Is Your Internal Clock Affecting Your Performance?

Apparently, my doshas were all messed up.  

And what, you may ask, is a dosha?  Apparently, it’s a “mind-body type” in the Indian alternative/complementary medical school of Ayurveda.  (Please don’t ask me how to pronounce that.  I’m from Kentuckiana.  I can barely pronounce “alternative” properly.)

I knew in December that something was off-kilter and out of balance, so as with all problems, I turned to the internet, looking at different mind-body approaches, including Ayurveda.  

Evidently, I am a “pitta,” which sadly has nothing to do with Brad and Angelina.  Pitta equates to fire, and my imbalance did seem like a fire that had gotten out of control.  It’s not that fire is a bad thing; it’s that my personal “fire” had expanded beyond the bounds of what was healthy.  I was spending too much time obsessing about work (a sign of pitta imbalance), I wasn’t sleeping well, and I had some anger issues resurfacing.  And my digestion was a mess.  

I still don’t know if I had a “pitta imbalance” or if I was just stuck in a rut of focusing way more of my energy on work and some past hurts that I associate with this time of year than was healthy for me.  But either way, the fire metaphor was helpful.  I needed to “cool off,” and doing more of what wasn’t working wasn’t going to help.  

We all have our personal circadian rhythms.  For me, late morning to early afternoon is my peak productivity time; but I also can be remarkably productive at in the middle of the night (also a pitta characteristic).

Ideally, we’d all be able to orient our workflow around your best times.   For example, I know that from about 2:30-6:00, my energy and ability to focus is at it’s lowest for the day.   

That doesn’t mean I should buy an “Urban Sombrero” and put in a recommendation at work that we institute daily siesta time.  Or that I should move to Italy or some other country where that’s the norm.  

However, if I know that’s the case, I should probably try to schedule the tasks that are more challenging, and require me to be at the top of my game, for the hours from 10 -2.  My “second best” time of day is early morning, from about 5:30 or 6 to about 10.  

Towards the end of last year, I spent a lot of time beating myself up because I was struggling to get things done at the end of the day most days.   But the problem wasn’t lazyness, or lack of motivation. 

It was more that I did a poor job of syncing the task to the time of day.

So now, I’m trying to be a bit more conscious of my internal clock when planning my workflow.  

How about you?  Do you have a “prime time” for energy and focus?  Do you get frustrated with yourself during your non-peak time?

7 Comments


  1. ·

    Do you realize that the productive times you describe are verily Ayurvedic pitta times of the day and night?!

    Renays last story..Renay

    Reply
  2. Kat
    ·

    Renay,

    So I’ve read. 🙂 It also explains the “second wind” I’ve always gotten at about 10 or 11 at night. I’m figuring out that the problems I’ve been having with my sleep cycle is that I know 7 hours is my optimal AMOUNT of sleep, and when I backtrack from a 6 or 7 AM wakeup time, that sets my bedtime at 11 or 12.

    But the problem is, I can’t get to sleep at 11 or 12–that’s when my “second wind” hits, and I get fired up about work or other stuff I want to accomplish.

    I’d be better off going to bed at 9:30 or 10 (when I really DO feel tired), and waking up earlier, prolly. I just need to convince myself of that. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Chris
    ·

    Wondering how you figured out that 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. was your 2nd best time since you’re normally unconscious ’til 7:30… :-p (added by Mobile using Mippin)

    Reply

  4. ·

    Sure. Ayurvedic pitta reducing herbs: shatavari, amalaki, bhringaraj along with jatamansi might help you “calm down” to sleep at 9-10pm.

    Renays last story..Renay

    Reply
  5. Kat
    ·

    Thanks for the recommendations. I’ve recently started trying melatonin in the evening, and it seems to be helping.

    Reply

  6. ·

    Do you realize that the productive times you describe are verily Ayurvedic pitta times of the day and night?!

    <abbr>Renays last story..Renay</abbr>

    Reply

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