The future—scratch that—it’s already here: the pivotal factor distinguishing the successful from the not-so-successful is… ENERGY MANAGEMENT.
Ever notice how some folks effortlessly conquer their to-do lists while you’re drowning in tasks, feeling far from your peak potential?
The best-kept secret of success isn’t to manage your time, but YOUR ENERGY.
Mentally and physically.
Why Energy Management?
Slow and steady wins the race. You can’t start strong, push yourself to exhaustion or burnout, and give up before the race is over.
The secret to success in business and life is to maintain a solid pace from start to finish.
Our bodies follow patterns akin to our 24-hour days and changing seasons. By respecting these rhythms, we return to our natural state, living in the flow.
Benefits Of Managing Your Energy
- Heightened focus.
- Increased productivity.
- Life will feel much more effortless.
- Feel good about getting things done.
- No more feeling like there’s “no time”.
- Makes creative + educational endeavors easier.
- More time to do things you love such as spending time with your family or going for a bike ride.
Tips To Manage Your Energy More Effectively:
1) Warm Up.
- Allow 6 minutes to warm up for alertness and focus.
- Don’t expect to drop into ‘flow state’ instantly.
- Warm-up with binaural beats, journaling, brain dumps, TED talks, reading, meditation, or eye exercises.
2) Take Breaks.
- We weren’t meant to sit all day and our brains will get drained if we don’t take breaks. Our bodies have a quantifiable natural work/rest cycle called the ultradian cycle— our alertness lasts approximately 90 minutes before our body begins to crave a break — that should be at least 20 minutes to recharge.
- Try active breaks such as nature walks, yoga, stretching and other functional movement which are good for analytical work, and improve attention and cognitive control, but worsen verbal memory.
3) Take advantage of light, noise, and vision.
Optimize your environment throughout the day to facilitate learning, productivity, and effortless work.
4) Environmental Set Up: The Cathedral Effect.
- Your thinking is affected by your environment.
- High ceilings promote abstract thoughts and creativity while low ceilings promote detailed and concrete work.
- If you work in a broad, open-spaced office and you need to focus, put on a hoodie that restricts your visual field for maximum focus and productivity.
- For every 45 minutes of narrow focus, take 5 minutes of relaxed focus otherwise you are at the point of diminishing returns.
5) Visual Set Up: Screen Placement
Where we look and levels of alertness are highly correlated.
- When you look up, neurons trigger the activation of alertness.
- Looking down neurons will trigger calm and sleep.
- Keep your screen slightly above nose level or during the day and below during the evening.
6) Audio Set Up: Background Noise
- You may not be consciously registering background noise but your auditory system is always processing it.
- Play binaural beats (at 40Hz) or pink / brown noise to enhance focus for up to 45 minutes at a time (get up for a break after that).
7) Prevent Distractions.
- You need to prevent interruptions so you don’t waste time having to “refocus”.
- If you work from home, put a sign up in your office so you don’t get pulled out of deep work.
- If someone enters your office, acknowledge their presence but don’t shift your body to greet them otherwise that may pull you out of focus.
- Turn off all notifications and keep your phone out of sight.
8) Deep Work.
- Learn how to drop into a flow state.
- In flow, you are 500% more productive than the average person.
9) Understand Your Physiology.
- Understand your brain and body to plan your day so you can do the challenging work when you are the most alert and focused.
- Know when your neurochemicals are draining so you schedule time for a productive break. For example, in the afternoon when dopamine and cortisol tends to subside.
TL;DR: The Future Of Success Depends On Energy Management
- Warm Up.
- Take Breaks.
- Take advantage of light, noise, and vision.
- Environmental Set Up: Learn about the Cathedral Effect.
- Visual Set Up: Screen Placement
- Audio Set Up: Background Noise
- Prevent Distractions.
- Deep Work.
- Understand Your Physiology.