Rather than having a set amount of energy to use at specific times of the day, our levels tend to fluctuate. How long you’ve been awake, the type of work that you do, and even your body’s own internal clock and rhythms each either boost or drain your energy.
The following three strategies will help you learn how to regulate your energy flows so that you always have the power that you need to perform at your very best.
Tackle your most challenging or important tasks when you feel great
Are you a morning person or a night owl? Listen to your body to determine when you naturally feel the most energised, and work on your most difficult assignments during this block of time. Save those easier tasks for when you feel your energy levels start to wane.
Purposely managing your energy flow in this way protects you from overextending yourself, preserving your energy so that it takes less time between tasks to recharge. This one simple trick also boosts your productivity since you’re more likely to come up with creative solutions when you are naturally alert and operating in sync with your body’s regular flow of energy.
Take regular breaks through the day
If you have a lot of work to get through and feel pressed for time, it’s tempting to stay at your desk, slaving away all day. Unfortunately, trying to slog through it all is counter-productive, as attention-span and decision-making abilities usually deteriorate after 60 to 90 minutes of concerted effort.
Keep your energy levels high by taking regular breaks throughout the day. Get up from your desk and walk around. If you can, go outside and take in some fresh air and sunlight to stimulate the production of “feel good” endorphins and neurochemicals in your brain.
Eat snacks which contain complex carbohydrates for a quick energy boost. Follow up with proteins to steady your blood sugar levels so that they don’t “crash” and drop too quickly afterwards. Don’t forget to enjoy a healthy lunch or dinner mid-shift so you have the nutrients you need to feel satiated and fully energised.
Make regular, restful sleep a priority
Having enough energy to power your day begins the night before. Take steps to ensure your body has the time it needs to unwind, relax, and recover from the stresses of the day.
Support your back and reduce fatigue by replacing your old, worn-out mattress. Avoid strenuous exercise, caffeine, and exciting books or shows right before bed so you have less trouble falling asleep.
Use window treatments which block out light and sound and reduce clutter in your bedroom to create an inviting, peaceful oasis that encourages better sleep. Set your thermostat so it’s comfortable at bedtime.
The human brain craves regular patterns and routines, which is why the familiar calms us. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day to renew your energy on schedule. Don’t eat heavy meals just prior to your bedtime to avoid disrupting your sleep with an upset stomach or acid reflux.
Consciously managing your energy levels prevents exhaustion and burnout due to overworking. The more that you are able to sync your natural flow of energy to your workload, the easier it will be to keep your energy and motivation high for the right flow state to achieve peak performance!