Part 2 - Where's your energy at?By Dr Adam Fraser | Dec 09, 11 08:00 AM
The world has got fast! And we’re having trouble keeping up. Is the solution better time management? I think not! “Energy Management” is the answer.
You should of all completed your ‘energy audit’ by now. The next step is to focus on the 3 levels of energy management. Physical, emotional and mental.
- Cut out caffeine after 3pm, it stimulates the brain and makes it difficult to get into deep relaxing sleep.
- Dim the lights one hour before bed; this stimulates the release of melatonin – a hormone that helps us get to sleep and stay asleep.
- Decrease stimulation 1 hour before bed such as TV, work, computers, etc. wind down and relax before bed.
- Have the same bed time and wake up time each day, helps your body anticipate when it needs to be asleep and awake.
- Get 10 – 15 mins of sun exposure each day, this regulates your circadian rhythm and helps you get more rejuvenating deep sleep.
- Stay away from sugary foods, they pick you up briefly but then drop you. Soft drinks, biscuits, muffins and sugary snacks briefly energize you but then leave you feeling flat. If you need a snack aim for some protein, good grains and fruit.
- Stay hydrated – drink at least 2 litres of water a day, when we are dehydrated our brain function slows and we feel tired.
- Get 30 mins of physical activity a day. Exercise increases our energy levels and also increases the efficiency of the body and the brain.
- Eat every 3 to 4 hours. People often feel tired and drowsy at 3pm. At 3pm we have a natural drop in our glucose levels; when this happens we see a massive decrease in our energy levels. Regular meals help prevent this.
- When eating out limit alcohol to 2-3 glasses, avoid fried food, creamy sauces and large serves of carbohydrates. These all reduce energy.
- Picture it up. An energising meal is one where the plate is made up of half vegetables, a quarter protein, and a quarter carbohydrates. Make sure your plate looks like this.
- At work take a short break (about five mins) every two hours; get up from your desk and move around, relax your brain and focus on something other than work. After about 90 minutes to two hours of work our brain fatigues and needs a rest.
Negative emotions such as anger, fear and frustration drain the energy out of us due to the stress response they produce.
- Breathe out and slow your breathing. When we take a slow deep breath we reduce the release of stress hormones such as adrenaline that burn off our energy.
- Talk to yourself more. Listen to the conversation you are having in your head and check that it is Accurate, Realistic and Optimistic. So often our thinking is irrational during the day leading to negative emotions and stress.
- Choose your battles. Check to see if this is something you want to spend your emotional energy on. Too often we spend our emotional energy on things that aren’t important. Ask yourself am I being a drama queen.
- Choose your mood. When you feel these negative emotions replace them with more positive ones. This sounds impossible; however, we have more control over our mood than we think. If we are feeling sad and apathetic can we reflect on something joyous or something we are grateful for. A coaching client of mine has been going through a difficult time and is feeling a high percentage of negative emotions. To counter these emotions he thinks of his six year old daughter performing ballet and he soon snaps out of it.
- Do something each day that tops up your emotional energy, like a hobby or something you are passionate about.
- Touch it once. Often we procrastinate and fail to complete tasks; uncompleted tasks take up valuable mental energy. Don’t just touch a task, finish it!
- Cut down on Multitasking – when we multitask we overload our brain with too many data points, causing mental fatigue.
- Take time each day to focus and calm your mind on a single activity, such as meditation, art, playing a musical instrument, reading, cross word or Sodoku. This will improve your ability to focus and reduce your stress levels.
Missed Part 1 - check it out here
Dr Adam Fraser is one of Australia’s leading educators, researchers and thought leaders in the area of human performance. He’s spoken all around the country for Business Chicks and we love him! Learn more at www.dradamfraser.com.au