You Don't Get My ADHD


Observing Energy Levels for Peak Productivity

Observing Energy Levels for Peak Productivity

Is it easier for you to focus in the morning while your coworker finds it easier in the afternoon, or vice-versa? It is normal to not operate at peak performance for all 8 hours of the workday. If we want to feel accomplished at the end of the day then we need to observe our energy-levels and moods throughout the day to determine our peek productivity periods.



I am sure you have experienced a time of day where you feel sluggish and can’t seem to get anything done, while your coworker appears to be a rockstar. Did you also notice at the opposite time of day when you feel on your game that your coworker is having their own struggle to perform? Of course you didn’t. You were a hyperfocused rockstar. If we pay attention to the times of day when our energy is high, medium, or low then we can adjust the tasks we work on to be ideal for those energy-levels.



I am a morning person. I wake up around 5am and have my high-energy period somewhere between 10 and noon; this is my ideal time to work on my most difficult thought-provoking tasks. I get sluggish after lunch and have low energy. It would be a wasted effort and make me very frustrated to try and tackle an intense task at that time of day. You may be someone who feels energized after lunch. Fantastic! I’ll delegate my task to you, haha. I pep back up to a medium level from about 3 to 5pm. If I want to maintain a positive outlook all day then I need to set realistic expectations of what I can achieve during each of my energy-levels.



Recently I had a day where I was planning to work on a specific project during my high energy-level period. I was excited about it, but my ADHD brain had other plans for me. I spent over an hour considering my options of domain names. I even got three friends involved in this distraction. At the end of this time period I decided to keep things as they were, but the damage was done; I was feeling heavy mental and physical fatigue from all of the decision-making. While I rested on the couch, trying to normalize my heartrate and breathing, I came to the realization of what had happened. I had wasted my high-energy time on a non-priority task, and now I was entering my low-energy recharge time period where there was no chance of getting that project worked on – and likely, I would be unable to attempt it at all that day. I missed my window of opportunity. I could try to work on it, but it would be not an efficient use of my time for the given energy-level so I instead chose more appropriate tasks.



Being mindful of our regular energy-level times of day seems to be a key factor in planning tasks to match reasonable expectations. Another consideration is to do what we can to achieve our energy-levels at our regular times. Routine routine routine. Have a set sleep schedule. Hit our morning routine consistently. Maintain our hydration and satisfy our hunger. Take breaks. Finally, for me in particular, watch out for time thieves that want to distract us from the predetermined task at hand.

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