01 Nov How do you manage energy instead of time?
One of my biggest frustrations when it comes to the topic of productivity and success is the undue focus placed on “Time Management.”
I know people who work 60 hours a week and only make less than $100,000 a year.
On the contrary, I know people who work 10 hours a week as MAXIMUM and earn more than 7 figures.
The important thing is not the number of hours you work, but the amount of work you put into those hours and making sure you work on the most valuable tasks.
So, all that said, here are some tips and tricks I pulled from a few books I read along the way.
Hope this helps!
1. Get at least 7.5 hours of sleep each night
According to Medical Daily, 40.6 million Americans, more than 30% of the working population, suffer from chronic sleep deprivation.
Now, at first glance, you might think, “Come on Anita, who cares? You can sleep when you are dead, these people just need to work harder! “
But when you consider that lack of sleep has been linked to:
- Impaired cognition and increased risk of avoidable accidents
- Not to mention, an increased risk of Infections, cancer and Overall mortality.
You begin to realize that lack of sleep is a big problem.
Like a big deal.
I know most young people love the #hustle mindset and believe there is something noble or productive about sleep deprivation.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
Unless you have the rare genetic mutation, DEC2, (present in less than 5% of the population), sleeping less than 6 hours a night is literally killing you.
And the worst part?
You are not even aware that it is happening.
Now, let’s consider the positive effects that studies have shown are present when a person gets enough sleep.
- Improved memory
- Lower systemic inflammation
- Improved immune function
- Elevated mood
- Improved skills learning and Troubleshooting
I don’t know about you, but I personally believe that having a better memory, experiencing fewer illnesses, feeling happier, learning faster, and solving problems more quickly correlate strongly with being more productive.
This is not just my opinion either. In fact, some of the world’s best artists report sleeping more than 8.5 hours a night.
- Neil Patel Sleep 9.25 hours per night while running three multimillion-dollar businesses.
- Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post and billionaire claims that sleeping 8 hours a night This was partially responsible for its success.
- James Altucher, billionaire investor and hedge fund manager, lists “Sleeping 8 Hours” as one of the keys to his financial success.
At this point, it should be clear that getting more sleep is, in fact, one of the fastest ways to increase your productivity.
But the question remains, “How much sleep do I need and how can I get better quality sleep?”
According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need 7 to 9 hours to prevent the effects of sleep deprivation from affecting their lives and productivity. (a little more if you’re an avid athlete)
As for increasing the quality of your sleep, it’s actually pretty simple.
- Go to bed before 11 p.m.
- Wake up at the same time every day
- Sleep in a room completely dark and cold (Research shows that 65–67 F (18–19 °C) is ideal for sleeping)
- Exercise daily
- Turn off all electronics 60 minutes before bedtime.
I know this particular section was a bit long, but this point is so important that I couldn’t just pass it.
If you want to be more productive, you need sleep. Period.
Until you get 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep consistently, the other tactics included in this guide will simply fan the flames of exhaustion until you eventually collapse into a stressed, sleep-deprived panic attack.
Believe me (and thousands of academic studies), stop trying to join the sleepless elite and get your 7 hours. It is ok?
2. Sweating for at least 20 minutes a day
Study after study after study has shown the tremendous importance of daily exercise.
- Decreased depression
- High mood, reduced stress and less anxiety
- Improved blood flow to the brain.
- The production of new brain cells.
- Improves memory
- Better discipline, impulse control and decision making.
Fortunately, studies have shown that you don’t need to exercise for hours every day to reap these benefits.
In fact only 150 minutes of weekly exercise (i.e. 30 minutes every day of the week) is more than enough to improve your productivity, mood, and overall well-being. So get your own Pilates self-practice in!!!
If you exercise exclusively to increase productivity, Studies have shown that 2 to 3 sessions of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week will have the most dramatic impact on your ability to concentrate and concentrate. So hop on a bike, walk or jog a few times a week and see how that feels after a couple of weeks!
However, this does not mean that you should exclusively train your aerobic capacity.
Further research has indicated that combine regular aerobic conditioning with a smart weightlifting regimen (I recommend this) and regular yoga OR PILATES will have the biggest impact on your ability to be more productive and stay focused throughout the day.
3. Eat clean, burnt foods and reduce your carbohydrate load early in the day
Most people underestimate the effect their diet has on cognitive performance and overall productivity.
Think of it this way…
Your brain is the centre of all productivity.
In itself, this should clearly illustrate the link between food and productivity.
I won’t bore you with all the science, but suffice it to say that what you eat matters… A lot.
If you want to be as productive as possible, you’ll want to clean up your diet.
Here are some guidelines to get you started.
- Eliminate as many processed foods as possible
- Consume slow-burning foods like raw vegetables and fibrous carbohydrates throughout the day to properly regulate glucose levels in the brain.
