Imagine an early morning visit to the zoo. You’re all excited to see animals leaping around with enthusiasm, demonstrating their swift command over nature. You first stop by the owl exhibit, only to find these majestic creatures engulfed in deep slumber. Next, you wander over to cringe at the creepy bat display, only to find it closed until dusk. At least you see some excitement from the roosters who appear to be totally in their groove during these early morning hours.
We all learned back in middle school that animals have natural circadian rhythms. It isn’t natural for a cheetah to set the new ground speed record at 4:00am nor do I expect to see my dog (DaVinci) ready to play before 11am. Animals have certain times where they perform at their best, and other times that just aren’t optimal. Of course, we people are animals too.
Author and entrepreneur David Farbman speaks extensively about this concept in his recent book, The Hunt. He suggests that each of us have a Peak Activity Window – a natural timeframe each day where we do our best work. By knowing yours and planning around it, you can improve performance.
Perhaps you’re a “rooster,” feeling your best at the crack of dawn. Or maybe you’re a “dolphin,” splashing, jumping and flourishing mid-day. You could be a “bat,” getting most active at the evening twilight. Or you may be a “night owl” like many of my musician friends who release their best creativity only when the sun has long been down.
One isn’t better than the other. The important point is to understand your own Peak Activity Window and build your schedule around it. If you’re a night owl, don’t schedule your big, important sales call first thing in the morning. Roosters will do better at breakfast meetings than dinner meetings.
Taking the logic further, you may have different windows for different types of work (or art). Personally, I write best in the mornings but trip over my words later in the day. In contrast, I absolutely stink at working out before noon but tend to get energized at the gym between 3:00 – 6:00 pm. Working with your natural rhythms – instead of fighting them – can be a powerful approach to reign in the outcomes you desire.
Let nature work for you by discovering and harnessing your Peak Activity Windows. Schedule your time accordingly, and it just may give you that extra boost of performance you seek. When you work at the right times, the impact of your thunderous roar will be felt far and wide.