The Sure Fire Way to Boost Your Energy Level to Keep You At the Top of Your Game All Day
Time management is a problem so universal, that shelves at your local bookstore are filled with titles promising a potential reader how to get things done, faster, better, more efficiently, magically, and productively.
We’ve all at one point or another strived to learn the secret art of multi-tasking, how to do more with less time, and mastery of our calendars.
I’m here to tell you, forget all of that. Instead, the key to being getting more done, and still have enough fuel in the tank, is to learn how to optimize and manage your energy levels throughout the day.
Have you ever met someone that just seems to be always energetic, never seems down, and always seems to get more done? Aren’t they annoying? I mean really, those people are. Not because they’re trying to be, but rather because they make it look so easy.
Well, I’m here to tell you a little secret about how the most productive people get it all done. Are you ready?
They don’t manage their time as much as they manage their energy. Shocker right? After all, that’s the title of this post! So what’s the deal? How do they do it? Below, I’ve outlined 8 tips that you can simply and easily implement to tap into some of that same energy that the most effective people have.
1.Exercise daily. This almost seems counter intuitive. After all, we know we should exercise more, and most of us know the benefits of doing so. But it just takes sooo much ENERGY!
On the contrary, while exercise and recovery do create an energy depletion, what we don’t consider are both the cardiovascular effects of increased blood oxygen levels, improved blood sugar, and overall hormonal balance.
Just be smart about it! If you’re the typical couch potato, I don’t advise going out and running 30 consecutive days of marathons. A brisk walk around the block will suffice for day 1. Then tomorrow, go a little bit further. Lather, rinse, repeat. Set manageable goals to keep your motivation to move up, and look for support from people who have made positive changes in their health and energy levels. My friend Renee at bendifulblog.com is a great example of someone who made a conscious decision to invest in her health and it’s paid dividends. She’s has an amazing story of setting achievable goals and then working everyday (or most by her own admission!) to reach those goals.
2. Drink more water. No, MORE water. I know you drink water. At least you think you do. But do you measure it? I carry a 32 oz. Nalgene bottle with me pretty much everywhere I go. And I typically drink 2-3 of those a day.
Now, there are a lot of people who will tell you that you need to drink a gallon or more. And there are even some who will tell you that you don’t need to drink any and that all of our foods contain all the water you need. Even the conventional wisdom of eight 8oz glasses of water a day.
So how much do I recommend? Enough. Yup, just enough. And by that I mean, drink enough that you don’t dehydrate yourself. Circumstances change day to day by activity level, and to say “everyone needs x amount everyday to be healthy” in my humble opinion is a bunch of crap. So an ultra marathoner only needs a gallon, but so does the person who’s stationary most of the day for work? Oh ok, makes perfect sense.
Here’s the thing, water is good for you, and it’s good for your energy. It helps to keep your digestive system functioning (which is a HUGE energy drain that we’ll talk about in step 7), flushes away toxins, and keeps your brain lubed up to help you concentrate.
So really, just drink more. Cuz I’d almost guarantee that whatever you’re drinking, isn’t enough.
3. Get plenty of rest. Again, here is a tricky one (just like drinking water) to nail down. Generally speaking 7-8 hours of sleep is what is really required to function optimally, according to most studies.
I suppose though, that there is some room for adjustment when we consider that much of our military is trained to function optimally on much, much less than that (in rare short term cases being deprived of sleep for days!)
And I’m sure that more than one of us pulled a string of all nighters back in the day either for academic or extracurricular purposes.
So does it stand to say that it is absolutely necessary to get those 7-8?
I’d say for the most part yes, but not exclusively. For me, I usually get about 6. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. But I also buoy it with a 20 minute power nap almost every afternoon (whenever possible). That’s just what works for me. Napping is a great thing and a compelling argument can be found on Michael Hyatt’s blog here.
In short, get the amount of rest that you and your body need, and can be accommodated in your schedule.
4. Keep a positive attitude. Now, you can for the most part control your sleep. You definitely can control getting some exercise in. And don’t even tell me that you can’t drink the amount of water your body needs.
But here is where, especially in our 24 hour connected society, things get a little dicey.
