Period Productivity: How to Use Your Menstrual Cycle as a Productivity Tool

When Etta James said “It’s a man’s world”- sis was speaking the truth… the unfortunate truth.

Us women have come a long way: from the days of not being able to vote or to even work- but we still have a long way to go. 

One of the reasons I say this is because today’s society is still modeled for male-dominance.

Case in point: work days.

“Men’s hormones follow a different pattern. They peak in the morning and gradually drop off over the day, reaching their lowest point at night. The next morning they peak again, and the whole male cycle starts afresh.” [source]

This is where…

*drumroll*

the 9-5 work day was born.


So in contrast, women are on a different timeline. Our hormones don’t change throughout the day like a man’s does.

Instead, our hormones take us on a roller coaster ride like Travis Scott did Kylie on his AstroWorld tour… but over a span of 28 days.

via GIPHY

It all makes sense now, right?

This is why it’s so important to learn how to navigate through these hormone cycles and actually use them to our advantage– because the system wasn’t made for us.

When I read about all of this, I was WOKE. So now, I’m passing along the info so we can ALL be woke.

So we can fight back against this male-driven world, and put it back into the hands of the deserving:

US. WOMEN.

Because when Etta James said it’s a man’s world? She followed it with “but it wouldn’t be nothing without a woman”– And that’s on PERIOD!

(See what I did there ;))

Get in loser, we’re going shopping fighting patriarchy!


Truth: “The menstrual cycle influences cognitive function and emotion processing. It impacts our ability to do our jobs by affecting our moods, energy levels, analytical and intuitive reasoning, and even memory.” [source]

Hormones can sway us in different directions. We already know this from the side effects of birth control- loss of sex-drive, weight gain, mood swings.

For this reason, we have to be aware of a few things: the phases of your cycle, the hormones in each phase, and how to use them to our advantage in the workplace.

In this blog post, I’ll make a list of all the above, brought to you by the help of Dr.Kecia Gaither, Director of Perinatal Services at NYC Health & a double board certified physician in Ob/Gyn and Maternal Medicine. [source]

I’ll walk you through everything so you can understand fully.


Okay, here we go.


So your menstrual cycle is made up of 4 different phases: menstruation, follicular, ovulation, luteal.

Below is a timeline of a 28-day cycle (notice how the different hormones fluctuate):

*Important Note: Day 1 of your 28-day cycle is the day you start bleeding.


Phase 1: Menstruation (3-7 days long)


Timing: This phase is known as the bleeding phase

Duration: 3 – 7 days long (your period length)

Hormones: Your estrogen and progesterone levels are at their lowest point in your cycle.

Which gives you: Low energy, reduced mental speed, and struggles with memory


This is the perfect time to: Create your to-do lists & plan for your upcoming phases, do some reflecting of the phases of your last cycle, course correct, evaluate, listen to that gut feeling

Not recommended: Over-booking yourself. Save social outings, big meetings, and important dinners for the next phase.


Phase 2: Follicular Phase (6th day-14th day)


Timing: This phase occurs as your menstruation phase is winding down

Duration: Can last up to 10 days long

In this phase: Your uterus begins preparing once again for a potential pregnancy

Hormones: Your estrogen and testosterone are steadily increasing

Which gives you: A massive boost in energy leading towards ovulation, this is the “feeling great” phase


This is the perfect time to: Get big- set big meetings, plan client dinners, try something new/start new projects, tackle the hard to-do’s, push harder in your workouts, organizing/re-organizing


*Important note: I’ve included extra notes in the next phase so you know when you’re actually in Phase 3.


Phase 3: Ovulation (14th day – 19th day)


Timing: Approximately mid-cycle

Duration: 3 days

In this phase: An egg is released in hopes of being fertilized

Hormones: After ovulation, your peaking estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels all abruptly shift and decline before they increase more gradually (refer to graph!)

Note: These shifts in hormones can majorly affect your mood, causing extreme emotional and physical swings (both the highs and lows). But don’t worry, after a few days your estrogen rises a little again and it’ll give you a little boost in energy once more (& that’s when you know this phase is over)

Also note that: Biologically speaking- ovulation is a time you’re more open to “mating” (because the egg was released)

Which gives you: A boost of confidence, a feeling of agency over your life and when you feel ripe. High communication, collaboration, and verbal skills kick in


This is the perfect time to: Negotiate deals, work with your vendors, have important conversations, ask for a raise, go to networking events


Phase 4: Luteal (14th day – 28th day)


Timing: Second half of cycle

Duration: Up to 12 days (longest cycle!)

In this phase: Physiologically, if you have not become pregnant, your uterus begins preparing to shed its lining (then you go back to phase 1 of menstruation).

Hormones: This is where your estrogen dips to an all-time low, and progesterone has dropped as well

Which gives you: The least amount of energy of the cycle, so you’ll feel sluggish and tired. You’re also more sensitive and emotional. Toward the end of this phase (week 4) is when many women experience PMS or PMDD


This is the perfect time to: Take on shorter, more easily accomplished tasks, take more self-care breaks, and (because the energy is low) rest up to prepare for the next cycle & phases. During this phase, you should tend to your administrative tasks, your accounting, submit your monthly reports, your expense reports, etc

Things not recommended: Scheduling any meetings that could test your patience


Conclusion


I hope that you guys found all this info helpful and that I’ve explained it well enough so that you can truly thrive in the workplace.

I know all of this may seem overwhelming, which is why I use the [Period Tracker] app. It helps me track where I’m at in my cycle.

By the way, this post isn’t a sponsored post. The app honestly does so much for me & I recommend it to everyone. It’s even rated a whole 5 stars from 62,000 users!


Here are some of the examples of what it does for you:

You can even log in your symptoms:


If you enjoyed this post, you’d probably love my [How to Ask for a Raise as a Woman & Why You Should] post.


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