The Ultimate(*) Productivity System built around ‘Design’ and ‘Intention’

Grounded in psychology and neuroscience research.

Charlotte Grysolle
10 min readFeb 9


A neglect to design your day with intention.

According to Peak Performance Coach Dr. Torrie Higgins, that is the main reason most of us struggle to get the work done that matters to us.

Design and intention.

Let’s look at some ideas grounded in psychology and neuroscience research that can help us get better at both these concepts.

Phase 1: Design

To design is to plan.

It’s deciding in advance how something is going to look and work. It’s building prototypes, testing, and adjusting.

It’s the opposite of diving in head first and hoping for the best.

When it comes to “designing a productive day,” there’s a lot of complicated advice impossible to remember or stick with. Plus, most of it misses the point.

It’s not about managing your time. It’s about managing your energy levels — and that is highly personal.

The simplest and most helpful approach is to design your day based on your hardwired biological systems. There are 3 key principles:

  • Know your sleep chronotype
  • Work in ultradian cycles
  • Build in movement and mindless wandering (and chores!)

Know Your Sleep Chronotype

Many experts and sleep coaches agree there are different sleep chronotypes. All of us have genetically predetermined factors that drive our levels of alertness and productivity throughout the day.

80% of the population experiences a common pattern of energy and mood fluctuations throughout the day: Energy and mood tend to rise in the morning, go down in the afternoon, and rise again slightly in the late afternoon or evening. Those people are called morning larks or third birds.

The other 20% of people are night owls. They experience the same pattern but in reverse and shifted later in the day: Energy and mood tend to be moderately high in the early afternoon, low in the…



Charlotte Grysolle

Exploring the neuroscience and psychology behind focus, motivation and mental resilience. 🤸‍♀️ More on