The Weekly Pulse – Typical Energy Patterns over the Work Week

June 29, 2010

Tony Schwartz, in his book The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working talks about the importance of understanding that there are certain rhythms to your work week and to schedule activities accordingly (when you can).  Following is what he considers a typical week for most of us:

Monday – a “warm-up” day mentally, much the way athletes do by stretching and jogging before competing.  This is a good day for low-demand administrative tasks, including setting goals, organizing, and planning.

Tuesday and Wednesday – We are typically ramped up and our capacity for focus and engagement is at a peak.  These two days are the best for tackling your most challenging work, addressing the most difficult problems, writing, working on strategy, and etc.

Thursday – by Thursday, the studies have found that our energy begins to ebb, so this is a good day for meetings in which reaching consensus is important.

Friday – this is the day of our lowest energy of the week – especially Friday afternoon.  It is a good day for more open-ended work such as brain-storming, long-range planning and relationship building.

The key is to understand how your energy patterns through the week and then to design the work-flow for you and your team with these rhythms in mind to maximize effectiveness.

Questions – do you recognize these rhythms in your week or some variation of them?  Are you scheduling your work to take advantage of these rhythms?

I just had a great four day weekend with my family, so today is my Monday!  Hoping you have a blessed week.

BG