5 WAYS TO OPTIMISE YOUR ENERGY LEVELS
After spending a very enjoyable evening discussing all things ENERGY-related with Jen Brill, Annie Kreighbaum (Glossier), Erica Blumenthal and Nikki Huganir (Yes Way Rose), and WNBA player Jewell Loyd at The WW Club at 45 Grand last week, I thought I'd share a few energy-optimising hacks (ew, hate that word) of my own...
OBEY ENERGY FLOW
I touched on this in The Handbook because it was one of my first 'epiphany' moments as a freelancer: working with your natural energy levels is a lot more effective than pushing against them. I'm a morning person, which means I generally feels my most focused and inspired during the first few hours of the day. By mid-afternoon I generally want to curl up into a ball under the table - and sometimes, I do - so I've learnt not to attempt certain types of work (writing, meetings) at that time. Try zoning your days to suit your own personal ebbs and flows.
It seems counter-intuitive, but expending energy is often the best way to boost it. I'm not talking about forcing yourself through a gruelling 6am workout, but rather starting your day with 30-45 minutes of the type of movement you like best (increasingly, I'm a yoga girl).
Also! If you do a sedentary job then it's essential to take regular breaks from sitting slumped at your desk. Even getting up to go to the bathroom and splash your face with water (an easy refresher) or get a glass of water can bring you back to life.
SLEEP MORE. LIKE, A LOT MORE
That old 'sleep is for the weak' expression is a total myth - and thankfully, one that seems to be falling out of favour. Personally, I know that I'm a million times stronger (and nicer! And less ravenously hungry!) on days when I've had 7-8 hours sleep, than on those when I try to run on five. Now, I'll choose an extra hour of sleep over getting up at the crack of dawn 'to get more done' - it's just not logical to force yourself awake if it means the whole day will be spent in a zombie-like state. If you're constantly pushing yourself to get by on less than seven hours a night, it might be worth reconsidering your stance on rest.
PROTECT YOUR RESOURCES
To successfully utilise your energy, you have to mindful about where you're spending it. This is something I've been thinking a lot about since the ENERGY-focused panel at 45 Grand last week, particularly in light of Jen Brill's comment about retaining some mystery in on your online life. We give so much of ourselves to social media - and consume so much of other's people's lives through it - without ever thinking about the depleting effect this can have on our 'real life' selves.
One easy way to counteract this mind (and iPhone battery!) draining effect is simply to get. off. line. If you can't even begin to imagine what you might do away from your phone/tablet/laptop, I highly recommend Amy Rose Spiegel's Guide to Physical Tangible Life as a starting point.
CHOOSE YOUR COMPANY WISELY
Carrying on from the above point: You might want to consider compiling a list of things/places/activities that you know tend to drain your energy, as well as a list of stuff that does the exact opposite. For me, good conversation is a massively restorative and energy-boosting activity, which is why I've made talking my business. Literally.
Through my interactions with countless inspiring people over the past year, I've also become much more aware of the energy-sapping effects of people who are... less inspiring, shall we say, and I try to minimise these encounters as much as possible. Obviously, we can't go through life selectively choosing who we do and don't want to deal with, but I think it's certainly worth carving out time for those who lift you up – as well as striving to be the type of person who lifts up others. Leave people feeling better than you found 'em; that's my new and ultimate life goal.