There is a direct line between energy and productivity. When you feel zapped, you just aren’t going to get as much done. But, unlike time, there are ways to build your energy levels.
What happens when you achieve this? You’ll surpass expectations because you’re a lean, mean productivity machine. And, it’s really not all that difficult if you do the following.
Get the best sleep ever.
I know this is a give-in. But, so many of us aren’t getting enough sleep each night. Some of us are even engaging in some revenge bedtime procrastination.
The ugly truth is that sleep deprivation can have serious consequences. In addition to a lack of energy, you could experience everything from mental health disorders to physical ailments like cardiovascular disease. Other symptoms include poor decision-making, reduced attention span, and burnout.
The good news? You can treat yourself to the best sleep ever by;
- Setting a sleep schedule based on your circadian rhythm.
- Making your bedroom resemble a cave — it should be cool, dark, and quiet.
- Gradually power down by avoiding electronics at least an hour before bed.
- Cutoff coffee at least six hours before bedtime.
- Wear socks to bed.
- Implement an evening routine that involves progressive muscle relaxation.
- Investing in a new mattress, pillows, and bedding.
Also, it’s alright if you take a nap as well. Just keep it under 20-minutes and not too late in the afternoon.
Fight fatigue with the right diet.
A close second to getting a good night’s rest? What you’re eating and when. Here are some suggestions courtesy of the Department of Health, State Government of Victoria, Australia;
- Stay hydrated, but don’t backlog water at the end of the day if you don’t want to wake up all night. Stop drinking water about four hours before bed.
- Have carbohydrate-rich breakfast foods such as cereals or wholegrain bread for breakfast.
- Don’t skip meals.
- Eat healthy foods, like fruits and veggies. You can also enjoy low-fat dairy products and lean meats.
- Try eating six-mini meals as opposed to three large meals to prevent overeating.
“Is there something you’ve had on your mind for weeks, months, or maybe even years that you haven’t completed?” asks Amanda Bucci. For example, have been putting off that dentist or doctor appointment? How about that package that requires a trip to the post office?
These are called “open loops. And, even though you don’t realize it, they quietly drain a lot of energy out of you. Why? Because they occupy valuable space in your subconscious.
“Instead of wasting effort by having your brain remind you of that thing you haven’t done, take an hour, day, or week to close the loop and do that thing,” advises Bucci.
Don’t be shady.
Even novice comic book fans know that Superman is powered by the yellow sun. But, you don’t have to be from Krypton to also harness the power of the sun.
Case in point, seasonal affective disorder. Many people feel more lethargic during the colder months of the year because they aren’t exposed to much natural light. Remember the tanning bed if you occasionally need it.
However, a study done by Prof Mirjam Muench, associate research professor for the Sleep/Wake Center in New Zealand, further verifies the need for natural sunlight. He compared the effects of natural and artificial lights. The result was that those who worked under fluorescent lighting were more tired at the end of the day.
Those who were fortunate enough to work somewhere with natural or blue (wavelength) lighting? They were actually more active after the workday.
Take a grateful stroll.
Another way to soak up the sun? Go outside for a walk — even during the winter. As an added perk, this gets your body moving and gives you a chance to clear your head.
But, you can bolster your daily walk by practicing gratitude.
Going for a 10-minute “thank you” walk is a technique that “combines the power of gratefulness with the positive effects of walking and exercise,” explains Jon Gordon, a professional speaker, energy coach, and author of Become an Energy Addict. As a result, this floods “your brain with happy neurotransmitters and endorphins.”
“It’s a simple yet powerful exercise that energizes the mind and body and builds mental and physical muscle,” Gordon adds.
Stop hanging out with wet rags.
We are social creatures. A 79-year-old-Harvard study even found that embracing community helps us live longer and be happier.
However, not all relationships are equal.
Carve out some alone time and reflect on your relationships. If there are people who are toxic and draining, remove them from your life. And, spend more time with those who are positive, supportive, and give you a jolt of energy.
Keep stress and workload at bay.
“Stress-induced emotions consume huge amounts of energy,” notes Harvard Health Publishing. “Talking with a friend or relative, joining a support group, or seeing a psychotherapist can all help diffuse stress.” You can also try relaxation therapies, such as meditation, self-hypnosis, yoga, and tai chi.
Another culprit? Overwork. Examples “include professional, family, and social obligations,” adds the publication.
“Try to streamline your list of ‘must-do’ activities,” the authors suggest. “Set your priorities in terms of the most important tasks. Pare down those that are less important.”
Also, don’t hesitate to ask for help or delegate some of your responsibilities. And, don’t feel guilty if you have to say “no.”
Set reminders to look away and stretch.
“Staring at a computer screen for too long can cause eye fatigue, which eventually can cause headaches, dizziness, and overall exhaustion,” says Adina Smarandache, an internist at Scripps Coastal Medical Center in San Diego. The answer? Live by the rule of 20.
Here’s how it works, set a timer or reminder for every 20 minutes. At this time, stare at a spot 20 feet away for 20 seconds. It’s a simple way to refresh your eyes, which will also rejuvenate your body.
And, while you’re taking a quick break, use that time to stretch. Whether if it’s an upward stretch or elbow plank, doing this pose. realigns your body and gets your blood circulating.
Put your records on.
The great Ray Charles once said, “Music is powerful. As people listen to it, they can be affected. They respond.”
And, he was naturally correct.
Music is, in fact, an incredible force of nature. In fact, music has been found to;
- Help you become more immersed in your work.
- Improve cognition and mood.
- Move your brain to pay attention.
- Boost both mental and physical performance.
- Encourage you to work faster and more efficiently.
- Increase morale and work environment.
While listening to your favorite songs can release dopamine, just note that there are exceptions. For instance, listening to intelligible lyrics can be distracting.
Get your clutter under control.
A little bit of clutter? Not the worst thing in the world.
But, too much? It can negatively impact your mental and physical health.
All that dust can be terrible for your allergies. Piles of paperwork can cause anxiety, stress, and procrastination. No wonder people describe clutter as “suffocating.”
While it may not be the most thrilling of chores, you need to block out time to clean and organize your workspace. At home, donate or sell the clothes you no longer wear in your closet. And, even clean out your inbox and computer files.
Don’t overwhelm yourself though. Take baby starts.
For example, in-between a meeting, wipe down your desktop and toss the trash. During your next break, organize a drawer. Before you know it, you’ll have your entire work area fresh, clean, and free of clutter.