Here’s 3 tips to help you hack your body’s energy levels and continue working at your peak.
1. Eat Clean: It is so easy when you’re busy, to just grab what ever is convenient or worse still forget to eat at all… I know I’ve been guilty of it. Often we use the excuse; “I don’t have time to eat, let alone eat healthy…” I am however learning that the better I eat, the more energy I have and the more productive I become.
You’ll need to find a eating plan that works for you, but some quick tips that I’ve found really help are:
a. Cut out processed foods, take away and foods high in sugar.
b. Reduce meat and chicken consumption. Eat more fish, if you can’t go vegan.
c. Fill up on fresh veggies and fruit rather than starchy carbs (bread, pasta, rice etc. )
d. Reduce caffeine, soda, alcohol & juices and drink more water. (I’m a caffeine fiend, but as Ive cleaned up my eating I’ve craved it less and less and find I actually sleep better.)
e. Reduce dairy. I love my cheese, milk and cream, but since reducing my consumptions of it I feel way less sluggish and bloated.
2. Get enough Sleep: when you’re hustling, it’s easy to think sleep is an optional extra. Burning the candle at both ends may even work for a little while, but sooner or later your lack of energy will catch up on you and end up doing more harm than good to your productivity. What to do?
a. Figure out how much you sleep you need as a minimum.
b. determine when you need to get up and work backwards to ensure you get enough rest. ( I like to get up at 4:30 – 5:00 and need 8 hrs sleep, so I have to make sure I’m heading to bed around 8:30 – 9:00. Might sound early, but I get way more done if I’m on top of it. The nights that I watch “just one more episode…” of whatever is on netflix and miss my ideal bedtime, are always followed by a morning that I struggle to get out of bed, take longer to get moving in the morning and end up getting less done as a result. I’m preaching to myself now… the stolen late nights never ever end up paying for themselves the next day (whether you’re working or wasting time.) Get your sleep.
c. Read before sleeping. Preferably not something work related or on a device. 30mins spent in a book will help to wind down your mind, help you relax quicker and sleep better.
d. If this is a struggle use Mel Robbins 5 second rule to get yourself going and establishing good habits… it works…
Bonus hack. If you’re sleeping before 10pm it’s like adding an extra 2 hours to your sleep. You will feel way more energised than if you got to sleep after this time.
3. Move More
Whether you’re a couch potato or a gym bunny, regular light exercise will help you to feel more energised and last longer throughout your day. I’m not a fitness freak and struggle to exercise as much as I should, but being in the sedentary job that I am, I am painfully aware of the negative effects of sitting for too long.
Ok so right now I’m not talking to those of you who have regular exercise routines. You already know the benefit of exercise and could probably teach me a thing or two. But for all of you who are like me and feel like exercise is a curse word, here some simple things you can do to get more movement into your day without having to join a gym.
a. Stand up… I have for the past year at work been using a standing desk rather than sitting all day long. Just by standing, I tend to move around more even while I work, and I tend to go for walks away from my desk more regularly than if I am at a sitting desk. (Experts tell me that standing all day is like going to the gym for 30 mins. Not sure if that’s true, but hey I’ll take it.)
b. Park away from the office or meeting and walk. If you have a choice of car parks, choose the one that is further away from your destination. Those few hundred extra steps each day will add up.
c. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. When I worked in a corporate office high rise, I would eat my lunch on the ground floor and take the stairs back to my office on the 5th floor. It made a huge difference. If you work on the 50th floor this may be harder, but if you are in an office that has more than one level, try visiting just 3-4 levels below you to eat your lunch, then take the stairs back up.
d. Track your steps. WIth the proliferation of fitness trackers, there is no reason not to know how much activity you are getting in your day. Track your average current movment and then set yourself a goal to up it by only 10%. Once you get there, up it again. It won’t be long before you are moving way more than you used to. Your body will thank you for it and you will become more productive.
What do you do to manage your energy and improve your productivity? Got any hacks you’d like to share?