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Health

While we'd hate ever to admit something like our monthly cycle impacting our ability to do our jobs, the truth is that this is sometimes very much the case.


Menstrual cycles are divided into various phases. Depending on the phase of the cycle, hormonal influences can have profound impact on a woman's daily life.

“In relation to the work/productivity aspect of a woman's monthly, the best time or the most 'feeling good time' for a woman during her cycle would be during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. This begins on the initiation of your period and lasts approximately 10-14 days. Hormonally speaking, FSH (or follicle stimulating hormone) is being secreted, which causes follicular stimulation to be created in the ovaries," says Dr. Kecia Gaither, a double board-certified OBGYN and Maternal Fetal Medicine physician.

It's during this point in the cycle that women are energetic and our minds are the most clear. If there is some project that needs to be taken care of, this is the time of the month to make it happen.

Now, let's discuss the luteal phase of the cycle. This is when the hormone progesterone begins to rise, causing the lining of the uterus to thicken in preparation for menses. “The progesterone also influences the production of another hormone, cortisol—which can cause irritability. In the latter part of the cycle, women can experience mood swings, insomnia, breast tenderness, bloating, and decreased concentration.

This is also the point in the cycle where those salt/sugar cravings present themselves," says Dr. Gaither. In relation to work life balance, the latter part of a woman's cycle may not be the best time to undertake any project that requires substantial diligence to bring it to fruition.

Now, if in the workplace there tends to be a majority of women in close proximity to each other, there might be a menstrual synchrony. “Simply, women working together can have their cycles occur roughly at the same time each month. While the scientific data is inconclusive as to whether this really exists, anecdotally speaking, most women working together can attest to its existence," says Dr. Gaither.

This myth may have since been disproven, but considering women's cycles in the workplace can be a prudent move either way. Especially considering the continuing anecdotable belief in the idea of period syncing. So, if a big work related event is happening and everyone's input is needed, waiting until the latter half of everyone's cycle might be nice.

Yes, women are affected by the changing hormone levels of our menstrual cycles. But different women are affected in different ways, so it's really not possible to say with absolute certainty that one specific time of month is more or less productive. “For most women, these changes are subtle rather than dramatic. And most importantly, while an individual woman may be able to discern certain patterns about herself based on where she is in her cycle, those patterns tend to be individual rather than universal. For example, high progesterone levels during your luteal phase may cause you to feel really down in the dumps, but for someone else, that same hormonal change causes them to feel relaxed and well-rested," says Lea von Bidder, co-founder of Ava, a cycle-tracking sensor bracelet that uses new technology to precisely detect a woman's fertile window in real time.

One more thing to keep in mind: many women are on hormonal birth control, and absolutly none of this stuff holds true when that is the case. “You don't have a real cycle with hormonal birth control, meaning you would not experience any of the changes throughout the month that occur with a natural cycle," says von Bidder.

There are uncommon cases where periods affect productivity. “Some women experience extreme pain, discomfort, and other physical symptoms around their period. This is not very common, it's a disorder, and it can usually be resolved by taking hormonal birth control," says von Bidder.

This piece was originally published on April 12, 2017.

Time-Saving Hacks That Will Help You Focus More on Growing Your Brand

Whether it's your child or your brand, there is nothing quite like the excitement you get when you see the fruits of your efforts grow. In the face of aversion, you must remain cool-minded and adaptable to remain effective. This can be quite stressful, and every minute counts. Alone, the responsibility can be overwhelming - wouldn't it be nice if things just ran themselves sometimes? Especially those things that we do mindlessly all the time, and seem to take up most of our time?

When you start a business, you soon come to realize that in order to grow your brand, you need to be extremely organized. And to be efficiently organized, it is imperative that you master the art of managing your time. The saying 'time is money' rings true when it comes to growth. This is why we're going to provide you with helpful tips that will allow you to save time so you can focus on growing your brand.

Use the Right Tools

Technology has changed the way we conduct our business with each other. Today, more than ever before, we have access to data which gives us clearer insight and vision, as well as better tools for productivity. However, as we all know, this is all conditional to your intent. As much as a smartphone can be a tool for productivity, it can also be a fantastic source of distraction and procrastination, which is directly detrimental to said productivity. Automation is an advantage that is available to almost everyone today when it would have been unthinkable just a generation ago.

Get Connected

When a brand is still young, the team is still close-knit and there isn't too much coordination necessary when it comes to keeping up to date and on top of work. Chat groups and video calls can do, as well as simple task-managing apps. But as you grow, your workflow becomes more complex and the volume of data generated by your company will very quickly become a logistical nightmare.

Telltale signs of data overwhelming are endless excel sheets, frantic Post-it notes all around the (real or digital) office, and relying on the consumer rather than business-oriented data storage and communications solutions. These have their limits, and investing in a holistic company-wide system will not be a waste.

Work More Effectively

Your workflow can be simplified into smaller tasks which follow each other in a sequence, which can have conditional elements to it. That's where automation comes in. If you can draw it in a flowchart, you can automate it. Tasks that would have taken days can be outsourced to a machine that will not only perform but also learn in the process.

There is now a myriad of online services for freelancers which essentially give them the productivity potential of a small firm. We're now at the point where bots at https://www.hellobonsai.com/contract-templates can generate custom templates for the documents your brand needs, replacing the need for a legal consultant to intervene. You just need to know what you want to automate, and what you want to make out of it. If you create a logical process from the inception of your brand, then the automation will be seamless, as all you will need to do is add more tasks.

Be Mobile and Flexible

Most of your coworkers and clients will probably already have a smartphone, or will soon. It is also very likely that beyond using these for leisure and social activities, they use them for work. It is now normal to switch off the heating in that apartment you've been renting out while you are on holiday because your AirBNB tenants are overusing it. Or to track the status of your latest food delivery while you are sitting on the toilet.

Consumers today are not only constantly on the move, but they are also increasingly data-focused. They will be looking for results and have the capabilities they need to research, analyze, and calculate what they deem necessary to ensure they will be making the right decision. They thus also expect the same in return, in the form of bespoke customer service that is both intelligent and responsive.

Simplify

Data is everywhere and is relatively easy to obtain. In a single click, you can generate a web analysis that will reveal more information about your blog or website than your doctor will ever tell you about your own body. Before diving into this ocean of data, take time to identify what is really important to you. Brainstorming is a great tool to really identify and prioritize what you and your team should be focusing on first. If you try to wage war on all fronts, then the chances of winning are slim.

With the right tools and the right method, you can save yourself quite a considerable amount of time. With both the agility and flexibility that data managing and automation software brings to the table, you will see an increase in your productivity. Careful planning is key, and if you focus on streamlining your workflow, you will be able to take your brand to the next level.