In our quest to discover the latest gadget to get more done in less time, we often overlook the one aspect of productivity that crushes any tool we have hope of finding: our energy level.
Here are 21 ways to improve your energy level (& therefore productivity).
1. Drink 1-2 gallons of water every day. Yep, I said gallons. Staying super-hydrated feels amazing and fuels energy. Get a larger water bottle than you feel is necessary and refill it throughout the day.
2. Track what you eat for 2 weeks. Tracking behavior is the best way to generate awareness for change. When you track, you’ll find yourself not wanting to eat poorly just so you don’t have to write it down.
3. Take 3 10 minute breaks every day. Sitting down all day comes with a special type of exhaustion. Make breaks non-negotiable to avoid burnout, & set a timer if you have to. I recommend using Seconds Pro.
4. Cut back on coffee. The ups & downs caused by coffee catch up to you at some point in the day, even if you drink it black. Cut it out completely, or if you enjoy good coffee as much as I do, stick to just 1-2 cups in the morning.
5. Exercise in the morning. Exercising in the morning can fuel creativity. Move your workout to the morning for maximum impact.
6. Consider a stand-up desk. If you can afford an extra desk or adjustable one, standing up periodically throughout the day will help lessen the blow of being in one place all day.
7. Cut out carbonated beverages. Altogether. Gone. Not only are they likely loaded with sugar, but the carbonation takes the oxygen out of your blood. Carbonation is energy’s enemy.
8. Avoid fast-burning carbs. Aka foods that provide quick bursts of energy but quickly turn to sugar in your system. White potatoes, white bread, and white pasta are examples.
9. Eat slow-burning carbs. Sweet potatoes, brown rice, & whole wheat pasta can be eaten in smaller quantities & provide lasting energy.
10. Use positive, optimistic language. When someone asks you how your day is, how do you respond? Make a conscious choice to bring positive language to your interactions and you’ll create new momentum in your work.
11. Avoid negative Nancy’s. I get that it’s not always possible, but be conscious of those who are constantly complaining or gossiping & simply avoid them whenever possible.
12. Eat more often. If you eat breakfast at 7am, it’s normal to find yourself hungry around 10:00am. Pack small snacks like almonds, apples, and beef jerky to give yourself a boost & avoid binging at lunch.
13. Eat out less. Restaurants serve delicious food that is terrible for us. Not only will avoiding restaurants boost your energy level by avoiding heavy foods, but you’ll also be rewarded financially in the long run.
14. Pack your own lunch. See #13.
15. Exercise on your lunch break. There are many exercises you can perform that won’t have you breaking a sweat & needing a shower. Do 40 jumping jacks, 30 sit-ups, 20 push-ups, and 10 burpees. According to a random graphic on Instagram, that burns 100 calories. Whatever it does, it’s likely to re-fuel you to take on the afternoon.
16. Listen to background music. Music (typically without lyrics) can help stimulate brain activity and keep you going through the afternoon wall.
17. Rest your eyes. Sleep habits don’t change overnight, but closing your eyes for a few minutes during a break can help bring new energy.
18. Take a 10 minute walk before meetings. Meetings require attention, effort, and energy to be productive. Changing your physiology immediately before your meeting can facilitate this nicely if you’re feeling sluggish.
19. Change your physiology however you can. Feeling stuck? Stand up. Sit down. Play a game of ping pong. Stretch. When you feel bogged down, changing your physical state for just a few minutes is a good first step.
20. Create a designated reading time. Continual learning is a necessity to thrive & do great work. Set a daily, non-negotiable reading time for 20 minutes.
21. Spend the first hour of the day intentionally. The first hour sets the tone for the rest of the day, so whether you read, exercise, stretch, or whatever – do it intentionally.
There you have it. 21 ways. You can’t implement all 21 this week, but what’s stopping you from choosing 2-3? Make the commitment & let me know which you chose on Twitter.
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