Breaking the 9 to 5 Rhythm

I was telling someone about my blog and she asked me how often I intended to update it. My first thought: Mondays through Fridays since those are workdays. But then I stopped myself. If I’m truly living intuitively, should I force myself to set up rules to determine how spontaneous I can be? Maybe – like today – I’ll feel like writing on a Saturday. And maybe on Tuesday I’ll feel like reading a book in the park.

Studies have shown that everyone has an internal method of timekeeping and this inner clock controls our Circadian Rhythms or changes in mental and physical activity throughout the day. Some studies, such as this one from the International Journal of Value-Placed Management, suggest that the changes in our personal rhythms affect how efficient we are at different times. For example, if you’re a morning person, you’ll be most efficient if you get your work done early, while afternoon and evening people will be most productive at the end of the day.

So the 9 to 5 workday, Monday through Friday, might be intuitive for someone who’s Circadian Rhythms happen to coincide with it, but for many of us, sticking with a 9 to 5 schedule is like swimming against the tide. While everyone can’t go into work and demand a different schedule, many employers are open to flexible hours. Also, many of us who’ve been laid off or are now working for ourselves as consultants have the ability to consider our ideal work schedule as we consider future opportunities.

Intuitive Action Item: Spend the next couple of days paying attention to when you have the most energy. Is there a time of day when you feel most alive or have the urge to get things done? That’s your body’s way of telling you it’s ready to work, or it’s up for the challenges and tasks you need it to perform. Likewise, when do you feel sluggish or have the desire to take a nap? Instead of shrugging it off to the fact that you should have gone to bed earlier, think about whether you can instead adjust your day to accommodate your internal timeclock.

That will be your first step in acknowledging that when it comes to your life, you really do know best. may receive compensation if users buy products or services mentioned or advertised on this site or click on some of the links on this site.