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Energy is everything.
Without energy, you can’t perform at your best when it matters most. If you don’t have energy, how can you expect to be productive when you work, be present with your family and friends, or even enjoy your life. Being at your best is determined by your energy levels.
In this blog post, I am going to show you the 5 greatest habits to maximize your energy levels and how to apply them to your life. That way you can be at your best in the areas that matter most to you for the long haul.
What we’re going to cover:
– How to utilize work sprints.
– Dialing in your nutrition using The Magnus Method.
– Efficient ways to guarantee you stay hydrated.
– A fresh perspective on exercise.
– The holy grail of incredible energy.
Let’s dive in!
There’s a great productivity principle known as “The Pomodoro Technique”. How it works is that you set a timer for 25 minutes every time you start working and you use that 25 minutes for uninterrupted focus on your most important task. After the timer goes off, you take a short 5-10 minute break. After 3-4 short breaks, take a longer 30-minute break.
An important thing to note is that these 5-10 minute breaks are not time to be checking email, scrolling on your phone, or doing tasks that don’t take as much energy for you. These 5-10 minutes are precious and are meant to be used as a “recharge break”.
Here are a few ideas on how to use these breaks effectively:
– Do some stretching
– Take a short walk around the room, office, or outside
– Play with your kid or dog
Notice how none of these ideas involve a phone or device and how everyone involves moving your body. I encourage you to do something that feeds your soul and that allows you, personally, to recharge. If you only took 5-minute breaks and did some stretching, you will have done approximately 20+ minutes of stretching throughout your day. That’s more than most people do in a month!
Now, I personally have used the Pomodoro Technique and have found that 25 minutes is a little too short for me and almost annoying. From my experience, 25 minutes is when I’m just getting into the flow of my work.
Studies have shown that highly productive people utilize the Pomodoro Technique, yet they work anywhere from 25-52 minutes. That’s the work sprint. What I always recommend to my clients is to find what works for them. If shorter breaks feel right to you, take them. Regardless of the time, keep each work sprint under an hour.
It’s pretty common knowledge that nutrition affects your overall mental and physical wellness. Great athletes often say, “You can’t out-train a bad diet.”. However, so many people struggle to maintain a balance with their health, specifically when it comes to nutrition.
There’s a great fitness and nutrition coach named, Manus Lygdbäck who works with celebrities to get them into superhero shape for blockbuster films. He has worked with Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, and Alicia Vikander to name a few.
I have no affiliation with Magnus (other than the fact that we’re both Swedish) but I love his philosophy on maintaining a balanced lifestyle, specifically when it comes to nutrition. Magnus’s health regimen, known as the Magnus Method, states that we should aim to eat 5 meals per day every 3 hours.
Breakfast – a high-protein snack – Lunch – a high-protein snack – Dinner
In 4 days, you will have had 20 total meals. To keep balance in life, Magnus recommends we should keep 17 out of 20 meals on point. “On point” means eating natural and whole foods with no sugar. For the other 3 meals, eat whatever you want. That’s your time to have some pizza and beer with your buds, eat ice cream with your partner, or enjoy that food you love.
Check out his website and YouTube channel at MagnusMethod.com
NOTE: If you’d like to learn more about how to apply this to your daily life, I highly recommend you check out my workshop for NASP on July 29th called “Schedule Everything: 3 Keys to Achieving Even Higher Levels of Productivity, Energy, and Freedom”
This may sound elementary, but you have to stay hydrated. You could be leaving massive amounts of energy on the table by skipping this one step. Your body is made up of roughly 80% water and is constantly using that water as you move throughout your day which is why it is so important to keep fueling yourself with high-quality water.
Even with low levels of dehydration, you can experience some or all of the following symptoms:
– Low energy levels
– Brain fog
A general rule of thumb is to drink half to one ounce per pound you weigh, every day. For example, if you weigh 150lbs, you should aim to drink 75-150oz of water each day. If you exercise, are very active, or it’s very hot out, you will need to drink more water but this gives you a good idea of roughly how much you should be drinking daily.
Also, pay attention to the quality of water you’re drinking. Some water has higher levels of acidity than others (i.e. plastic water bottles). If you can drink Alkaline, Hydrogen, Well, or Mineral Water as these types of water have a higher pH level.
