Every person has an energetic rhythm. It’s the natural cycle that predicts our energy levels, our sleep cycle, and to a lesser extent – our creative, innovative, and productive schedules.
By understanding and leveraging each team member’s energy rhythm, you have the ability to create more productive meetings, higher strategic discussions, and better creative solutions to problems.
In this article, we’ll break down what energy rhythms are, how you can utilize them for enhanced team creativity, and link to an assessment to discover your own energy rhythm.
What is Energy Rhythm?
Energy rhythm is simply the natural cycle of energy levels in a person’s wake cycle. Each individual will have a natural peak, dip, and recovery period throughout the day. During their peak time, they experience a rise in energy, mood, and vigilance. They’re more alert, able to tackle more complex thinking, and have longer mental endurance levels. During their dip, they experience lower levels of vigilance. Finally, they experience a recovery period, where energy rises (but not to the peak level).
Peak time is best for analyzing based tasks (things that require strategy and analytical brainpower). Alternatively, the dip time is best for maintenance based tasks (things that require less strategic thinking, like emails, files, data reports, etc). The recovery period is best for creativity and ideation, as it has high levels of energy and mood, but not quite the same levels of intensity and endurance as their peak level.
Why should you leverage energy rhythms?
You might be thinking, well sure there are times that I need an extra cup of coffee to really focus – but I get things done. We have to do our job.
While this is true that you can continue to perform and do your duties no matter what time of day; energy patterns reflect those periods where you just ‘flow’ and seem to speed through tasks, come up with a ton of ideas – and other times where you just feel like you have to force it.
Knowing the pattern will help you strategize activities accordingly. And knowing your team’s pattern gives you the ability to take advantage of those peak times as a group.
If no one on your team is peaking in creative energy during late afternoons – probably not the best time to schedule project meetings. You won’t get their best thoughts and ideas, and your team will not be strategizing to their maximum potential.
When you can find the best time to capture everyone’s creative energy – you’ll get a ton of fantastic ideas. Likewise, if you can plan around peak analytical times – you’ll find strategic and analysis power is at an all-time high for the team.
How do I find my team’s energy rhythm?
Awareness is key for discovering your (or others) natural energy rhythm.
Spend some time learning about each person’s energy rhythm and identify their peak, dip, and recovery periods. Do you notice which people seem to be ‘early birds’? Or who on your team seems spacey before their coffee. Who on the team tends to send big idea emails in the middle of the night? When does the group seem to collaborate with a lot of energy? When do meetings seem to be on fire; and when do they drag?
Of course, these are great conversations to have with team members. Get their honest thoughts on when they’re most productive. When do they like to meet with others, vs when do they prefer to do paperwork? What meetings do they love; and what time of day do they wish they could never schedule something?
If you or your team are finding it difficult to formulate patterns around energy rhythms, take a free assessment.
Once everyone on the team has their archetype, you can work towards finding the best time for shared activities.
When leading a team, you want to be able to tap into that talent for creativity, strategy, and solution brainstorming. But you can take it one step further by leveraging energy rhythms to find the best time to conduct shared activities. Learn what your best time is for analytical tasks, organizational activities, and creative thinking. Structure meetings around the best energy time for the group and get the most out of the team!