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How to Feel Like You’re Running on Rocket Fuel

How to Feel Like You’re Running on Rocket Fuel


    I won’t lie. I used to hate waking up. Waking up was the first reminder that I had an insane list of tasks to accomplish and not nearly enough time to do so.

    I’ve found that there are good and bad ways to wake up. The normal way (miserably drag yourself out of bed as the alarm blares, eat a rushed breakfast, drive to work praying that you won’t be late) is the bad way; it sucks. It starts your day off with tinges of misery and stress.

    Fortunately, I have found that if I am intentional I can optimize how I wake up to feel full of mental and physical energy that erupts through the day and leaves me feeling calm, happy, and productive.

    Below are four ways I’ve found to add huge doses of mental and physical energy to my day by kicking the morning off right. Any one action will work well – if you combine all four you’re going to feel like an absolute rockstar.

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    Wake up naturally (sort of) 

    The glow of electric lighting, computer screens, phones, and tablets, have made it addictively easy for us to stay up unnaturally late. Consequently, we need wildly irritating alarm clocks to wake us up in the morning.

    The first step to feeling like you’re running off of rocket fuel is to change (ever so slightly) how you wake up and go to sleep.

    First go to bed when you’re tired. I know, clicking one last link, watching one last episode, or having one last drink feels like it will bring infinite happiness in the moment. But it won’t. Did it last night, or any other night? No, of course not.

    Resist the urge to stay up watching tv or looking at things online. Instead once you start to feel tired, read a book in bed until you drift away.

    Now start waking up at the same time every single day. Doing these two things alone is going to adjust your sleep cycle to a more natural one that will leave you feeling rested and energetic in the mornings.

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    However, there is a killer hack to making the entire process even better and to help smooth over the times when you stay up too late. Get rid of your alarm clock, especially if you’re using your cell phone, and replace it with a wakeup light. What’s a wakeup light? It’s an alarm clock designed to mimic the rising of the sun and to wake you up naturally with light.

    Wakeup lights are so incredible that after two days of using mine, my girlfriend bought one for herself.

    Wake your body up

    Now that you’re awake and hopefully out of bed, it’s time to charge your body, and the trick to doing that is exercise. The best thing to do is find some sort of exercise that fits well with your lifestyle and then start small.

    Personally, I’m a runner. I like running because it gives me time to myself, gets me outdoors, and I can do it anywhere. I run at least three days a week. The other days I swing a kettlebell on my roof or jump rope in my room.

    If you’re not already in an exercise routine, that’s cool. Pick an exercise you think you may enjoy (or if not enjoy, at least one that you won’t hate) and start small – like five minutes a day – then slowly add more time.

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    Exercising in the morning wakes your body up and keeps you healthy.

    Clear your mind

    So, you’ve started the day with as much energy as possible and fueled your body up with exercise. Now it’s time to optimize your mind for happiness and performance.

    You have to find something that will help you focus, and give you the opportunity to clear your mind. Personally, I like to meditate for a few minutes. Like exercise, it’s completely cool to start small. I started at two minutes a day, and each week I added a minute. Now, I’m up to 12 minutes a day. I plan to keep doing this until I hit 20 minutes.

    You don’t need to meditate to optimize your mind. The trick is to find an outlet that helps clear your mind and train your focus. You can write a list of things you want to accomplish for the day, make a gratuity list, go for a walk around the block, do a soduku or crossword, write etc.

    Just make sure that you are exercising your focus and creating and opportunity to rid your mind of the residue from the day(s) before and the day(s) ahead.

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    Ride the wave

    Now that your mind and body are awake, it’s time to set yourself up ride the wave all day long. The way to do this: put awesome foods into your body.

    Many of us skip breakfast, or have something very light which is a bad idea if you want to feel like you have rocket fuel coursing through your veins. Instead have a power breakfast.

    Power breakfasts are healthy breakfasts that have a solid mix of carbs and protein, and a bit of fat to keep you feeling great. My two favorites: smoothies (mine are kind of crazy with greens, nuts, fruit, chocolate, and whole milk) and eggs, beans, and bagel.

    Eating a power breakfast will give you the fuel you need to keep your mind and your body alert and active throughout the day.

    I’ve tried many things, but the above routine has been my most effective so far. What about you? What tricks have you found to make yourself feel like you are running on rocket fuel all day long?

    (Photo credit: White Rocket in the Sky via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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