Hypnosis elicits a range of reactions - from amusement at silly gags on stage to wonder at its positive therapeutic uses. It relaxes the mind and causes one to be more open to suggestions, and we’ve found that you can actually hypnotize yourself to get into your most optimal mindset for work. Imagine working while resting and having to struggle less to motivate yourself to tackle certain tasks. According to the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, by lulling your brain into a deeper state of calm, you can trigger increased concentration, greater focused attention, and access more of your potential to dive into your work.

Hypnotists use a steady rhythm of repetitive words or imagery to achieve this state, and in a similar fashion, the key is to lay out a life rhythm over your days to allow for more rest throughout the week. In keeping up with our evolving lifestyles, the boundaries between work and life are more fluid than ever before; our notions of rest and stay energized need some updating, too.

A life rhythm is a strong, repeated pattern of movement, arranged according to duration and activity in order to rejuvenate you periodically. It differs from a daily routine because the focus is on long-term sustainability and endurance, whereas a daily routine can be more about setting personal boundaries to tackle tasks. John Lee Dumas, founder of EntreprenuersOnFire, combines the two and says it best: “My routine sets me up for success because it prioritizes my agenda, which is rest, hydration, fitness, nutrition, and quiet time. After these blocks are checked, I am ready to take on other people’s agendas.”

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A life rhythm addresses our modern reality that it’s getting more difficult to carve out dedicated minutes, let alone hours, to solely resting; to be truly resting - as opposed to half-procrastinating on social media while half-worrying about your growing workload - is a seemingly less attainable goal. Weekends are thankfully still around, but we’re looking to thrive during the week and not just survive until happy hour.

How you manage your mornings especially influences any life rhythm you’ll set. There are articles and listicles galore on the importance of mornings as a time of peak energy and creativity, and most of them tout mindfulness, reflection, and paying attention to your body as best practices. But these best practices don't take into account varying personality types. While these values are right up an introvert's natural way of gaining energy, for an extrovert, such practices speak to values that require some translation so that they provide more energy the way an extrovert gains energy.

To hack your energy, we’ve found a few key pointers to keep in mind as you discern your best life rhythm - so that you can make some real music no matter what you do.

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For Extroverts

Extroverts by definition gain energy by being around people. In a FastCompany analysis, psychologist Hans Eysenck proposed that “the difference between introverts and extroverts was that they simply had different levels of arousal – meaning the extent to which our minds and bodies are alert and responsive to stimulation ... This means that extroverts need to work harder to arouse their minds and bodies to the same ‘normal’ state that introverts might reach quite easily, [leading extroverts] to seek novelty and adventure, and to crave the company of others.”

There’s also a difference when it comes to how extroverts process stimuli, specifically how the stimulation coming into your brain is processed. For extroverts, the pathway is a short one, running through areas where taste, touch, and visual and auditory sensory processing take place. Extroverts draw the most energy and focus from activities that are very tangible, as opposed to more intellectual or abstract stimuli.

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Routine Suggestions: For mornings or evenings

  • Try journaling as a way to externally process any stress or hard-to-name feelings. Doing a video journal is also a way to trick yourself into reflection (and practice your public speaking while you’re at it).
  • Read fiction, nonfiction, or poetry in the morning to introduce fresh ideas, “new people” or characters, and stimulate your brain in other less accessed parts.

Routine Suggestions: Throughout the week

  • Schedule a creative conversation or a meeting to brainstorm ideas earlier in your day to get all your cylinders pumping, or during a time you know you’ll hit a slump to keep you awake, like just after lunch.
  • Consider breaks that require movement and engaging with the physical world, such as exercise or some light cooking. Taking a walk among pedestrians can get you out of your head better than a nap might.

 

For Introverts

Introverted people recharge from time spent alone, one-on-one conversations, and space to think things through. You can get sidetracked or flustered by unexpected changes or last-minute surprises; a morning routine can be the most important component of your life rhythm to guard against such unwelcome interruptions, as much as you can avoid them. For introverts, stimuli run through a long, complicated pathway in areas of the brain associated with remembering, planning, and solving problems so why not take advantage of that when strategizing how to keep your mind alert?

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Routine Suggestions: For mornings or evenings

  • Meditation or yoga can set a consistent and peaceful tone while expressing simple priorities for the day.
  • Manage social interactions by setting small goals like one good conversation during happy hour and be selective about what you commit to. Don’t let guilt over saying no govern your decisions - taking care of you is a gift to others as well.

Routine Suggestions: Throughout the week

  • Ask and you’ll never know what you receive. It’s worth preparing a proposal and asking your supervisor about working from home for a day of the week if it’ll allow you to work for uninterrupted hours.
  • Schedule draining meetings during your peak energy time and spread them throughout your week, leaving room for lighter tasks toward the end of the week.

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Bonus Tip: Early Mornings Are All the Rage, But I Hate Waking Up Early

In this age of technological advances left and right, the struggle of getting up early is now efficiently solved by apps. Let them fight for you and it turns out, we found some delightfully ingenious strategies.

  • Wake N Shake - You literally have to shake the daylights out of your phone to turn it off. Gamified and fun for “movers and shakers”, you don’t have anything to lose in trying out a different approach to waking up.
  • The Rock Clock - You can now wake up to the dulcet tones of Dwayne Johnson, also known as The Rock. It comes complete with motivational pep talks, real talk alarms titled “Wake My Ass Up”, and other gems.
  • Alarmy (Sleep If U Can) - If you are your own worst enemy, arm your better self with this weapon. With Alarmy, you have to physically get up and run around to take a photo of a preset image of your choosing, preferably in another room. Once you get past the initial grogginess, it’s a great way to laugh at yourself in the morning.
  • Sleep Cycle - This app is designed to wake you up at your optimal time as you emerge from REM sleep. Aside from the data you get, measuring sleep as a practice alone also ensures you get enough sleep in general. Fun fact: it’s been recently updated to record your snoring if 1) you wonder if you snore and 2) you wonder what you sound like.

As you discern the changes in your productivity and energy, remember that no one changes overnight. Start off with a metric for success that isn’t just completing the tasks of your ideal rhythm. Instead, give yourself a week or two wherein simply trying is your sign of success. This is your data collecting period - observe what works or what doesn’t and show some compassion on yourself. Your body also needs time to realize how well you’re treating it so it can thank you properly. Self-hypnosis through a life rhythm - live your life as good as it sounds.



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About the author:

Sarah D. Park is a freelance writer & editor who hails from Los Angeles and is currently hustling in the Bay Area.