Blog of Sara Jakša

Productivity Is Like A Sinus Function

As I had listened to my mother, she seems to have a really interesting life. One day, she is really productive, have a lot of energy and gets green lights all the time - literally and figuratively speaking.

But on some days, there is nothing right for her. Business deals don’t work, she doesn’t do anything productive and even while driving a car, she only gets red lights.

Most of us knows days like that, the good and the bad. The excellent and the horrible. But what I realized, that by seeing how productive the day I feel is, is how other things just line the same. (The better the day the better the opportunities.)

Productivity is an entity, that lead us through ups and downs. In the ideal world, we could probably plot it as a sinus function.

Just like a sinus function, you can manipulate the productivity as well. I am going to start the explanation by assuming, that the basic function for sinus is y=sin(x).

The first transformation of the sinus function is the amplitude change. The mathematical function for it is y=a sin(x). It stretches the graph, so the ups are higher and downs are lower.

That change is usually achieved with will power or as I call them a couple of days habits. This is the time, when there is a lot of energy and enthusiasm for a couple of days, and then everything returns to normal or in some cases to worse.

The example of this change for me is my running. I could never stick with my habit of running. I might go for a day or two, but I had always give up by the end of the weekend.

The second transformation that I want to talk about is period change. The change is expressed in the formula y=sin(ax). It stretches the graph in horizontal ways, do the ups take more time, as do downs.

This change is in my opinion achieved with motivation. I know I have weeks, when I am more motivated for something, and then weeks, when I am not. And then again. And again. So the circle continues.

The example of that, is my Japanese languages learning. There are weeks, sometimes even months, when I am super productive, and then my motivation falls and I do a lot less in the next weeks. Then I find some new inspiration and my motivation rises again.

The last transformation I want to talk about is vertical shift. It is a transformation, where the whole graph shift up or down. The formula describing that is y=sin(x)+a.

That are habits. The good habits, that bring mental clarity and better energy are the ones, that pull the graph and with that productivity up, and the habits, that sap the energy and mental clarity are the ones that work in reversal.

Some of the habits, that help me keep the productivity up are everyday walks and eating a lot of fruits. The habits that bring me down are internet readings and my fears. But these habits are different from people to people.

Comparing the sinus function and the productivity is just a model, what means, that there are some simplifications. But still, think about what bring your productivity up and what brings it down. Also, when you have a bad day, remember, that that only means, that there is a good day around the corner. Or as the saying goes: ‘There is always the sun after the rain’.