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How to Increase Productivity with Cycle-Aligned Planning

Let Me Level With You....

I used to spend weeks knocking my goals out of the park; every item on the to do list was checked off everyday and I felt like I could do anything, only to then fall short, feel exhausted and defeated that I couldn't maintain my "momentum" a few weeks later. Men would give me "productivity tips" that essentially amounted to a Nike slogan, and I wanted to scream.

Didn't they understand I was trying my absolute hardest? I was following my same routine; I wasn't doing anything different than before, but I felt like a fragment of myself. Was there something wrong with me?

Not at all.

It wasn't about self-discipline, motivation, routines, or habits. It was about my menstrual wonder the guys' advice was so useless in this case. 

In this comprehensive blog post, I’ll delve into a revolutionary approach to productivity planning tailored specifically for women. I'll unpack the concept of planning your business tasks around your menstrual cycle, a strategy that can transform how you work and lead to greater success and well-being.

Understanding the Benefits

When I first gave this productivity strategy a try, I was skeptical, but quickly, any doubts I had were wiped away and I was blown away by how much my productivity increased. I was shocked by the changes that happened when I started planning my business around my cycle.

When you align your tasks with your menstrual cycle, you tap into a natural rhythm that can significantly impact your productivity, focus, and overall well-being. Here are some key benefits:

Increased Productivity

By scheduling tasks according to your energy levels throughout the month, you can maximize your output during high-energy phases and allow for rest during lower-energy phases.

Enhanced Focus

Matching task complexity to your cycle phase ensures that you tackle demanding projects when your focus and concentration are at their peak.

Improved Well-Being

Avoiding burnout and exhaustion by honoring your body’s natural ebbs and flows leads to better overall health and a more sustainable work-life balance.

Greater Efficiency

Planning ahead based on your cycle helps you prioritize tasks, manage time effectively, and make the most of your productive periods.

Understanding Your Cycle

To begin planning your business tasks around your menstrual cycle, you need to understand the four key phases:

  • Menstruation: The bleeding phase marks the start of your cycle.

  • Follicular Phase: Occurs post-menstruation and leads up to ovulation.

  • Ovulation: The peak fertile phase in the middle of your cycle.

  • Luteal Phase: Begins after ovulation and ends with the start of menstruation again.

Tracking your cycle using apps like Flow or utilizing cycle tracking features on devices like Apple Watch or Fitbit will show you your menstruation and ovulation phases.

Determining Phase Timing

Once you have a clear picture of your cycle, you can determine when each phase typically occurs for you. Since you should already have an idea of your menstruation and ovulation using a tracker, you just have to determine the timeline of your follicular and luteal phases.

Here’s a breakdown of the average duration range for each phase:

  • Menstruation: 3-7 days

  • Follicular Phase: 11-27 days (average is 16 days)

  • Ovulation: 3-4 days

  • Luteal Phase: 12-14 days

Your follicular phase starts when you stop bleeding (ending your menstruation phase) and ends when you begin your ovulation phase. Your luteal phase begins when your ovulation phase ends and lasts until your period begins. While exact precision isn’t necessary initially, having a general timeline is beneficial.

I use my Eagle Eye Calendar and color code the days when I’ll experience each phase. Since you should already have an idea of your menstruation and ovulation using a tracker, you just have to determine the timeline of your follicular and luteal phases. Understanding these timelines allows you to plan ahead and anticipate your energy levels and productivity during each phase.

Setting Clear Goals

With your cycle information in hand, it’s time to set clear goals for the upcoming four weeks. Reflect on the following questions:

  • What tasks must be accomplished to move your business forward?

  • What would you like to achieve if time allows?

  • Are there any long-pending tasks that require attention this month?

Once you’ve gained clarity on your goals for the month and the tasks you’d like to tackle, write out all the tasks you’d like to accomplish in the next four weeks.

Prioritizing Tasks

Next, rank your tasks based on their complexity and the level of focus they require:

  • Level 1 Tasks: Creative, complex, and focus-intensive projects.

  • Level 2 Tasks: Tasks involving social interactions or presentations.

  • Level 3 Tasks: Straightforward, administrative, or educational tasks.

Assign Tasks by Phase

Assigning tasks to these levels helps you match them to the most appropriate phase of your cycle:

Level 1 tasks are best suited for your follicular phase when creativity and focus are high.

Level 2 tasks align well with the days surrounding ovulation when communication skills are enhanced.

Level 3 tasks are ideal for your luteal and menstruation phases when attention to detail and administrative duties shine.

Organizing and Executing

Once you’ve categorized your tasks, group 1-3 tasks that can be completed in one day based on their complexity levels and the time of the month. During follicular and ovulation phases, aim for more complex projects and plan on a higher quantity of tasks, knowing that your energy levels will support increased productivity.

For example, I plan about three high-level tasks per day during follicular and ovulation phases, but I only schedule 1-2 tasks per day during luteal and menstruation phases that are less complex in nature. To make the process easier, I use color-coded sticky notes on my Eagle Eye Calendar for easy visualization and adaptability. This balanced approach optimizes productivity while respecting your body’s natural rhythm.

Embracing a New Approach

I know all too well the urge to work extremely hard, all the time. No breaks, no rest, we’re supposed to push ourselves to the point of total exhaustion, right? It’s taken me years to even begin to deconstruct this belief, and I still struggle with the guilt of intentionally slowing down during my luteal and menstruation phases.

However, with this system, I still feel accomplished everyday, but I have been able to set realistic goals based on my hormones and energy.

I like to think of it as working in sprints. My follicular phase is my go-go-go sprint, and my luteal phase is my time to rest and recharge. While it feels counterintuitive, slowing down at the end of my cycle gives me so much energy to start fresh, and I’ve found myself getting so much more done each month following this productivity formula.

By planning your business tasks around your menstrual cycle, you not only optimize your productivity but also prioritize your well-being. It’s a holistic approach that honors your body’s needs while driving your business forward.

What Do You Think?

Feel free to share your thoughts, questions, or experiences with productivity planning around your menstrual cycle in the comments below!

This comprehensive guide aims to empower female entrepreneurs like you, helping you navigate productivity challenges while embracing the unique rhythms of your body. By planning your business tasks around your menstrual cycle, you can achieve greater balance, efficiency, and overall success.


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