It has been said that your time is your most important asset.
It has also been said that your attention is your most important asset.
For these to be true, then managing your energy must be your most important activity and key performance indicator.
Bear with me for a second. Can you drive longer with a full tank, or one that is touching the red line with a Kramer like flaire? Also, are you more relaxed and secure when the tank is full or when you start to worry where the next gas station might pop up?
Phone batteries might be a better analogy these days…too bad we can’t have a tattoo that updates others and us on our energy levels. I’m sure that is coming soon.
To protect our most important assets of time and attention, we must first generate enough energy to spend them wisely and be present enough and engaged enough to have that awareness.
“The power plant does not have energy, it generates it.” -Brendon Burchard
Before we jump into areas where we can drive our energy upward, what are some costs to having low energy and not having systems in place to increase our levels? (Borrowed from the new book out by Brendon Burchard, High Performance Habits)
-Lower overall happiness
-Lower enthusiasm for taking on challenges
-Lower perception of your own success versus your peers’ success
-Lower confidence in the face of adversity
-Lower degree of influence you’ll have with others
-Lower likelihood that you’ll eat well or exercise
It goes without saying, but if you increase your energy — you improve all of these factors.
Energy is positively associated with educational attainment, creativity, and assertiveness. It is said that high level CEOs and senior executives have energy equal to that of professional athletes. If you are a CEO, you need to care about your energy as much as Tom Brady.
Moral of the story: The more energy someone has, the more likely they are to be happy and rise to the highest levels of their field.
What must we protect and implement in our day to generate more energy?
Sleep, the mother of all productivity, self improvement, and intelligence habits. It is the foundational habit for every other habit. Why do we try to out-maneuver it or find ways to cheat it? Embrace it, everyone! Do your best to get anywhere between 7 and 9 hours a night. Get your room as dark as you can and at a comfortable sleeping temperature in the 60s. Keep your screens out of the bedroom and try your best to keep the schedule consistent.
If you want to wake up with a sense of awareness and clarity, try waking up on a 90 minute interval of when you started your sleep. A full sleep cycle lasts roughly 90 minutes, so if you could wake up around 7 1/2 or 9 hours in, you will be ready to rock when your head leaves the pillow.
Another simple to say, but not the easiest to implement tactic to increase energy is to focus on your water intake. The normal goal is to get at least half your weight in ounces a day. So for a 160 pound male, my goal should be at least 80 ounces of water a day. When you think about it, it doesn’t sound like a lot. But it takes work and attention. This also helps you stay focused and keeps away pangs you may have thought were hunger in the past. Drink that water!
If you think you can work for hours and hours without taking a break, you are on your way to a rude awakening. The best way to approach work from an energy basis is almost how you would treat a High Intensity Interval Training. Go hard on one thing for 45–50 minutes, then take a break for 5–10 minutes. In that break you could grab some water, walk around, or do some light stretching. You would get a bonus boost of energy if you did some of these activities outside!
Exercise improves learning and decreases stress. If the demands of your job or life require you to learn fast, deal with stress, be alert, pay attention, remember important things, and keep a positive mood, then you should really think about increasing your exercise. Six weeks of exercise has been proven to enhance dopamine production and receptivity in the brain, which elevates your mood and mental performance.
Energy is more than just physical, it is also mental and emotional, and exercise raises all three.
It’s amazing how useful our self talk and state can change the course of our day. Take a moment out of your day right now and claim to yourself “I am energy, I will bring the energy today!” Sometimes, just saying that small phrase is enough to charge yourself in that exact moment. Say it with enough intensity and feeling through your body and you’ll be amazed at what it can do.
World, we don’t get enough vegetables. Through these vegetables we receive nutrients and vitamins. We need more to compete at a high level. Over one third of Americans are overweight or obese and it was recently reported that our kids will be more overweight than underweight for the first time in history. You don’t become overweight by eating vegetables. The nutrients, vitality, and life that veggies will give you will no doubt increase your energy and allow you to generate more than you thought you could.
Treat your energy levels like you would your gas tank or your cell phone. Don’t you feel so much better when they are full? We must become intentional about generating as much energy as we can so we can truly enjoy what our time and attention have to offer.
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Originally published at medium.com