Self-regulation is the process of planning, monitoring, and evaluating your behaviors in order to learn from and optimize end results over time. The PaceMyDay app encourages self-regulation in a number of ways.
- Onboarding — The onboarding process is a one-time process to establish certain app-related guidelines such as wake-up time, bedtime routine, and lights-out time (look for guest blog entries on these sleep-related topics). Planning is involved when trying to determine the best time for these activities. Do you have regular morning commitments that require you to be somewhere at a specific time? How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? What can you do in the evening before bed to prepare yourself for lights-out?
- Optimal Task Duration — What is optimal task duration? It’s the amount of time you believe you can do a specific task and still have energy left over to do something else. Optimal task duration will probably vary from task to task. Can you see how planning fits in? Identifying an optimal duration for individual tasks establishes an initial plan that can be monitored and revised based on feedback and insight over time.
- Plan Your Day — The idea of listing your day’s activities is all about planning. You start by doing a morning check-in which helps you assess how you feel and how much energy you have before you begin to plan your tasks for the day. This allows you to adequately assess your overall fatigue and energy levels as you plan and start your day rather than planning the night before and trying to guess how you will feel the next day. The goal is for you to plan tasks for the day based on how you feel that day so you can be more realistic and consequently feel more successful.
- Breaks — Once a task is completed, you are encouraged to take breaks to help conserve the reserve energy you have and to re-energize before starting another task. Determining which break activity to do and the duration for that break based on the current situation also requires planning.
The above examples illustrate just a few ways in which the PaceMyDay app integrates the concept of planning. Stay tuned–we’ll explore monitoring in the next blog post in this series.