Women in business and our monthly energy crisis
What is cycle syncing, and can it improve productivity?
I first learned about the concept of cycle syncing from Julia Piccoli on TikTok (@juliapiccolicoaching). She operates two small online businesses according to her energy levels across the month.
Intrigued, I began doing more research on the topic, and wow, it is fascinating.
The science behind our biological cycles
For people who menstruate, hormones fluctuate throughout the month resulting in energy peaks and valleys. This is known as the infradian rhythm.
We’re all familiar with circadian rhythms, the 24-hour cycle that directs how our society operates. The infradian rhythm refers to hormonal cycles that last longer than 24 hours and is most commonly associated with the 28-day cycle of those who menstruate.
It’s important to note that cis-gendered men have a 24-hour hormonal cycle, meaning they wake up each morning recharged with fresh testosterone, ready to tackle the day.
Conveniently, our world is perfectly aligned with this biological rhythm.
People with periods have four distinct phases every month:
Menstruation phase: An energy crisis: energy levels are extremely low during this week.
Follicular phase: Get sh*t done! Testosterone and estrogen levels are on the rise, and so are energy levels.
Ovulatory phase: Hormones hit peak levels; seize the day!
- Luteal phase: Testosterone and estrogen levels dip while progesterone rises. This phase is where the dreaded PMS takes place. Energy levels start to wane, so plan low-key activities.
What is cycle syncing?
The concept, created by Alisa Vitti, is simple: plan your life around the various phases of your menstrual cycle.
Since our hormonal levels fluctuate throughout the month, we can practice better self-care and be more productive when aligning our schedules to our natural rhythms.
How to implement cycle syncing
Plan sprints to tackle most of your monthly work from the beginning of the follicular phase through the beginning of the luteal phase. By day three of your luteal phase, ease into simpler tasks and prepare to rest during your menstruation phase.
The idea is intriguing and seems like an interesting way for menstruating entrepreneurs to get the most out of their month.
Do more when you’re capable of doing more; rest when your body needs it.
Does cycle syncing work?
Science backs up the theory: follow your hormonal cycles to optimize work-life balance and productivity. Anecdotal evidence from various female entrepreneurs touts the benefits of aligning work schedules to menstrual cycles.
However, if folks have irregular cycles or are on hormonal treatments, this method won’t be easy to implement and may not be as beneficial.
Not to mention, the ability to schedule your life around a non-traditional cycle is a privilege. The 9-5 work culture doesn’t accommodate menstruators.
Yet, as small business owners, we can plan when we work… so why not consider all options?
Productivity planning takes time, regardless of the method selected. Consider when you feel your best and enjoy work the most… take notes, identify if there is a pattern, and consider aligning your calendar to your ideal energy flow.
Other cyclical productivity tools
Other cyclical productivity concepts revolve around energy levels. The overall idea is similar to cycle syncing with a less biological bent.
According to Fast Company, intuitive scheduling “is a heart-centered methodology that asks you to plan your days according to what would bring you the most joy and ease.”
Intuitive scheduling is all about aligning your motivation, joy, and health to optimize productivity.
It requires careful consideration of how your body feels, energy levels, and mental capacity. We’ve all had days where it seems nearly impossible to focus on more significant tasks, but we feel obligated to complete the to-do list we set for ourselves.
Intuitive scheduling prompts us to consider whether forcing productivity yields the best results. If the answer is no, we are meant to take a break, get a snack, go for a walk, or participate in another practice that will re-center ourselves.
The Pomodoro method was created by Francesco Cirillo and is a simple practice, which aids its popularity.
The idea is to work in 25-minute chunks, focusing solely on one task. In between each 25-minute session, a short break is earned. After four consecutive sessions, a more extended break is enjoyed.
The short sprints hone focus and allow for better time management. The digestible 25-minute duration turns daunting tasks into bite-sized progress.
While not a “productivity method” by the strictest definition, I firmly believe the best way to improve productivity, work-life balance and make entrepreneurship more fun is through strategic partnerships.
What aspect of your business do you dread handling?
For me, that is book-keeping and social media management. So, I’ve partnered with fantastic fellow business owners to manage those aspects of Valle Creative Consulting.
By partnering with incredible professionals, I’ve freed up time to focus on the aspects of my business that I actively enjoy (email marketing, blog research + writing, client projects.)
Want to work together? I’d love to be your marketing partner.
While marketing technology and algorithms change constantly, the importance of genuine human connection never wavers.
Each project starts with a deep understanding of why your business fits your ideal clientele.
Channel your unique self, expertise, and values into marketing strategies that build trust and grow your business.
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