How to Learn To Work With Your Energy Flows
When it comes to getting more done and being more productive, having the right mindset is absolutely key. We are not machines; we don’t have a constant source of power from which we draw upon to perform efficiently all the time, and without having to take breaks. Our power supplies,or our energy levels, dip and rise with each hour of the day, and they even wax and wane over periods of time.
Sometimes we find ourselves filled with great motivation and high energy levels, and other times when we just want to do what we need to do to get by. We need to learn how to maintain our energy to be able to focus on our goals and stay motivated enough to take the steps necessary to accomplish them in order to get to the place we want to be.
But in order to do this, we often have to fight our impulses and our instincts. That means we have to force ourselves to get up and to work, even when we’re feeling tired and just want to go to bed. It means that we have to motivate ourselves to focus on a long, hard day’s work, even when we’re tempted to go home early and watch the next TV episode.
This is what many of us think of as mental discipline: the ability to force ourselves to do that which we don’t want to do. To take our ‘medicine’ as it were and thereby keep progressing forward.
But it might not actually be the best method. Because as it happens, being at constant war with yourself is not conducive to great productivity!
So instead of doing that, how about working with your gut instead?
Understanding Your Energy Flows
A lot of us pay too much attention to time management. We act under the assumption that if we have time to do something, then we can do it.
In reality though, our ability to complete work is much more related to our energy. If you don’t have the energy necessary to focus or to work, then you won’t be able to accomplish it, or your work won’t be as good.
Our energy levels come on in flows – waves, and are largely out of our control. For example, first thing in the morning many of us struggle with something called ‘sleep inertia’. This means our brains are still groggy from the night’s sleep and we aren’t as productive.
Likewise, we tend to be less efficient right after lunch or dinner. That’s because an influx of carbohydrates gets broken down to tryptophan and that tryptophan is then converted into serotonin. In turn, the serotonin is converted to melatonin, making us sleepy!
We’re all likely to be tireder during 4pm too and of course some days are worse than others depending on what we did the day before.
So instead of forcing yourself to change to meet your schedule, how about switching up your schedule so that you’re doing the most important work when you’re the most awake?
Understand that your energy flow may not be what you think it’s going to be, so try spending at least a week or a month, tracking your energy ups and downs before you start making any changes.
Learning To Ride With Your Energy Flows
How to Fuel Your Brain With Energy
Why do you train and exercise? What is it that you hope to achieve by being physically active?
Many of us train because we want to look better. Some of us train because we want to be healthier and stave off disease. Others train because they want to perform better at a particular sport or activity they enjoy.
But I have a different reason for training: I train because I want to change the way I feel and because I want to change my mindset, and maintain a good physical ‘energy body tone’. This also influences my diet choices.
One of the biggest limiting factors in most of our lives – one of the things that most prevents us from achieving all that we want to achieve – is tiredness. You wake up in the morning and instead of leaping out of bed filled with enthusiasm, you instead struggle to drag yourself up and to actually start being productive.
Then you get home and instead of doing something fun, interesting or productive, you instead just crash on the sofa and watch day time TV.
Does this sound familiar?
Everything you do is less enjoyable when you’re tired. All of your decisions are worse. All of your challenges seem harder. And I’m not talking about physical tiredness – I’m talking about mental tiredness. That’s something you can actually fix with the right training program and a good healthy diet.
How to Increase Your Brains Energy
So how can you increase energy in your brain? One method is to increase the strength of your heart. If you do this, then you’ll be able to pump more blood, oxygen and nutrients to your brain, thus allowing it to perform more optimally.
One way we do this? With steady state cardio
This means the kind of cardiovascular exercise that involves long durations of exercise. A good example is running a few miles twice a week, which can help to enlarge the left ventricle in your heart.
This also reduces stress by helping you to lower your resting heart-rate and thus produce less cortisol.
Also important is to increase the efficiency of your mitochondria. These are the parts of the cells that turn glucose into usable energy and the more you have and the healthier they are, the better they function, and the less tired you will feel.
You can increase these with a combination of HIIT training and foods/supplements that are known to support them such as CoQ10, PQQ, l-carnitine and others.
Keep in mind that there is no such thing as having endless energy all day long, at least naturally. And it is not recommended to overuse those ‘energy boost’ drinks and formulas that you can find at your local store.
Your energy is naturally going to ebb and flow, we just need to work with it instead of against it.