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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Daily Rhythms: How These Cycles May Affect Our Goals

In the study of wildlife ecology, living at night can be seen as a form of “niche differentiation.” This is where a species' niche is divided into specific time periods (daily or seasonal) that best contribute to its survival in response to surrounding resources, competitors, or threats. Temporal niches take advantage of an animal’s enhanced senses (sight, hearing, smell) that dictates activity to ensure their survival.

Humans are not exempt from this concept. During a typical 24-hour cycle, does the time of day have any affect on how we utilize our resources, or respond to the demands that threaten our time and energy? My husband is most alert in the very early morning, a time when he is primed for reading and meditation. I am most alert, and get my most creative boost very late at night. We both are least energetic during late afternoon. Examine your daily rhythms. When do you feel most creative? When do you have the most energy? Where in the daily cycle do you feel you are winding down? What part of the day do you feel the least productive?

It is good to be aware of how we coexist within our daily environment, and note what times we function best to maximize our resources for completing projects. It could also help family dynamics or our relationships at work (group populations!), by learning to build a balanced coexistence; recognizing where our needs fit individual niches, yet complement the overall potential of the group.

Once we acknowledge segments of our time where we feel most energetic—or our mind is primed for growth, productivity, or creativity for example—we can better manage our time and help avoid self-sabotage of our goals.

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