In order to be productive without burning out, you need to optimize. If you plan your workweek around your energy levels and the variations in your energy levels, it will take less effort to accomplish challenging tasks and you’ll improve your work performance at the same time. Use these 5 tips to effectively plan your workweek around your energy levels.
1. Take a Week or Two to Evaluate: While the following tips (3-5) are a general guideline based on when energy peaks for most people, not everyone has the same kind of workweek or even the same flexibility to adjust their schedule within their workweek. If you feel like the average advice won’t apply to your situation, take a week or two to analyze and track your energy levels. Make thorough notes and adjust what you can, where you can. This level of customization isn’t as simple as following general guidelines but it will help you optimize your productivity and not feel as exhausted at the end of each workweek.
2. Make Time for What Energizes You: This tip is applicable across the board because there’s no point in optimizing when you use your energy if you’re not optimizing the amount of time you spend energizing. Getting a good night’s sleep every evening, exercising, eating foods that don’t make you feel sluggish, and getting adequate relaxation time in on the weekends is key. Additionally, make time for the intellectual pursuits, passion projects, charitable works, and hobbies that energize you and keep you motivated.
3. Ease into Work on Mondays: On average, your energy on Monday won’t be at its peak because you’re just coming back from the weekend (there’s a reason everyone hates Mondays). The best thing to do is to ease into work on Mondays by setting goals, organizing, planning, and focusing on tasks that place a low level of demand on your energy levels.
4. Challenge Yourself on Tuesday and Wednesday: The average energy peak during the workweek comes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for most people. This is the time to really put your nose to the grindstone, tackle challenging tasks, brainstorm, and take time to yourself to focus on solving difficult problems. If a task is high priority, close to a deadline, or ambitious this is the right time to focus on it.
5. Save Meetings, Relationship Building, and Long Term Planning for Thursday and Friday: As your energy levels begin to wane on Thursday and Friday, use your time wisely by focusing on more open-ended work. Saving your meetings for these days will help you optimize your time and you can also focus on relationship building and long-term planning. If you still have a few challenging problems to solve or difficult work to do that is close to its deadline, try to complete as much as possible on Thursday so you can give Friday, your lowest energy level day, to open ended work and more collaborative or discussion-based tasks.
No one’s energy levels are exactly the same but, in general, these tips will help you plan your workweek so you’re optimizing your productivity and avoiding burnout. Try them out today!