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15 Things You Can Do To Sustain Energy All Day

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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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Last Updated on October 7, 2021

Are You Addicted to Productivity?

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Are You Addicted to Productivity?

“It’s great to be productive. It really is. But sometimes, we chase productivity so much that it makes us, well, unproductive. It’s easy to read a lot about how to be more productive, but don’t forget that you have to make that time up.”

Matt Cutts wrote that back in 2013,[1]

“Today, search for ‘productivity’ and Google will come back with about 663,000,000 results. If you decide to go down this rabbit hole, you’ll be bombarded by a seemingly endless amount of content. I’m talking about books, blogs, videos, apps, podcasts, scientific studies, and subreddits all dedicated to productivity.”

Like so many other people, I’ve also fallen into this trap. For years I’ve been on the lookout for trends and hacks that will help me work faster and more efficiently — and also trends that help me help others to be faster. I’ve experimented with various strategies and tools . And, while some of these strategies and solutions have been extremely useful — without parsing out what you need quickly — it’s counterproductive.

Sometimes you end up spending more time focusing on how to be productive instead of actually being productive.

“The most productive people I know don’t read these books, they don’t watch these videos, they don’t try a new app every month,” James Bedell wrote in a Medium post.[2] “They are far too busy getting things done to read about Getting Things Done.”

This is my mantra:

I proudly say, “I am addicted to productivity — I want to be addicted to productivity — productivity is my life and my mission — and I also want to find the best way to lead others through productivity to their best selves.

But most of the time productivity means putting your head down and working until the job’s done.” –John Rampton

Addiction to Productivity is Real

Dr. Sandra Chapman, director of the University of Texas at Dallas Center for BrainHealth points out that the brain can get addicted to productivity just as it can to more common sources of addiction, such as drugs, gambling, eating, and shopping.

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“A person might crave the recognition their work gives them or the salary increases they get,” Chapman told the BBC.[3] “The problem is that just like all addictions, over time, a person needs more and more to be satisfied, and then it starts to work against you. Withdrawal symptoms include increased anxiety, depression, and fear.”

Despite the harmful consequences, addiction is considered by some experts as a brain disease that affects the brain’s reward system and ends in compulsive behavior. Regardless, society tends to reward productivity — or at least to treat it positively. As a result, this makes the problem even worse.

“It’s seen like a good thing: the more you work, the better,” adds Chapman. “Many people don’t realize the harm it causes until a divorce occurs and a family is broken apart, or the toll it takes on mental health.”

Because of the occasional negative issues with productivity, it’s no surprise that it is considered a “mixed-blessing addiction.”

“A workaholic might be earning a lot of money, just as an exercise addict is very fit,” explains Dr. Mark Griffiths, distinguished professor of behavioral addiction at Nottingham Trent University. “But the thing about any addiction is that in the long run, the detrimental effects outweigh any short-term benefits.”

“There may be an initial period where the individual who is developing a work addiction is more productive than someone who isn’t addicted to work, but it will get to a point when they are no longer productive, and their health and relationships are affected,” Griffiths writes in Psychology Today.[4] “It could be after one year or more, but if the individual doesn’t do anything about it, they could end up having serious health consequences.”

“For instance, I speculated that the consequences of work addiction may be reclassified as something else: If someone ends up dying of a work-related heart attack, it isn’t necessarily seen as having anything to do with an addiction per se – it might be attributed to something like burnout,” he adds.

There Are Three “Distinct Extreme Productivity Types

Cyril Peupion, a Sydney-based productivity expert, has observed extreme productivity among clients at both large and medium-sized companies. “Most people who come to me are high performers and very successful. But often, the word they use to describe their work style is ‘unsustainable,’ and they need help getting it back on track.”

By changing their work habits, Peupion assists teams and individuals improve their performance and ensure that their efforts are aligned with the overarching strategy of the business, rather than focusing on work as a means to an end. He has distinguished three types of extreme productivity in his classification: efficiency obsessive, selfishly productive, and quantity-obsessed.

Efficiency obsessive. “Their desks are super tidy and their pens are probably color-coded. They are the master of ‘inbox zero.’ But they have lost sight of the big picture, and don’t know the difference between efficiency and effectiveness.”

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Selfishly productive. “They are so focused on their own world that if they are asked to do something outside of it, they aren’t interested. They do have the big picture in mind, but the picture is too much about them.”

Quantity-obsessed. “They think; ‘The more emails I respond to, the more meetings I attend, the more tasks I do, the higher my performance.’ As a result, they face a real risk of burnout.”

Peupion believes that “quantity obsessed” individuals are the most common type “because there is a pervasive belief that ‘more’ means ‘better’ at work.”

The Warning Signs of Productivity Addiction

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself if you think you may be succumbing to productivity addiction. After all, most of us aren’t aware of this until it’s too late.

  • Can you tell when you’re “wasting” time? If so, have you ever felt guilty about it?
  • Does technology play a big part in optimizing your time management?
  • Do you talk about how busy you are most of the time? In your opinion, is hustling better than doing less?
  • What is your relationship with your email inbox? Are you constantly checking it or experience phantom notifications?
  • When you only check one item off your list, do you feel guilty?
  • Does stress from work interfere with your sleep?
  • Have you been putting things off, like a vacation or side project, because you’re “too swamped?

The first step toward turning around your productivity obsession is to recognize it. If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then it’s time to make a plan to overcome your addiction to productivity.

Overcoming Your Productivity Addiction

Thankfully, there are ways to curb your productivity addiction. And, here are 9 such ways to achieve that goal.