- Eat your bigger, carbohydrate-rich meal after your workout or at dinner
- Skip breakfast and opt for coffee with coconut oil or eat a high-protein, high-fat breakfast (carb-free!)
Although you can dive much deeper into the world of productivity and focus through diet, simply cutting out processed foods, increasing the amount of vegetables you eat, and waiting until later in the day to consume carbs will dramatically improve your productivity almost overnight.
If you’re interested in learning more about how your dietary choices and productivity are related, Check out this amazing infographic from Hubspot.
4. Bring joy
Although it may seem like common sense, happy and excited people are more productive.
How much more productive?
Well, according to a study compiled by Professor Andrew Oswald, Dr. Eugenio Proto and Dr. Daniel Sgroi from the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick, Happy employees are 12% more productive than their unhappy colleagues!
I don’t have time to dive into all the amazing research that’s been collected over the past few years detailing what determines human happiness (if you’re interested in this, you should check out Shawn Achor’s Happiness Advantage), I want to share a quick tactic I learned from Brendon Burchard.
The tactic, called “Bring the Joy” is simple enough, but the results you’ll experience are profound.
All I want you to do is set 3 alarms on your phone titled Bring the Joy.
Set them to ring at different times during the day, and when you see the pop-up notification on your screen, I want you to ask yourself three questions.
- What level of joy and presence am I bringing to this present moment?
- What am I grateful for today?
- How can I bring more joy and enthusiasm to my current interactions and activities?
Like I said, simple, right?
I challenge you to try this tactic for the next 30 days and genuinely stop and be aware of your status every time the alarm goes off.
You will be amazed at how productive and joyful your life will be.
5. Meditate at least 10 minutes a day.
Although the scientific community needs to further evaluate the direct link between meditation and productivity, several Studies like this, conducted at a Fortune 100 company, show a very clear link between regular meditation practice and increased productivity at work.
The reason for this is simple.
It is proven that meditation helps: (source)
- Low blood pressure
- Relieve insomnia symptoms
- Reduce depression and anxiety.
- Reduces pain
- Reduce IBS symptoms
- Help to quit smoking
Oh, did I mention that it has also been shown that Do you rebuild gray matter?
As I have already mentioned, happiness and productivity are inextricably linked and it should be quite clear that any practice that decreases depression, anxiety and insomnia will improve, by default, your productive performance.
I challenge you to start a meditation practice for the next 30 days and record how you feel.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, the infamous bodybuilder, real estate mogul and “governor” of California stated that his one year of intense TM (Transcendental Meditation) practice has created results that amazing body!
6. Take strategic breaks throughout the day to maintain your energy and enthusiasm
One of the most amazing ways to boost your energy and increase productivity is actually to work less and take breaks more often.
Study after study It has shown that the human brain cannot concentrate (effectively) for more than 90 minutes.
Eventually, your brain needs a break from any task to consolidate and process information, renew our focus, and ensure that our tasks are ultimately congruent with our goals.
Later in this article, I’ll discuss the Pomodoro method that helps consolidate these findings into your daily workflow.
But for now, I just want to encourage you to start taking a 45- to 60-minute break in the middle of each workday.
During these breaks, I recommend that you:
- Practice meditation
- Walk outside
- Eat a light snack
- Practice Pilates!!!
- Talk to friends
Try different methods to recharge and renew your focus throughout the day and pay dividends in the long run.
7. Do the work you love
Again, this may seem like common sense, but the simple fact of the matter is that more than 82% of the workforce is actively disconnected from their work.
There’s no way you can be productive and have high energy levels if your workplace sucks.
If you’re not excited about the work you’re doing, the mission you’re on, and the impact you’re creating, you won’t have the energy you need to achieve your goals.
You can sleep as much as you want, exercise for hours and bring all the frikkin’ joy you can muster…
But if you hate the work you do, it won’t matter.
You need to find something you like if you want to have high energy levels and sustained productivity.
This doesn’t mean you have to be passionate about everything you do.
God knows I don’t always like to write new content, train new employees, or handle customer service requests.
But my overall mission allows me to overcome the “less enjoyable” tasks.
While the phrase “Find something you like and you’ll never have to work another day in your life” is a pile of rubbish.
The feeling remains.
People who do the work they love have more energy, are more productive, and ultimately more successful.
8. Eradicate energy vampires
Just as important as what you do to boost your energy levels is what you don’t do.
So, that’s right.
If you’re in a toxic or co-dependent relationship (romantic or otherwise) or generally stuck in other people’s little dramas and nonsense, you’ll never achieve the success you desire.
These people and activities known as “energy vampires” will literally suck your life and energy and leave you unable to perform your usual tasks.
I won’t spend too much time insisting on this, but suffice it to say that if there are energy vampires in your life, you should take out some garlic and sharpen a wooden stake (metaphorically speaking… Please don’t go and hurt someone) and take them out of your life.
I hope this helps you!