wellness

'You're not lazy. You just don't know your chronotype.'

Sick of feeling like you’re lazy just because you don’t like to get up at the crack of dawn?

Do you feel your most productive after lunch or even after dark?

Do you seem to crash just after midday?

That’s because our most productive times depend on our 'chronotype'.

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I discovered chronotypes when I was having a late-night scroll and since then, I've completely changed my daily routine.

So, what is a chronotype?

A 'chronotype' basically refers to an individual's natural body clock and their levels of alertness throughout the day.

Broken down into four categories – the lion, the dolphin, the wolf, and the bear – knowing your chronotype will ultimately help you understand how to structure your daily schedule.

I'm a lion, which means I'm typically an early riser. 

As a lion, my peak time to do focused work is between 8am and 10am. As a result, I find it better to do lighter work tasks after lunchtime, as that's when I head into the "slump" of my day.

I always used to feel guilty when I struggled to focus or be productive after lunchtime. But now that I've discovered my chronotype, I understand that it all comes down to my own biological circadian rhythm.

After finding out I was a lion, I completely altered my work routine – and I've noticed a huge difference in my productivity as a result.

I used to do my emails as soon as I got to work, but now that I know this is my peak time, I use this time to complete important projects and harder tasks, and save my emails for after lunchtime.

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Likewise, I don't force myself to work late in the afternoons as I've noticed a huge change in how much work I get done during the day!

Even when I'm working from home or taking a day off, I make sure I use my peak times to smash out housework or errands before I unwind in the afternoon.

So, which chronotype are you, and how can you change your own schedule?

The Lion.

Also known as "early birds", lions are up bright and early and ready to take on the day. 

As lions typically have more energy in the first half of their day, it's important for lions to get their most important tasks out of the way before lunch, while saving lighter tasks for the afternoon.

To sustain energy in the later parts of the day, a full night’s sleep must be a top priority for a lion. Knowing when it is time to take time for themselves at the end of the day is important.

WAKE UP BY: 6am.

ASLEEP BY: 10pm.

FOCUS TIME: 8am-12pm

The Bear.

Bears take up 50 per cent of the population. 

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The bear typically rises and falls with the sun, and takes a couple of hours to completely wake up. As a result, it is best for bears to ease into the day and ease out of it. 

Mid-morning is their most productive time, so schedule any important tasks for during that time frame. 

For your lighter tasks, wait until the early afternoon.

WAKE UP BY: 7am. 

ASLEEP BY: 11pm. 

FOCUS TIME: 10am-2pm

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The Wolf.

Wolfs are also known as "night owls".

Wolfs should try to avoid scheduling highly creative, difficult or important tasks or meetings early in the day. 

It takes a while for a wolf to wake up, and they peak later in the day, making the evening their most productive hours. But as this isn’t always possible in a normal working week, breaking up the day is important for wolves. 

If you're a wolf, try scheduling times for a quick walk between tasks or make time to finish your most demanding tasks for an hour or two after dinner.

WAKE UP BY: 7.30am.

ASLEEP BY: 12am. 

FOCUS TIME: 3pm-9pm

The Dolphin.

Dolphins are typically insomniacs or problem sleepers. 

Due to the difficulty of getting shut eye or restful sleep, taking breaks throughout the day to reset and recharge is important for dolphins. 

A dolphin's brain is always on, so it is hard to nail their best working time as creativity sparks in random bursts. 

If you're a dolphin, make sure to allow yourself some time to unwind in the evening.

WAKE UP BY: 6.30am. 

ASLEEP BY: 11.30pm. 

FOCUS TIME: 3pm-9pm

You can follow Steph Pase on Instagram, or read more from her on her blog, Just Another Mummy Blog.

Feature Image: Instagram/Supplied.