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Find Out Your Chronotypes and You Will Know When Will Be Your Peak Productive Time.

Find Out Your Chronotypes and You Will Know When Will Be Your Peak Productive Time.

Sometimes it’s exhausting to perform all our daily tasks, and we wish to feel more energized. So, we drink yet another coffee, or another energy drink, or if we are lucky enough to have time, we take a nap. But still, we feel tired, if not more tired. There is plenty of advice out there telling us what to do to keep our energy level high during the day. Sleep 8 hours, go to bed before midnight, drink plenty of water and so on. But have you ever woken up after 8-hour sleep and felt tired?

Well, sometimes it’s not about doing all the right things, but WHEN you do them. If you want to maximize your energy levels, it’s all about timing. Having the energy to carry out important tasks means you need to identify your chronotype, and then adjust your schedule accordingly to see the most productive results.

Michael J. Breus, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who specializes in sleep disorders and in his book The Power of When, he names 4 different chronotypes. Your chronotype is actually a kind of inner clock which determines the best time for performing various activities, such as sleeping, eating, working, and so on. Thus, Breus created 4 new chronotypes and linked them to 4 animals, breaking down the best times for different activities for each type, based on preferences, hormones and biology.

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What are the four different chronotypes?

Dolphin

Dolphins in nature are light sleepers as they only rest one half of the brain while the other half is alert, and even the small noise can wake them up. If your chronotype is dolphin, it means you are intelligent, perfectionists, nervous and have a difficult time to fall asleep as you worry about so many details. You have a low sleep drive, and you often lay at night going through your past mistakes thinking what you could have done differently, thus you wake up feeling tired. You love to exercise, but not because you want to lose weight – you don’t need that as you have fast metabolism. You can be little obsessed with what you eat or drink.

If all this sounds quite familiar, then you are definitely the dolphin type. Dolphins can function with just 6 hours of sleep, and their ideal time for going to bed is around 11.30 p.m. and waking time around 7.30 a.m. or earlier. When doing complex activities, it’s important to be at your peak when your brain is most active, and that’s from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. for dolphins. If you wish to relax and recharge during the day, the best activities are yoga and meditation.

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Lion

Lions are very optimistic, love mornings and rising up early. They feel most energized and productive in the morning. They are leaders who develop the strategic way of thinking. Lions are very organized and they don’t like to take big risks, but rather apply their analytical thinking when facing challenges. The most comfortable role for them is the role of the leader in any situation, and even when troubles come, they will take a step back and make adjustments to their strategy. Junk food is not their thing, and they try to eat really healthy, except when they are upset.

If you are a lion, the perfect time to hit the sack is around 10 p.m. and ideal wake up time is from 5.30 a.m. to 6 a.m. As lions love morning, this is the time when you should get all the important things done – ideally between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. Lions also love to exercise with high intensity – as this is also one of the ways for them to achieve goals and feel proud of themselves.

Bear

Bears are fun, outgoing and sociable people. It’s easy for them to make friends and form close relationships. They like to be a part of the team and even though they may not be as focused as lions, they get things done. As the real animal, the bear type follows a solar-based schedule with maybe a nap in between. They are really active during the day and rest when the sun goes down, 7-8 hours minimum and probably some more if they can. Don’t be surprised if you see a bear groggy in the morning – they need some time to wake up. When it comes to food, bear are not really picky and they can always eat.

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If you are a bear, you probably like to go to bed around 11 p.m. and wake up around 7.30 a.m. Those are the ideal times for a bear even though bears can sleep until 12 p.m. if they have nothing else to do. As they need some time to wake up and feel energized, bears are at their peak from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – that’s the ideal time for tasks requiring focus. This type likes to be around people and bears get bored if they are alone for some time.

Wolf

Wolves are night creatures, and surprisingly very emotional, creative, insightful and intuitive. They are the artistic type who feels most productive in the evening. Wolves are a bit introverted, and you’ll probably see them sitting in a corner at some party, rather than being in the spotlight. Yet, if they are in the good mood they can become the life of the party. They like to experience new things, they are spontaneous and impulsive. People often characterize them as fearless and they don’t run away from risky situations, in fact, they often find themselves in such situations. They don’t really take much care about what they eat or drink, thus they have a tendency to obesity, and they tend to suffer from depression and anxiety more than other types.

If you are a wolf, then you probably don’t go to bed before midnight and get up late. If you need to get up really early, better set two alarm clocks. Wolves are most productive and creative from 5 p.m. to midnight. They are truly the night owls and this is their time to shine.

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When it comes to staying energized thought the whole day, that is really hard and almost impossible for every type. The best thing we can do is to listen to our biological clock and figure out when we are most productive and try to do as much work as we can during that period. It is important to listen to your organism and find balance between work and rest.

To find out what your chronotype is and what  your peak hours are during the day, take What’s Your Chronotype? quiz and find out!

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Ana Erkic

Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems.

In this article, you will learn why it isn’t easy to build new habits, and how to change habits.

What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

The Biology

Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

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Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

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Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

The Psychology

Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

1. Identify Your Habits

As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

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2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

3. Apply Logic

You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

4. Choose an Alternative

As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

5. Remove Triggers

Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

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6. Visualize Change

Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

Final Thoughts

Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

More About Changing Habits

Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

Reference

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