One of the hardest things that we can do in our life, ironically is the simplest and most achievable thing that one can do. And that is choosing a positive attitude.
I think it’s important to note that just having a positive attitude won’t really do much for you. But having a positive attitude will do much more TO you.
A positive outlook can help manage your energy levels because negativity can have such a huge drain on you. Think about the last time you were around someone who was complaining about one thing after another. Did you walk away feeling energized or exhausted? I’m guessing the latter.
So fill yourself up with something good. Doesn’t have to be a huge boost of motivation. It could be something small. Something that makes you smile, or gets you excited.
But whatever it takes, practice ingraining in yourself a belief that tomorrow will be better than today, and that you can make it so.
5. Avoid energy-depleting people. Along the same lines as the last point, energy depleting people are to be avoided at all costs.
These aren’t just the Negative Nellies in your life. These people take many forms.
Complaining Carl. Needy Ned. Over-the-top Oliver. Backslapping Bobby. Inappropriate Ingird.
You get the idea. These are the people that just seem to suck all of the life and energy out of you at every turn.
Avoid them. No need to be rude. But certainly set some boundaries and make it clear that there is a time and place, and let them know when that is.
But sometimes, and I may even say more often than not, they just won’t get it. Regardless of whether or not they do, don’t let them steal your soul.
Just get away. Sometimes that’s the best you can do.
6.Get Centered. This is a big one for me. No, a HUGE one.
Remember how I said I take a nap everyday? Well, some days it’s pretty easy for me to quickly nod off, and wake up 20 minutes later.
Others, I need a little prodding. When I do, I go to two sources.
One is called binaural beats. Without belaboring what that is, let’s just suffice it to say that it takes the naturally occurring brain waves and aligns them with an intended goal.
The other is guided meditation with a repetitive mantra. I currently am using Brendon Burchard’s “Release Meditation”, which is super simple and very effective.
The larger point though is that in the moments that I wake up in the morning, and after that midday power nap, I take a moment to just lie there with a clear mind and just exist. It’s pretty amazing feeling as you become super focused on what matters most, and contributes to filling my battery for the tasks ahead.
And even outside of those times, I find it helps at any time when I just feel overwhelmed. It may be breathing deep and slow, counting to ten, and then moving on. It may be a moment of prayer. It may even be just staring at the window and clearing my mind completely.
But again, the point is that by centering myself and just being still for a few moments has a profound effect on improving my energy levels.
7. Eat Healthy. While I feel this is a no brainer, I also feel that it’s not.
You do know that old saying “you are what you eat” is really pretty much true right? Or how about “garbage in, garbage out”?
Ever notice how exhausted you are after a big meal, or even a small meal of crappy food? Calories count, not just for the numbers on the scale, butt the havoc it runs on your body.
So don’t. Seriously, doughnuts for breakfast everyday are not good for you. But I don’t need to tell you that. You know that already. But how is that really any different from eating frosted cheerios for breakfast?
Seriously, there is just too much to share here. So let’s just agree to do what yer momma hopefully told ya. Finish yer vegetables.
8. Be Aware. Lastly, be aware. I can’t stress this one enough. Be aware of your natural tendencies throughout the day, and as much as possible schedule accordingly. I know that I am at my lowest energy levels around 2pm everyday. So I don’t schedule appointments for that time. I just don’t. I spend my time on tasks that coincide with my energy level. The mostly mindless stuff. So if there is a time that for you is you low point, try to align your activities with those times.
Also, be aware of how you are feeling and reacting throughout the day. When I first started practicing this, I had a Zen Bowl alarm on my phone that chimed every hour or so to remind me to practice the presence. I’d ask myself “how are you feeling right now? Are you at your best?” At first it was a little strange, but after awhile it really helped me to stop and be “intune” with what was going on inside of me.
Managing your time is a worthy goal of all successful people, and those seeking success. The real trick is that most successful people spend less time managing their time and schedules, than they do managing their energy, Practice these 8 tips, and much sooner than you could imagine, you’ll be achieving more than you ever thought possible.
Question: How do you manage your energy throughout the day? What did I miss?
Be sure to comment in the section below!