An easy way to guarantee you get the right amount of water in is to get a large water bottle of roughly 40oz and divide how many of those you should drink each day based on your body weight, then keep track of how many you have every day by using a whiteboard, tracking sheet, or checkmarks on a notepad.
As with many things in life, the hardest part of exercise is consistency. One of the greatest reasons people struggle with staying consistent is because they’re not doing something they enjoy. If you’re not staying consistent with your exercise, I’d look into what type of exercise you enjoy most.
Understand that there are so many ways you can move your body. You can do running, walking, cycling, rock climbing, swimming, kayaking, CrossFit, dance, boxing or martial arts, weightlifting, and so much more. There is no one way to exercise yet so many people feel they should just start lifting weights when they actually love running or biking. The most important thing, and how this relates to energy, is that you’re moving your body and increasing blood circulation.
Research shows that when we exercise, we increase blood flow in the body which ultimately leads to the brain, resulting in increased cognition. Essentially, the more blood can flow to our brain, the more energy and oxygen we receive, which makes our brains perform better.
My question for you is, “what do you love to do?”.
If you love dancing, join a dance class. Thrilled about boxing and martial arts, join a gym. You fancy powerlifting, find a powerlifting gym. If it’s rock climbing, find some friends or a community that goes every week. The same goes for CrossFit, downhill biking, surfing, swimming, etc.
If you’re not sure what you like, try some things out. Once you’ve found your thing, find a community that challenges you and motivates you to keep showing up. Do this, and you will never struggle with staying fit again because you love the exercise you’re doing and you have a community that holds you accountable. The hardest part then is just showing up.
I couldn’t possibly write a blog post on health and energy without talking about the most vital of all energy habits; getting enough quality sleep. Without sleep, we are nothing. There is no way we can function properly without it yet so many people struggle to not get enough of it.
When we don’t get enough sleep, we suffer from some or all of these things:
– Memory issues
– Lack of concentration
– Dramatic mood changes
– Weakened immune system
– Risk for diabetes
– Weight gain
– Low sex drive
– Risk of heart disease
– Even poor balance
So how can we get more and better sleep? Well, it starts by implementing everything we’ve gone over in this blog post. When you take regular breaks while working, you won’t overwork yourself and burn out. Once you get your nutrition right and stay hydrated, your body will operate and be functioning at its best. Finally, when you get enough exercise, it will naturally help you sleep faster and deeper.
Here is a list of things you can do today to start priming yourself for better sleep: – Have a set bedtime
– Wear blue light glasses while you wind down
– Avoid screen time an hour before bed
– Keep your room dark and cool
– Use white noise or a fan while you sleep
– Spend more time in sunlight
– Avoid alcohol and caffeine 6+ hours before bed
Now, I know that it’s not realistic to do all of these every day of our lives. Things happen and maybe we want to have a drink with some friends and then we go to bed. Sometimes it’s fun to watch a movie with your spouse or kids before you go to bed, etc. The idea is to abide by these practices more times than less.
You’re going to be on track, and you’re going to get off track in life. The key is that you get back on track sooner than later. When you adopt these healthy habits into your life, you’re going to notice that your energy levels will be much higher for much longer. As a result, you will get more done, be more productive when it matters, and naturally be a happier human being.
This week, I challenge you to focus on the top 1-2 health habits we covered in this post and abide by them for the whole week. Notice how you feel and see how it affects your performance and productivity when it comes to your work. I can guarantee that you will see massive results and positive changes in your life.
About the author
Read James’s Article for NASP (The 5 Greatest Habits To Maximize Your Energy Levels) here – http://The 5 Greatest Habits To Maximize Your Energy Levels
James Allen is an international Performance & Productivity coach, author, and speaker.
James helps his clients 10x their productivity so they can get the right things done, earn more money, and have more time to do what they want, with who they want.
He takes a very holistic approach to success by helping his clients create a life and business that surpasses their expectations in their health, wealth, and relationships.
To James, success is an inner game. This is why he helps his clients with things like mindset, confidence, health & well-being, courage, leadership, performance & productivity, on top of business strategy.
He believes that, in order to live a rich, successful, and meaningful life, you will need to master the skills of productivity and efficiency.