Science-Backed Approach to Optimal Productivity

Cadrene Heslop

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Your body has energy peaks and lows throughout the day. It is natural. Pilar Gerasimo says tiredness and blah feelings are signs your body is working well. These are your body's signals that it needs downtime to refresh itself. This cycle is an ultradian rhythm. It affects your physical, mental, and emotional health, even your willpower.

Your ultradian rhythm has two distinct phases: peak and trough. Pinnacles feature about 90 minutes of high-frequency brain activity. Afterward, you have a trough period, 20 minutes of low-frequency brain activity.

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Why is listening to your body essential?

Listening to your body's rhythm is a great way to support your health and productivity. Problems occur when you ignore your need for rest mentally or otherwise.

If you often push yourself to work straight without breaks, it can hurt your mental health. According to the CDC, overwork is the second leading cause of employee injury and illness.

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What can you do to enhance your productivity?

The best approach is to work during your peaks and rest through your lows.

Most people have a 90-20 minute wake/rest cycle. Yet, the length varies throughout the population. There are commonalities, though. Humans tend to have high energy in the late morning and early evenings. And low willpower in the early morning and late afternoons.

Dr. Martin Seligman recommends movement (walks, stretches, or desk organization) and light conversation. These help you forget about the task during your break.

If you cannot take breaks, you can pace your workload. The Entrepreneur suggests setting priorities, outsourcing, discipline, task time limits, and avoiding perfectionism.

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*Medical Advice Disclaimer: This information, including but not limited to text, graphics, images, and other material contained in this article are for informational purposes only. No material in this article is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.*

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