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15 Things You Can Do To Sustain Energy All Day

15 Things You Can Do To Sustain Energy All Day

How familiar does this sound to you?

You wake up in the early morning, tired. You scramble to the kitchen for your first coffee hit, get on the train to work with a spring in your step, get to work feeling relatively energetic, but by mid-morning you feel your energy is declining so you reach for coffee number two. It keeps you going for a short while and before you know it lunch comes around. You’re hungry, so lunch comes at the perfect time, but after lunch you experience the mid-afternoon lull and your eyes spend most of your remaining work hours staring at the clock hoping that 5:30 p.m. will swing by so you can get home and rest.

Home is comforting and the kids are so excited to see you, but you plant yourself on the sofa citing a stressful day for your lack of desire to engage with them. Dinner’s done, the kids are in bed and by now you’ve cemented your butt so deep in the sofa that getting up for a glass of water seems as likely as you winning the lotto. Off to bed you go and even your partner’s bedroom eyes aren’t enough to keep you from crashing out within five minutes.

The next day, 6 a.m. rolls around, the alarm sounds its horn and, yes, you guessed it: Groundhog Day!

Not exactly the life you craved, but one that millions of us are unfortunately experiencing, day in, day out. We crave energy like a breath underwater and find any form of pick-me-up we can get our hands on to keep us conscious as the day goes on.

What we don’t tend to realize is that the more reliant we are on external sources of energy, the more harm we are doing to our bodies, and what is really happening is that we are ignoring our bodies’ signals to slow down.

But what if you could change all of that? Do you not think that by sustaining a constant level of energy you would improve your mood, your productivity, your relationships, and your sleep, amongst other areas of your life? It really is a no-brainer: life would be way more fulfilling. How is it possible? Below you’ll find a list of the 15 most effective ways you can sustain energy all day long.

1. Do what you love

Quite simply put, the further you steer away from the things you love, the less likely you are to enjoy doing what you are doing, and we all know that doing something you dislike can be exhausting. Avoid tasks that you haven’t the slightest interest in performing if you want to keep your energy up.

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How can you bring back the love? Dig deep into the areas of your life that you are unsure about right now and ask yourself how they align with the person you are. If they do align, let go and allow yourself to fall in love with them.

2. Be grateful for the craziness

We all experience some kind of crazy during the day, and at that point you think you’ll find calm you know as well as I do that something else will crop up to throw your plans out the window.

Be grateful for the craziness by reminding yourself that there is only so much that you have control over and that there isn’t such a rush to get everything done at once. Learn to take it in your stride.

3. Pump up your playlist

Ooh, this one is great! Feel-good music at the time you are feeling low is highly recommended. Fix up a playlist of your most favorite tunes and be sure that when you are feeling low, you step away from what you are doing, plug your earphones in, and hit that play button.

Feel-good music will activate the pleasure center in the brain, which will send surges of exhilaration through the body. Just the substitute for the third cup of coffee, don’t you think?

4. Connect with your best buddies

We are social creatures, always wanting to feel loved and connected to others. Being in contact with your buddies is a great way to do that. Think of how many times you have picked up the phone or sent a text and the other person’s response has put a smile on your face.

Take a moment out of your day to give someone close to you a call and take your mind of the day’s challenges.

5. Make someone’s day

Doing good for others is probably the most energizing thing you can do. It makes you feel good, gives you a sense of achievement, and will make your day. It releases happy hormones in the brain, which go some way to energizing you. More on this later.

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Take time to physically help someone you know is struggling, and make sure you do not leave until you have given your all to help them out.

6. Be grateful

Gratitude is the gateway to your heart. When you are able to give thanks and show gratitude, you will open up your heart and mind to be inspired and uncover your own genius. Be grateful for all that has happened in your life because it is all one big lesson.

How can you show gratitude during the day? Take a moment each time you are feeling stressed or de-energized to remember all the good things that are happening in your life right now and literally say thank you for each and every one. Be grateful to yourself and the people you reflect through and you will find more love and energy will flow through you.

7. Eliminate a stressor

We experience stress in many different areas of our life. Imagine a jar full to the brim with all your stress and now think about what would happen if you were to add more stress to the jar. You’d experience an overflow, or in real life terms, a breakdown. Before you get to that point, it would be wise to attack a stress head on before it starts to take over your life.

How to eliminate a stressor? Forget all the minor distractions and tackle a big task you have immediately before it takes up valuable brain power and becomes a stress.

