I interviewed Miranda Gray earlier this week about her new book The Optimized Woman. Miranda has written two books about the menstrual cycle, and in her latest she talks about how you can ‘optimize’ your cycle to boost your achievements, success, and work satisfaction. It’s an interesting idea and I’ll certainly have a go at applying the concepts to my own cycle to see if I notice any difference. I’m aware that I’m happier, more alert and outgoing at certain times of the month but I’ve never really monitored individual days to see if I am more productive or analytical.
The book explores the idea that there are four phases of your menstrual cycle and that during these you have Optimum Times, which are groups of days where you experience enhanced skills. To help us identify them Miranda has split the menstrual cycle into four phases: Action phase, Expressive phase, Creative phase, and the Reflective phase. Each of these phases roughly coincides with the four phases of the menstrual cycle – pre-ovulation, ovulation, pre-menstruation, and menstruation, says Miranda.
I’ve attached a picture to give you an overview of the different phases and a link to my interview with Miranda, which explains how the plan works. I’m going to keep a diary for a month to note down any observations on my own cycle, and to see if I can adapt my work to it. It’s not always possible, particularly if you have deadlines set by employers but it may help you to plan and prioritise tasks so that you get them done more quickly and effectively – working with your body rather than against it.
So, the next time you can’t concentrate on a particular task, don’t beat yourself up about it – check your cycle. Your hormones are probably trying to tell you that you would be better off doing something else this week!
Miranda is currently looking for small, female-run businesses to test out the 28-day plan. If you would like to find out more email her direct via her website.