can get done by 8.00 pm when I take a break until about 10.00 am. I tend to work in two hour ‘chunks’ during the day until about 6.00 pm with breaks.

    I also try and get out for some fresh air at this time of the year as we feel the need to ‘hibernate’ a bit, it is essential to blow the cobwebs away if we can. It’s a pain getting all togged up if the weather’s miserable, but even 20 minutes brisk walk gives you a boost.

    • Erica
      Erica says:

      Couldn’t agree more, having a dog helps with the forced walks. I do think we have our own natural rhythm and it’s rarely the conventional 9-5.


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