You may have ambitious goals for what you’d like to accomplish this year. Or, maybe you simply want to feel satisfied that you’re getting the right stuff done every day.
Either way, there are only so many hours in a day — so you want to make the best of them, right?
Making the most of your time can mean tweaking some of your time management habits. But it can also mean digging deeper to look more closely at your mental & physical energy. Optimizing your energy can make a HUGE difference in how productive you are.
This has been one of my top goals this year — and I want to share what I’ve learned.
Hopefully, a few of these ideas will inspire you to see how you can optimize your own energy and help you raise the bar for what’s possible to accomplish each day!
Energy Tip #1: Careful with Caffeine
I started the year giving up caffeine, which was a big change for me. I used it to prop myself up, to get moving, to get my brain working in the morning. (Some days I drank more coffee than I care to admit. Man, it tasted so good!)
This was not an easy change. I anticipated headaches and brain fog. I waited for a holiday week with a light schedule so my fuzzy thinking wouldn’t be as obvious to my clients!
Within one week of giving up caffeine, I happily enjoyed a new routine of drinking herbal tea with organic raw honey. I was quite pleased with myself. I was noticeably more calm throughout the day. I was able to concentrate better. Started sleeping better. And, I was “ready to go” mentally as soon as I got up in the morning. No need to wait until the caffeine kicked in.
I took this one step further and gave up the honey altogether, replacing it with coconut milk. (My favorite new combo is Chai Rooibos with coconut milk. Reminds me of a yummy Chai Latte!)
Energy Tip #2: Eat the Right Foods
I’ve enjoyed a fairly healthy diet for the past few years, as long as you don’t count ski season. (How can you enjoy apres-ski without burgers, pizza, nachos and beer?)
Beyond the slope side extravaganza, I typically had either a fruit smoothie or eggs for breakfast. Maybe a turkey sandwich for lunch. Chicken or steak for dinner. And a respectable amount of vegetables along the way.
Despite improvements to my diet, nothing seemed to make a difference to my energy level (or my waistline).
Inspired by a nutritional program led by Cathy Sloan-Gallagher of Eat Thoughtfully, I completely up-leveled my diet over a 6-week period. The original intention was to follow the Nourishing Cleanse for 30 days…but the benefits were so astounding that now I’m hooked.
My energy level has been through the roof!
I haven’t had this type of clarity, energy or productivity in a VERY long time. Maybe never.
So, what were the changes?
Simply put, the major changes were eliminating sugar, dairy and certain carbs (bread, pasta, rice).
For years, I’ve read articles about the affect sugar and dairy can have on us but it wasn’t until now that I’ve taken it seriously. My advice here is to seek as much information as you can – and see what a difference it can make for you.
First stop should be to reach out to Cathy Sloan-Gallagher at Eat Thoughtfully.
Another great resource is the book Whole 30 by Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig.
Energy Tip #3: Improve Your Sleep
For many years, I’ve noticed a steady decline in sleep quality. Not sleeping as many hours as I should. Waking up several times during the night.
We all know that not getting a good night’s sleep has an immediate impact on your mental clarity, energy and productivity. There’s no substitute. (Tried my best to substitute caffeine for sleep. Never worked!)
With the elimination of caffeine and all of the changes to my diet, I’ve been sleeping like a baby. Uninterrupted for at least 8 hours. Amazing.
Energy Tip #4: Get Moving & Get Outside
For me, exercising outdoors in nature is rejuvenating and energizing. Exercising at a health club, not so much.
So, during ski season, I’m unstoppable: out on the slopes, enjoying fresh air and exercise, getting a regular dose of Vitamin Nature. When ski season is over, and it’s back to the gym, I am less excited.
The increase in energy — both mental & physical — is not only enabling me to accomplish SO MUCH MORE every day, but I’m also taking time each day to exercise in nature. This was a habit I had for a long time but, somewhere along the way, it disappeared. It feels great to be back on track now!
Hopefully these tips have inspired you to think about the changes you can make to increase your own energy!
For me, I can see the difference…
A project that’s been on my mind for the past 2 years finally got done within less than 4 days. Launching a podcast was an idea from 3 years ago that finally saw the light of day. And, I’ve finally started publishing videos weekly on YouTube to provide even more tips.
While you’re there, click on “subscribe” to my YouTube channel.