Why I do the things I don’t want to do
July 18th, 2019
Do you know what your optimal daily rhythm is?
If so, are you working with or against it?
Everyone in my household knows that I’m a lark. I’m often up one hour before everyone else. By the time others are awake, I’ve done my morning meditation practice, had a cup of tea and worked on my most brain-intensive work of the day.
According to bestselling author Daniel Pink, a lark is — you guessed it — a morning person. And Pink’s research demonstrates that I’m in the minority.
The writer of the 2018 productivity book “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing” explains that knowing your chronobiology will help you rework your day to feel more productive and successful.
Here’s a sample of what Pink is talking about with chronobiology.
Knowing your chronotype, Pink says, is the secret to becoming a high performer.
Here’s a simple exercise Pink shares to help determine if you’re a lark, owl or third bird:
- Figure out the midpoint of your sleep cycle on what are called “free days,” the days when you don’t have to wake up to an alarm clock. This will most likely be on your days off or during the weekend.
- If your midpoint of sleep is 3:30 a.m. or earlier, you’re probably a lark.
- If your midpoint of sleep is 5:30 a.m. or later, you’re probably an owl
- If your midpoint is somewhere in between, you’re probably a third bird
For larks and third birds, the morning is the best time to do analytical work that requires head-down, focused attention, such as strategizing, analyzing a financial statement or writing a report.
Here is Pink’s free discussion guide to implement in your work or business.
And so, going back to the subject of this blog post, I do the things I don’t want to do because they allow me to do the things I do want to do. I want to have positive impact on others, to have the energy to grow my business, to feel in-sync with my day and be present with those whom I love the most. In order to do all those things, I have to do the things I don’t want to do. And, for me, doing the things I don’t want to do means waking up early.