todotattooYou may know me as the Hormonology lady who shares Hormonology Tips, creates Hormonology Apps and is writing her long-awaited follow-up Hormonology book. But, I actually do a lot more than just that: I’m a full-time journalist who writes two articles every week about women’s health and saving money for Woman’s World magazine. I’m the co-creator of Head Scratcherz, which is a suite of card games I made with my husband that’s soon to be launched (you’ll hear all about it soon). I’m the founder and moderator of a popular discussion MeetUp group in my town. And, because I don’t have enough on my plate, I’m about to start my own recipe blog dedicated to one of my favorite desserts: mousse. But, that’s not all I want to do–I have big plans for when I one day retire: I’ll be writing novels (I already have outlines completed for five dramedies and one science fiction series) and I’ll open a little shop on the beach that sells all my best mousse recipes.

Even though I live in sunny Florida where kicking back on a lounge chair under a palm tree while sipping fruity cocktails is not only strongly encouraged, it’s practically a statewide mandate, I’m the type of person who likes to do stuff. And plan to do more stuff just in case the other stuff gets finished early.

But, I know I’m not alone. Whether you tend to take life at a leisurely pace or have a to-do list longer than a CVS receipt like me, your own urge to accomplish more also tends to peak in Week 2 of monthly cycle (the week leading up to and including ovulation). That’s because high estrogen revs your mental and physical energy and endurance, amplifies your ambition and prompts a desire to make a mark in the world that’s seen and admired by many. Not too shabby for a single hormone, right?

Well, when your urge to do more kicks in during your Week 2, I have one word of advice for you: Prioritize. Pick the most important task that needs to be done and commit yourself to doing that first. Do the same with the second most important task, and so on.

Here’s why: In addition to all the traits that make you better at accomplishing your goals during this cycle week, high estrogen also gives you the intense, irresistible urge to have fun. And this can sabotage your goal-getting three key ways:

1. You turn into a juggler. With all that peaking hormone-fueled energy, you’ll be convinced that you can tackle several projects at once–making phone calls for one project, doing online research for another project and running errands for yet another project. However, that’s just high estrogen’s sneaky way of squeezing in more fun: Flitting from project to project is way more interesting that bearing down on just one alone.

The problem is that by spreading yourself across multiple projects, you run out of time and never get one fully completed. You then end up with all the projects you were working on left unfinished by the time your Week 3 comes along (the week after ovulation)–and that’s a cycle phase when lower estrogen and rising progesterone rob you off all that spiking estrogen momentum, slowing you down.

2. You’re more easily distracted. If there’s anything even remotely more interesting than the project you need to work on, there’s a high chance you’ll be off like a shot doing it. But, who can blame you? Whenever you do something new and different during this high estrogen cycle week, this elevated  hormone triggers a big surge of the same joy-inducing brain chemicals created when winning cash or getting a crush.

3. You wander off. If you happen to come up with any reason to get out of your home, workplace, classroom or other location where you’re blocked in by four boring walls, you’ll take it. That’s because high estrogen pushes you to roam. Researchers believe this estrogen-triggered wanderlust is a throwback to the early days when we needed to travel far to meet a partner who wasn’t a close relative in our clan to ensure healthy babies. In modern day, it means that we’re prone to heading to a cafe, friend’s house, movie theater, mall, water adventure park or any other fun destination when we should be plugging away on our project.

As luck would have it, I just experienced this Week 2 urge to have fun over doing the task I need to do: Write this Hormonology blog post. I received a paycheck in the mail and had to deposit it right away so it can clear in time to make a hefty down payment that’s due on Monday for my forthcoming braces. So, I interrupted my writing to take off to the bank. But, as I was driving there, I thought to myself, “Since I’m out, I may as well go to the supermarket and get the ingredients for my next mousse recipe. And since I’m getting those ingredients, I may as well go to the housewares store and get a couple of kitchen tools I wanted to use to make the mousse….”

And then I heard it. I was totally high estrogen funning-out! Shopping for items for mousse is obviously way more fun than sitting at home behind my computer. But, my priority is this blog post. Then, after this, I’ve got to work on two articles that are due to my editors. And, after that, I’ve got to write a press release for the Female Forecaster App I’m releasing later this month. These are things that are way, way, way more important than mousse. But, there ya go: Even though there are tasks I need to do–and actually want to do–high estrogen is pushing me to do something more fun instead.

Luckily, I realized what was happening and made a commitment to head straight home after depositing my check. And I did.

Hopefully, this advice helps you stay focused on tasks that are a priority the next time you’re tempted to blow your high-estrogen Week 2 energy on non-essential activities when you can use it to accomplish important goals.