When I got my period back for the first time after having my first daughter, I was suddenly and for the very first time in my life compelled to learn more about my cycle. That’s when I found out that there’s something incredibly significant about your inner blueprint that’s been left out of health classes while we’re so busy teaching girls to stay safe and say no. Are you ready to have your mind blown?

What I found out is fascinating: Our menstrual cycle has four phases and those four phases match up perfectly on an energetic level with the four phases of the moon and the four seasons.

This is not a mistake. This is Divine.

How I Used the Inner Productivity Blueprint

As an experiment, I decided to pay attention to my own energetic levels in concert with my cycle and the lunar phases as though I was gathering scientific data (which I was) using a Daily Energy Tracker that I created (which you can find in my book, Do Less). Then I decided to try something really revolutionary: I would follow the way my body felt. I would also follow my natural energy levels as I planned my activities, instead of trying to push through and be “on” all the time. Previously, every productivity method I’d ever studied had trained me to just keep pushing so I could get more done.

Here’s what was unexpected yet delightful: I not only got to know myself on a deeper level than ever before (and therefore felt calmer and more grounded) but I also got more done in less time with less stress. It’s shocking to me that this inner blueprint for productivity has been hidden from women for so long. But it’s time to get it out in the open.

So, how can you use this?

What the Inner Productivity Blueprint Is

First, let’s talk about the four phases of your menstrual cycle, the moon, and the seasons to understand the framework of your inner productivity blueprint.

There are four energetic phases that are the same in each of these cycles. Here’s how they all relate and the energetic qualities of each:

  • Spring/Follicular/Waxing Moon: New beginnings, planning, fresh energy
  • Summer/Ovulation/Full Moon: Peak fertility/magnetism, communication, visibility
  • Autumn/Luteal/Waning Moon: Wrapping things up, turning within, cozy
  • Winter/Menstrual/New Moon: Rest, reflection, intuition

Every kind of activity we need to do in order to get a project off the ground, launched, and executed beautifully is covered in these four phases.

How I Used the Inner Productivity Blueprint in My Business

I started looking at my projects according to these four phases, too, because I figured if it’s good enough for my body, the moon, and the earth, it’s good enough for my business, too.

Thus, the Upward Cycle of Success was born as a project management framework to minimize overwhelm, keep us on track with our progress, and ensure we get amazing results without burnout. There are four phases that a project will go through at least once (though sometimes you’ll cycle around several times as you make progress, like a spiral staircase):

  • Emergence: brainstorming, planning, initiating
  • Visibility: launching, being out there, connecting, communicating
  • Culmination: dotting i’s, crossing t’s, doing a post-game analysis, bringing things to a close
  • Fertile Void: pause, taking a break, listening deep within

Once you know about these four energetic signatures, you’ll start seeing them everywhere. Pregnancy has them (the first trimester is like winter, second is like spring, third is like summer, and the fourth, when the baby comes out, is like autumn). Even sex has four phases that largely line up with the energetic signatures of our bodies, the moon, and the earth.

How to Use the Inner Productivity Blueprint For Yourself

Now that you know that this exists, you can’t unknow it. And best of all, you can use it to be more productive without sacrificing the well being of the people you love (including yourself). Here’s how:

Step One: Start to track your own energetic ebbs and flows over a 28-day-ish period of time (this is the average length of a woman’s cycle and the lunar cycle).

Step Two: Honor how you feel energetically and begin to do the tasks you feel like doing when you feel like doing them. (Revolutionary!)

Step Three: As you get to know your energetic cycles better, start to plan your schedule around them (even if it’s 5-10% of your activities).

Lao Tzu said it best, “Nature never rushes, yet everything gets done.” When we get in touch with, and then practically apply, the cycles going on within and around us all the time, we get everything done without needing to push unnecessarily or sacrifice our own wellbeing. Honor the cycle that you’re in. Let it guide your activities. Enjoy the productivity and grace that comes as a result.