Why 60 to 90 minute works cycles are important:
Top performing violinists use a strategy that has allowed them to reach peak performance. Question is, if you had this strategy – would you use it?
Our body functions normally with all sorts of rhythms – the most common is the 24 hour cycle, the circadian rhythm. Another rhythm women know too well, the menstrual cycle. The body also has other rhythms or cycles for temperature, hormone release, blood pressure, appetite and sleep. The basic rest – activity rhythm is 90 minutes and our body has a similar rhythm during the day for alertness and focus. Peak focus drops quickly after 60 to 90 minutes. At this point, distractions are easily interrupting the work flow, mental clarity wanes, and the body gets uncomfortable. These are all signs that you are ready for a 20 minute break. This break is needed to recover physically, mentally and emotionally.
Interestingly – most people completely disregard the natural needs of the body which are signals to maintain good health and peak performance. What aches or disturbances plague you regularly? Nothing more than you ignoring what your body needs.
The body needs to recover after 90 minutes of high level performance, recover for 20 minutes and then resume the activity.
Several keys of importance:
Prior to the 90 minute period – set your intention of how you will work. An example of intention – “I will be 100% focused in creating new solutions to the problems I want to resolve”
Remove all elements that might distract you: social media, telephone, people. If a distracting thought interrupts your work flow – disregard it or write it down for later referral.
Level of alertness
Notice if your level of alertness wanes – this can show up with being easily distracted, or noticing any body discomfort. Then take your break.
At the break
Get up and move around – this is essential since long periods of sitting causes various imbalances in the body namely enzymes that control blood sugar levels as well as fat levels are reduced and long periods lead to an increase of heart disease, weight gain and diabetes to name a few. Movement is important during each break.