My HormonologyDo you reserve your days off from work or school for to-dos that need to get done around your home or yard?

Instead of choosing at random which project to tackle, try syncing up each task with each week of your monthly cycle. This way, you’ll match your energy, mood, motivation, brain skills and other hormonal effects with the task so you do a better job and get it done faster! Here’s how:

Week 1: Assemble, fix, map, research and plan
Day 1 (onset of menstruation) to Day 7
Research shows your spatial skills peak during your period thanks to low-but-rising estrogen, which allows testosterone–the spatial skill hormone–to shine through. So, if you’ve got something to assemble (like a lamp or desk), repair (such as a running toilet or bike chain) or a travel route to figure out (say, for when backpacking through Europe), you’ll excel at it in your Week 1. You’re also better at planning the first stages of a long-term project, such as re-painting the house. So, do research online to compare prices and get tips, take measurements, write a list of supplies you need and do the prep work this week. This way, you’ll be ready to launch it by the time you get days off in your Week 2.

Week 2: Travel, chat and do grunt work
Day 8 to ovulation (which is Day 14 in a 28-day cycle)
High estrogen and testosterone are making you want to get out of the house and talk with other people. So, head to stores to gather necessary supplies and while you’re there, chat with experts about the best way to go about a task you’re planning to tackle. These hormones are also ratcheting up your energy and stamina to cycle-long highs, which makes Week 2 the best time to do heavy-duty to-dos, such as painting a room, tilling soil for a new garden  or installing carpet. You’ll also find it easier to organize, clear clutter and bag up clothes, electronics and other items you no longer use to donate, sell or give to friends since high estrogen makes you less sentimental, so it’s easier to let go of them.

Week 3: Decorate, prune, clean, bake and shop
Begins day after ovulation and lasts 8 days (which is Day 15 to Day 22 in a 28-day cycle)
Rising progesterone–the nesting hormone–is bringing out your desire to make your home more comfortable, beautiful and clean. So, you’ll also enjoy heading to home goods stores to pick up decorative pillows, new sheets and other homey additions. You may also want to restock your cleaning supplies and give a neglected part of your home a good, invigorating scrub. Or you might like visiting a garden shop for a new plant or tending to the ones you already have. Rising progesterone may also be ratcheting up your desire to cook. Take advantage of it by preparing a bunch of foods you can freeze now and eat later, saving you time and money. Thanks to the combination of rising progesterone and lower levels of estrogen and testosterone, you’re more likely to make better purchasing decisions in your Week 3. That’s because you’re not as prone to overspending like you were in Week 2 when high hormones made you impulsive; and you’re not prone to spending too little and, subsequently, buying an inadequate product like you are in your premenstrual Week 4 when plunging estrogen prompts money worries. As a result, if you’ve been meaning to purchase a new appliance, bicycle, car or other big item, head to the stores in this week.

Week 4: Tie up loose ends, be creative and take a break
Final 6 days of your cycle
During your premenstrual Week 4, plunging estrogen is making you a bit less patient with crowded stores, long lines and confusing, poorly-written instructions. So, use this week to tie up loose ends on projects that are near completion, for instance, by cleaning off accidental paint splatters. A dip in estrogen also puts you in touch with your emotional side, which makes it a good time to organize photos, create a scrapbook or do other artistic tasks. Also perfect to do for a Week 4 day off: Nothing at all. Sometimes, you just need an excuse to have the day to yourself. And with descending levels of estrogen threatening to bring down your mood, trigger fatigue or prompt aches and pains, this sounds like a reasonable excuse to grant yourself a personal day.

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