8. Boost your oxytocin

Oxytocin is known as the love hormone and is released in the body when connection is made and good is done for others. It’ll make you feel good and also crave for more, so quite like point five above, it would serve you to help and serve others to the best of your ability.

Build a new connection today by being open to people and making an effort to engage with them.

9. Smile in the most testing of moments

You’ve heard the popular quote: “Smile and the world smiles with you.” Well, smiling releases the feel-good chemical in the brain to help you forget the moments that may be zapping your energy. Smile and remember that you can’t control everything. It’s contagious too, try it!

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Get people smiling and laughing and you’ll create a happier, more positive environment.

10. Take time out to breathe

The less energy you have, the more threatened the body feels to keep up with all that it’s faced with. The more threatened you feel the more shallow your breathing will become, which will affect the quality of your respiratory function. I suggest you take time out of your day to slow down and control your breathing, rather than letting it control you.

Try to close your eyes and start breathing through your belly rather than your chest to help reset your correct breathing patterns.

11. Take out the trash

You know the moments when your mind is congested with a load of thoughts and you find yourself not focusing? Well, have you ever thought about taking out the trash? That is, quite literally, eliminating all the garbage thoughts that are holding you back from doing exactly what you had set out to do. Get rid of them!

Thoughts come and go, so don’t be afraid of ones that keep reappearing, just find a way to let them go as quickly as they entered your mind so that you can regain focus.

12. Stay hydrated

Studies may vary slightly on how much of the body is made up of water but be sure it isn’t less than 70%. With that knowledge it’s advisable to keep hydrated throughout the day. Your cells need water to function, and once hydrated will keep the organs and then the systems of your body intact too.

For the best results try drinking one liter of water per 50 pounds of bodyweight.

13. Get a good night’s sleep

Most of us underestimate the importance sleep plays to our energy levels and getting less than eight hours a night can be very damaging to long-term health. During your sleep you will get physical and mental repair, so ensure you get more sleep to keep yourself from snoozing at your desk.

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Getting to bed as early as 10 p.m. is advised to ensure that your body is able to repair both mentally and physically.

14. Count your successes

Each time you reward yourself for a success, your brain releases the neurotransmitter known as dopamine, which stimulates happiness and which recent research suggests regulates motivation. So don’t be afraid of giving yourself a pat on the back every time you tick a task off your to-do list.

Point to note: Stick to achievable tasks on your to-do list so that you get the chance to release dopamine.

15. Move, move, move

We are creatures of movement, and if you hadn’t noticed, the sedentary lifestyles lived by many are causing great harm to our health. In primal times we were on the go all day, only sitting down for our evening meals after a long, arduous hunt to catch our goodies for the evening. It is not uncommon for us now to be seated for up to 90% of our day, which is causing havoc with our hormones, health and happiness, and our energy.

Starting tomorrow, make an effort to move more by setting your alarm to sound every hour to remind you to get up, walk around and mobilize your body. Soon enough it’ll become a habit you won’t want to get rid of.

Find a way to make use of these points to sustain energy through out your day. Before long you will be bouncing around like an Easter Bunny all day long.

Featured photo credit: 15 things you can do to sustain energy all day via photopin.com

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Published on January 16, 2019

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

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So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

  • Are you a great strategist?
  • Are you an effective planner?
  • Is Project Management your strength?
  • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
  • Are you the ideas person?
  • Is Implementation your strength?

Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

4. Take Time for Planning

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

You can take the time to think about:

  • What’s the purpose of the project?
  • How Important is it?
  • When does it need to be delivered by?
  • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
  • What are the KPIs?
  • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
  • Who is working on this project?
  • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
  • What tolerances can I add in?
  • What are the review stages?
  • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

5. Focus on Priorities

Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

  1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
  2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
  3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
  4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

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    The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

    If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

    If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

    6. Take Time Out

    To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

    If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

    Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

    In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

    Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

    7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

    Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

    I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

    Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

    If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

    8. Stop Multitasking

    Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

    So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

    When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

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    If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

    9. Work in Blocks of Time

    To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

    I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

    Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

    Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

    Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

    Then take another 10-minute break.

    Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

    By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

    10. Get Rid of Distractions

    Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

    “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

    Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

    If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

    11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

    You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

    Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

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    Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

    12. Take a Time Audit

    Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

    Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

    You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

    Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

    Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

    At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

    If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

    13. Protect Your Confidence

    It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

    When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

    Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

    When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

    Final Words

    A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

    The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

    If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

    Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

    Reference

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