That’s why I look forward to the first half of my cycle every month.
During your Week 1 and Week 2 (which starts with the first day of your period and lasts through ovulation–approximately 14 days), rising estrogen boosts your energy, brain skills, mood and everything else you need to power through a ton of tasks.
Like clockwork, in the days leading up to my Week 1, I start daydreaming of all the pen ink I’ll be using up checking off all the to-dos on my list as I imagine channeling all my rising estrogen energy into my workday, getting ahead with writing magazine articles that are due (to the gasping astonishment of my editors), flying through Hormonology book chapters and even having time left over to study a little astrophysics or polish my Frenglish.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t usually happen like that. Not even close.
Why? Well, unfortunately, rising estrogen also ratchets up optimism to cycle-long highs. I know this sounds like a good thing, but this estrogen-fueled overly-rosy view can actually make you overestimate how much time you have available to get things done.
The result? You can get easily distracted and sidetracked from your plans with non-essential stuff that saps your time–like fixing a chair that’s been wobbly for months, heading to a restaurant that’s really far but has your favorite falafel or allowing a chatty neighbor to go on and on without cutting her off at the first, “Hey girl!”–because you’re positively convinced you’ll still have time to get back to your tasks.
You know how I know that? Because I’m in my Week 1 and it’s 2 pm and I’m only just now writing this blog post, which was #1 on my to-do list and should have been done hours ago. But, I got sidetracked by having to re-route the new lawn guy who mistakenly did the yard across the street instead of mine, an impromptu dentist appointment that could have been put off, my dogs begging me to play catch and (which happens more often than I should let it) a chatty neighbor telling me all about the current state of her prized azaleas.
So, learn from the mistake I make over and over: When you want to use your rising estrogen oomph to reach the bottom of your to-do list during your Week 1 and Week 2, try to avoid, fend off, postpone or outsource anything that can distract you.
And when you’re tempted to veer off course, remember that no matter what day of your cycle you’re in, there’s still only 24 hours in it (far fewer if you enjoy sleeping and eating). So, focus on the project you want to complete. The sense of accomplishment you’ll have at the end of the day when you get to check off at least one task will be well worth it!