1. Set Limits

Just because you’re hooked on productivity doesn’t mean you have to completely abstain from it. Instead, you need to establish boundaries.

For example, there are a lot of amazing productivity podcasts out there. But, that doesn’t mean you have to listen to them all in the course of a day. Instead, you could listen to one or two podcasts, like The Productivity Podcast or Before Breakfast, during your commute. And, that would be your only time of the day to get your productivity fix.

2. Create a Not-to-Do List

Essentially, the idea of a not-to-do list is to eliminate the need to practice self-discipline. Getting rid of low-value tasks and bad habits will allow you to focus on what you really want to do as opposed to weighing the pros and cons or declining time requests. More importantly, this prevents you from feeling guilty about not crossing everything off an unrealistic to-do list.

3. Be Vulnerable

By this, I mean admitting where you could improve. For example, if you’re new to remote work and are struggling with thi s, you would only focus on topics in this area. Suggestions would be how to create a workspace at home, not getting distracted when the kids aren’t in school, or improving remote communication and collaboration with others.

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4. Understand Why You Procrastinate

Often, we procrastinate to minimize negative emotions like boredom or stress. Other times it could be because it’s a learned trait, underestimating how long it takes you to complete something or having a bias towards a task.

Regardless of the exact reason, we end up doing busy work, scrolling social media, or just watching one more episode of our favorite TV series. And, even though we know that it’s not for the best, we do things that make us feel better than the work we should do to restore our mood.[5]

There are a lot of ways to overcome procrastination. But, the first step is to be aware of it so that you can take action. For example, if you’re dreading a difficult task, don’t just watch Netflix. Instead, procrastinate more efficiently,y like returning a phone call or working on a client pitch.

5. Don’t Be a Copycat

Let’s keep this short and sweet. When you find a productivity app or technique that works for you, stick with it.

That’s not to say that you can’t make adjustments along the way or try new tools or hacks. However, the main takeaway should be that just because someone swears by the Pomodoro Technique doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for you.

6. Say Yes to Less

Across the board, your philosophy should be less is more.

That means only download the apps you actually use and want to keep (after you try them out) and uninstall the ones you don’t use. For example, are you currently reading a book on productivity? Don’t buy your next book until you’ve finished the one you’re currently reading (or permit yourself to toss a book that isn’t doing you any good). — and if you really want to finish a book more quickly, listen to the book on your way to work and back.

Already have plans this weekend? Don’t commit to a birthday party. And, if you’re day is booked, decline that last-minute meeting request.

7. Stop Focusing on What’s Next

“In the age when purchasing a thing from overseas is just one click and talking to another person is one swipe right, acquiring new objects or experiences can be addictive like anything else,” writes Patrick Banks for Lifehack .

“That doesn’t need to be you,” he adds. “You can stop your addition to ‘the next thing’ starting today.” After all, “there will always be this next thing if you don’t make a conscious decision to get your life back together and be the one in charge.”

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  • Think about your current lifestyle and the person you’re at this stage to help you identify what you aren’t satisfied with.
  • By setting clear goals for yourself in the future, you will be able to overcome your addiction.
  • Establish realistic goals.
  • To combat addiction, you must be aware of what is going on around you, as well as inside your head, at any given time.
  • Don’t spend time with people who have unhealthy behaviors.
  • Hold yourself accountable.
  • Keep a journal and write out what you want to overcome.
  • Appreciate no longer being addicted to what’s next.

8. Simplify

Each day, pick one priority task. That’s it. As long as you concentrate on one task at a time, you will be less likely to get distracted or overwhelmed by an endless list of tasks. A simple mantra to live by is: work smarter, not harder.

The same is also accurate with productivity hacks and tools. Bullet journaling is a great example. Unfortunately, for many, a bullet journal is way more time-consuming and overwhelming than a traditional planner.

9. Learn How to Relax

“Sure, we need to produce sometimes, especially if we have to pay the bills, but, banning obsession with productivity is unhealthy,” writes Leo Babauta. “When you can’t get yourself to be productive, relax.” Don’t worry about being hyper-efficient. And, don’t beat yourself up about having fun.

“But what if you can’t motivate yourself … ever?” he asks. “Sure, that can be a problem. But if you relax and enjoy yourself, you’ll be happier.”

“And if you work when you get excited, on things you’re excited about, and create amazing things, that’s motivation,” Leo states. “Not forcing yourself to work when you don’t want to, on things you don’t want to work on — motivation is doing things you love when you get excited.”

But, how exactly can you relax? Here are some tips from Leo;

  • Spend 5 minutes walking outside and breathe in the fresh air.
  • Give yourself more time to accomplish things. Less rushing means less stress.
  • If you can, get outside after work to enjoy nature.
  • Play like a child. Even better? Play with your kids. And, have fun at work — maybe give gamification a try .
  • Take the day off, rest, and do something non-work-related.
  • Allow yourself an hour of time off. Try not to be productive during that time. Just relax.
  • You should work with someone who is exciting. Make your project exciting.
  • Don’t work in the evenings. Seriously.
  • Visit a massage therapist.
  • Just breathe.

“Step by step, learn to relax,” he suggests. “Learn that productivity isn’t everything.” For that statement, sorry Leo, I say productivity isn’t everything — it’s the only thing.” However, if you can’t cut loose, relax, do fun things, and do the living part of your life — you’ll crack in a big way — you really will.

It’s great to create and push forward — just remember it doesn’t mean that every minute must be spent working or obsessing over productivity issues. Instead, invest your time in meaningful, high-impact work, get into it, focus, put in big time and then relax.

Are You Addicted to Productivity? was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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