6.1 Positive Charging
Productivity hack no.53 from '60 Ways to Hurray! by Ralph Varcoe.
Achieving goals is best done when awake. Steps toward your goals require Action. Action requires energy, and energy is a finite resource.
Managing your energy so that you feel as good as possible and can attack your To Do list with vigour is one of the most important personal focus areas to be attentive to. There are 86,400 seconds in every 24-hour day. How we use them is important if we’re to have a healthy, happy, fulfilled, and high-achieving life. Apart from other things you have to get done in any one day, the other determinant of how much you will achieve is down to how much energy you have.
We all have the ability to manipulate energy, using it to our advantage. If we need a bit of an extra lift we can turn to caffeine, or sugar. Adrenalin also works well. But with these artificial stimulators there’s a corresponding low energy trough that follows. That’s one of the reasons people get hooked on coffee or sweets, to get through an average day. It’s why some people are adrenalin junkies. The high is amazing so let’s have that again, and again, and again, until it becomes normal and there’s a need to find another more intense high.
In order to deliver consistently it is far better to think about your energy like a battery in a Tesla (other electric cars are available). It’s going to run longer if you’re not seriously heavy-footed off the lights. It’ll run longer if you average a slightly lower speed and don’t speed up and down too frequently. When you’re running low you look for a charging point and plug in. The car rests and waits for its new energy to accumulate before it can head off again.
So it is for us, our fuels being sleep, food, and oxygen (which is why regular exercise is so important).
It’s crucial to get a good night’s sleep, but it can also be a really good idea to take a rest during the day. A study conducted in America showed that those who are a bit more Mediterranean and sleep during the day are able to sustain higher average energy levels and improve their output.
While the standard office environment doesn’t lend itself to taking a nap at your desk, I have, in the past, headed out to the carpark, got in and had a short 15 minute doze before heading back in for the busy-ness to continue.
Have a think about your energy levels. When do they dip during the day? When are you at your most alert and awesome? Try to schedule your work to match your own daily cycle. And if you need a rest see if you can go and find somewhere to sleep for 20 minutes. This could transform your energy levels and really boost your performance.
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