How To Craft Your To-Do List Based On Your Menstrual Cycle
What if I told you that aligning your to-do list with your menstrual cycle could help you be more productive, without the overwhelm and burnout?
Every day of your cycle, your changing hormones are influencing you in many ways, including your physical energy, your confidence levels, how social you feel, and which tasks on your to-do list will feel easiest!
Our modern-day lifestyle revolves around the 24-hour clock, largely ignoring the ebbs and flows of a woman’s 28-30 day menstrual cycle. We’re expected to perform consistently every day and feel guilty when we don’t. We soak up advice on how to optimize our productivity, how to craft the perfect morning routine, and how to take care of our bodies – but often, this advice doesn’t consider how a woman’s energy levels, strengths, and self-care needs shift throughout her cycle.
While you may feel like a different woman each day of your cycle, you’ll find that you move through very predictable ebbs and flows each month. When you understand the way your menstrual cycle influences you daily, you can work with this powerful inner rhythm instead of fighting against it.
The benefits of aligning your to–do list with your menstrual cycle include:
You experience increased productivity, creativity, and confidence because you’re taking advantage of your natural strengths in each phase of your cycle.
You use your energy more effectively and schedule rest when your body needs it most, so you don’t feel overwhelmed or burnt out.
You nourish your body and soul with self-care practices best suited to where you are in your cycle, so you feel your best all month long.
You can plan to set yourself up for success throughout your cycle and make ticking off your to–do list easier than ever.
Your menstrual cycle is a superpower, offering a blueprint for how to organize your life and feel your best!
Understand the Seasons of Your Cycle
The first step to harnessing the power of your menstrual cycle is understanding the four inner seasons you move through each month, and what your natural strengths are in each one.
Then, where possible, you can schedule tasks for the inner season where they’ll feel the most effortless and most enjoyable! You’ll also be able to predict which times of the month you’ll be bursting with energy, and when to scale back your schedule, so you don’t burn out.
Inner Winter (Menstruation)
Cycle Days: 1-5 approx
Focus: Rest, Reflection and Visioning
Your cycle begins on the first day of your period, as your womb sheds its lining. Your hormones – estrogen and progesterone – are at their lowest now, so you’ll have less physical energy and feel more tired than usual. Give yourself as much space to rest, nourish your body, and connect with yourself. The more you slow down, the more energy you’ll have throughout the rest of your cycle (and you’ll have fewer premenstrual symptoms, too!). Your superpowers in your inner winter include heightened intuition, problem-solving, visioning, and planning. It’s a great time to dream big and map out your next steps.
Set intentions and goals for the new cycle
Do free-flow journaling to receive guidance and ideas
Get extra sleep
Brainstorm ideas and projects
Plan the month ahead, including your schedule, budget and work projects
Delete your social media apps for a few days
Choose gentle movement such as yin yoga or a walk
Spend time alone
Do your favorite relaxing activity, such as taking a bath or reading a novel
Inner Spring / Follicular Phase
Cycle Days: 6-12 approx
Focus: New Beginnings, Play, and Motivation
Once your period finishes, you’re ready to come back out into the world! Your energy increases steadily as your body prepares for ovulation – the peak of your cycle – and you will feel naturally motivated and optimistic. Your hormones are increasing, supporting you to feel more resilient and less emotionally turbulent. There’s a feeling of renewed energy and inspiration, as though anything is possible! Your inner spring is a time for new beginnings, mixing up your routine, and stepping outside your comfort zone.
Initiate a new project
Brainstorm, plan and experiment with ideas
Go on an adventure or explore somewhere new
See a show, concert or exhibition
Learn a new skill or take a class
Start a new habit (it’s more likely to stick now)
Harness your increased motivation and focus at work
Increase the intensity of your workouts as your energy rises
Mix up your regular routine: Try a new workout or head to a different cafe
Do something that’s outside your comfort zone
Inner Summer / Ovulation
Cycle Days: 13-20 approx
Focus: Communication, Connection, and Magnetism
Your inner summer is the Superwoman phase of the cycle, where you feel like you can do it all! Your body is fertile, and biology is conspiring to make you as magnetic as possible. Your superpowers include heightened connection, communication, and confidence, and your libido is sky-high!You’ll feel more outgoing than usual, making this a great time to socialize and collaborate with others. Your energy, focus, and creativity are at their peak now, too, so make the most of these superpowers by prioritizing your most important or challenging tasks.
Focus on bringing your most important projects and ideas to life
Socialize with friends and family
Attend networking events and collaborate with others
Go on dates
Express your creative energy
Give a presentation or teach a workshop
Choose high energy workouts
Take advantage of your communication skills by having important conversations
Prioritize sex and self-pleasure (your libido is highest now)
Batch cook and freeze meals for your inner winter
Inner Autumn / Premenstrual Phase
Cycle Days: 21-28 approx
Focus: Clarity, Editing and Completing
Your hormones begin to decline once your body realizes it hasn’t conceived, leaving you feeling more tired and less sociable. Schedule in extra rest and self-care to honor your waning energy levels. Your instincts are heightened during this phase, and emotions can feel more intense.
While your inner autumn can feel a little turbulent, it’s not all bad! It’s a great time to evaluate, problem solve, and course-correct – whether in a work project or in your life – because you have an eye for detail and your intuition is amplified. You may also feel the urge to complete tasks and clear space. It can feel as though you’re spring cleaning your life to prepare for a new cycle!
Focus on completing projects
Clean, tidy and organize
Review your month in your journal: What are you celebrating? What went well? What needs to change?
Release your emotions: Try dance or primal screaming into a pillow
Spend one on one time with friends
Choose lower intensity workouts, such as yoga or pilates
Complete those admin tasks that have been on your to–do list all month!
Schedule in solo self-care time
Take care of your groceries and household chores so you can rest when your period arrives
Now you understand your inner seasons, you can start crafting your own to-do list based on your cycle!
4 Steps to Sync Your To-Do List with Your Cycle
Mark down the first day of your last period in your calendar – that’s day one of your cycle! Counting forward from there, note when you’ll be in your inner winter, spring, summer, and autumn. Put these in your calendar too!
Schedule your next period in your calendar. Where possible, try not to commit to anything unnecessary during that time (especially the first two days of your cycle). You may have some non-negotiable commitments, but leave space where you can.
Write down your to-do list for the month. Get it all down! I like to organize my list into categories, including work, home, health, and social life.
Now that you know what you need to get done, and when your inner seasons are, it’s time to align your to-do list with your cycle! Where possible, schedule tasks in the inner season of your cycle that allow you to harness your innate strengths and superpowers. Don’t forget that the closer you are to your period, the less energy you’ll have, so schedule accordingly!
Chances are, you won’t be able to align 100% of your schedule with your cycle, and that’s okay! Start with the to-dos that are most flexible, such as your workouts, social life, and self-care.
When it comes to harnessing the power of your cycle, small changes yield significant results. Aligning even 10% of your to-do list with your inner seasons will create a whole lot more energy, ease, and flow in your life!