News / South Africa / Health

Renate Engelbrecht
Content producer
4 minute read
5 Nov 2021
10:07 am

Period productivity: Plan your month’s work around your menstrual cycle

Renate Engelbrecht

Did you know that planning your work around your menstrual cycle might help you manage your period productivity? Here’s how.

Period productivity. Picture: iStock

A woman’s menstrual cycle can be divided into four main phases: Menstruation, the follicular phase, ovulation and the luteal phase. Once you plan your month’s work around your menstrual cycle by using the four period phases and their accompanying hormones as beacons, your life might forever be changed.

In the end, it’s all about embracing hormonal changes in your menstrual cycle to take advantage of what they offer you.

There are three main hormones that play a role in your menstrual cycle and evidently also in your period productivity: Oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone.

Menstruation (Day 1-5)

During this phase, your energy levels and all three hormones’ levers are normally rather low with a slight rise in oestrogen and a slight dip in progesterone. Thus, when you menstruate, your ability to focus and your so-called period productivity is pretty low.

Apart from this phase being the ideal phase for self care, it is also the phase in which you should schedule less meetings and important deadlines at work.

In fact, keep these dates in mind for a day off to go for a haircut or a manicure, or a longer lunch if you can. Perhaps even take your chances and make it your four-day work week if you have an employer who is open to the idea.

self-care at work
Self-care at work. Picture: iStock

This is the phase in which you can take things a little slower without being too hard on yourself about it. Also make sure that you get enough sleep and rest well.

The follicular phase (Day 6-14)

This is the phase during which your reproductive hormones (progesterone and oestrogen) start to increase again in preparation for ovulation. It comes with higher energy levels, glowing skin and your sex drive might also start increasing during the follicular phase.

Many women feel rather optimistic and energised during this phase, which means it is the ideal phase for socialising, exercising and trying new things. Therefore, apart from working up a sweat in your personal life, you should also work up a sweat when it comes to work in this phase.

Work a little later during this phase while you feel more motivated and optimistic. Host strategic meetings, take calculated risks, learn new things and plan ahead during this phase which often boasts a higher drive to succeed.

If you have creative work or tricky projects that need to be done, do it in this phase.

ALSO READ: 7 Things to do when you feel anxious

Ovulation and period productivity (Day 14-16)

They say that the ovulation phase is the ideal phase in which you should try that new hobby you’ve been too nervous to start. Well, here’s your chance!

During ovulation, your oestrogen and testosterone levels are at its peak, while progesterone dips and then slowly starts to increase towards the end of the ovulation phase. The increased testosterone gives you an outward focused energy and the oestrogen should make you feel energetic and proactive.

Period productivity at its peak
Period productivity at its peak. Picture: iStock

The ovulation phase is ideally the phase in which you should take your chances – whether it is to pitch a business idea or whether it is to seal a deal. Schedule important meetings and tough conversations for during this phase of your menstrual cycle.

Hormones in the luteal phase (Day 15-28)

In this phase, your body is preparing itself for the next menstrual cycle, which means your energy levels may start falling and your hormone production which brings premenstrual symptoms (PMS) with it, kicks off.

The PMS week doesn’t have to be such a bad thing. You just need to learn to work with it, instead of against it.

Try to work from the office or from home as much as possible during this phase, as your body will be needing the necessary nutrients and minerals, including magnesium and iron-rich foods. Being on the road during this phase will most probably keep you from eating a healthy, balanced diet, which means you won’t be your best self.

Take it slow
Working from home. Picture: iStock

It is a phase in which you should slow down a bit. Perhaps use these few days to do some admin and to declutter your desk and your computer. This is the time for simpler work tasks that take less brain power.