Have you ever popped out of the bed in the morning ready to take on the world, with your to-do list in the back of your mind? From the moment you got out of bed, you’ve been thinking about all the things you’re going to get done today. You can’t wait to get started! Let’s goooooo…
Then, little by little, the burst of energy and optimism starts to spiral downward.
By the end of the day, you’ve run out of physical and mental gas. The day somehow derailed, and here you are, feeling like you didn’t accomplish half the things you wanted to do today.
Well, sometimes life really does get in the way. The car won’t start, or the dog gets out, and you spend half the morning chasing him around the neighborhood. Life gets in the way. More often than not, though, you likely did what most people do: you crashed and burned. Somewhere …you just ran out of energy.
So, how do you preserve your energy levels even on the toughest of days?
Here are five suggestions to keep you on track:
- Check-in With Yourself
First of all, become a private detective of your own life. Start paying attention to your body a little bit more. If you can catch yourself right when your energy begins to waver, you might be able to stave off a massive crash later on. Frequently when we’re lagging in energy, it’s because we need something small tweak, like a drink of water, a little activity, or even a small nutritious snack. These are quick and easy fixes that only take a minute. Ignore them, though, and you might lose hours out of your day before you know it.
- Engage in a Routine (or Two)
We can burn out our energy because we’re scrambling to sort out our day and find the things we need to do. But, if you have a simple morning routine, for example, you’ll have everything near at hand right when you need it. Getting out of the door will take half the energy, giving you reserves for where you need it most. Ask yourself what parts of your day you can streamline by creating a routine and make sure to follow through with those routines as often as possible. Routines can boost your energy throughout the day.
- Become More Intentional
Too often, our day becomes filled with little nonsense tasks which take up energy and time. Instead, start by setting an intention for the day. Really, what do you need to do? What actions will leave the biggest impact on the day? Put your energy where it counts most by being more intentional in what you’re doing. Remember, you don’t have to be the one to do everything. Delegate the non-essential tasks to keep yourself focused on what matters most.
- Be Social, but not too Social:
Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert really doesn’t matter when it comes to preserving your energy expenditure around people. Typically, people tend to increase an extroverted person’s energy, while an introverted person is drained by too much social interaction. However, constant interaction with people with who you don’t necessarily want to interact can cause you to exert a great deal of emotional labor. The keyword here is “labor”, which is by the way thereby indicating a decrease in available energy resources. Another way to view this is through the lens of the naturally extroverted person who is seen as a hero or guru. This act of being viewed as amazing 24/7 is enough to knock the wind out of the best of us. If you find yourself in any of these scenarios, make sure you include some time in your schedule to take a people “fast”. You may find yourself completely restored. Your preserved energy will thank you later when you’re able to go on that 7-mile hike or read that spy novel that’s gathering dust on the shelf.
- Take an Energy Audit:
Make an honest assessment of how you are spending your energy. The triad of energy expenditure typically involves health, wealth, and relationships. In other words, we typically spend our energy on these 3 areas. Many times, we neglect the 4th area, which is ourselves. Usually, when we start to feel burnt out, we are out of balance in one or two of those areas that make up the triad or we completely forgot to reserve 25 percent of that energy for ourselves. To preserve our energy, we mustn’t get out of balance. There are many ways of looking at this idea. But keep in mind that life doesn’t always fit into our neat little boxes. There will come a time when a relationship may require a bit more focus than our work. Or maybe getting that new business off the ground may dip into our time allotted to our self-care routines. The idea here is to take an honest assessment of your energy output and make adjustments accordingly, paying special attention to the amount of time you allot to yourself.
- Get to Bed!
There is a direct correlation between getting quality sleep and energy, but for some strange reason, we don’t automatically connect the two. I think it’s mainly because as a society sleep deprivation is the new normal. If we feel a little sluggish during the day, we naturally turn to coffee, energy drinks, or even nootropics so we can hustle longer and harder. However, now as a society, we are “waking up” to the long-term detrimental effects of burning the candle at both ends.
While a bedtime routine is a great start, pay more attention to your sleep. Create a sleep environment that is free from light, noise, clutter, and distraction. Make sure your room is at an optimal temperature, and yes, if need be, invest in a better mattress or new pillows. Getting a good night’s sleep will keep you more energetic throughout the day and will add years to your longevity.
There are some honorable mentions to consider, of course:
- Taking regular morning or afternoon walks in nature
- Staying hydrated
- Choosing nutritious whole foods
- Creating a regular exercise habit
- Managing stress properly
- Saying buh-bye to toxic people
This list could go on, but I think you get the picture. The overall goal here is to start focusing on ways to preserve your energy instead of spending it. The more energy you’re able to preserve the more you’ll be able to invest it back into yourself.
You are your most valuable asset.
Cultivating proper mental and physical energy can go a long way to ensure that you perform at your peak every day.
Trust me, your future self will thank you.
Be well + prosper
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