As a parent and business owner, it seems like there is an endless list of things to be done each day and a limited amount of energy with which to complete those tasks. I mean, am I right? Do you feel like that, too?
Superhuman Energy: Exercise & Nutrition for Impressive Daily Productivity! #boostenergy #beproductive Click To Tweet
Most folks talk about the “afternoon slump”. They grab another soda and resolutely slog towards the end of the day. We’ve all been there. (In fact, we frequently discuss this topic here on the Road To Domestication.)
Cracking the code on maintaining a high energy state throughout the day and continuing with productivity at your peak without stopping is one of those elusive grails that, once mastered, will change your life! Here is a simple system that you can begin implementing tonight. It takes about a month to get into the rhythm of it, but once you’ve mastered these steps, you’ll be amazed at how much work you get done every day. Are you ready?!
- Sleep Deeply. Most of us are lucky to get the full 8 hours of sleep. You must invest in proper sleep if you want to conquer each day. Start by setting a timer 1 hour before bed and stop looking at electronic screens. These electronic screens produce a blue light which can confuse your internal clock and create mild insomnia. Additionally, supplementation with melatonin can help you reach a deeper, more reliable sleep. (My hubby actually takes melatonin nightly!)
- Meditate. Stress is the killer, here. It saps your energy with it’s low level pressure throughout the day, diminishing your spare capacity to for accomplishing the things that really matter. Meditation teaches your brain how to compartmentalize the things that don’t matter in the moment. It takes about 10 minutes of practice per day over 6-8 weeks to really make an impact on your brain’s physical structure. Stick with the discipline. You stand to gain superhuman brain powers!
- Exercise. Once again, exercise brings down your cortisol levels and helps to reenergize you. It also helps improve your cardiovascular system and raises your capacity to do more work. Even if you can only invest 20 minutes a day, make exercising a priority. Dave Henly — a fellow blogger, and dad — uses an afternoon bike ride to reset his energy levels around 3 PM every day. The kids fit in the bike trailer and is an event that they look forward to daily. Whether it is a short run or water aerobics, make these 20 minutes a priority.
- Get Hydrated. As we rush about the day, drinking caffeine and trying to juggle all of the tasks on your list, drinking plenty of water becomes one of the last concerns. Carrying a large water bottle with you fixes that, and ensures that your brain maintains peak hydration at all times. Dehydration is the number one performance killer of athletes, and it is no less important for the busy mom or dad.
- Check Your Thyroid. Not all of us have thyroid issues, but if you are fighting constant lethargy, it is worthwhile to get these levels checked. You can even skip the doctor and have the test run at a walk-in clinic. Be sure to check TSH as well as T3 and T4 levels. All three scores are important for getting a look at your thyroid performance. (I myself have hypothyroidism, and take medication and a variety of supplements to keep my levels as they should be!)
- Eat An Obsessive Amount Of Vegetables. We tend to eat a carb-heavy diet which causes our blood sugar to peak and crash throughout the day. Eating protein and vegetables helps cleanse our system and maintains a more stable blood sugar throughout the day. The juicing cleanse that swept the world a few years ago helped to demonstrate the benefits of a vegetable-heavy diet. While you aren’t required to start juicing, keeping your vegetable intake above 5 servings a day can make a major difference in your performance and your general feeling of well-being.
- Trim Your Life. There is always going to be more work to do every day than there are tasks. The trick is to ask the question that Gary Keller made famous in his book One. “What is the one thing, that, if accomplished, would make everything else easier.” As a parent, many of our tasks we do throughout the day are repetitious and feel meaningless. However, paring everything down to the most essential tasks and being willing to ignore low-priority items will make you much more effective on those tasks that truly matter.
- Cut Distractions. “Switching Costs” refer to the brain power that is lost when you switch between tasks. Your brain has to refocus. Now, as a parent, our kids are going to interrupt. There is nothing we can do about that. However, we often compound the problem by introducing Facebook, Twitter, and Television in our already jam-packed day. Turn off the distractions, get focused, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can complete tasks (after you get past the technology withdrawals).
The trick to becoming superhuman is to do a lot of small things very well. Sleep, Exercise, and Nutrition is the foundation. But the real super-abilities become manifest when you can turn off distractions and say “No” to the non-essentials.
And, even if you never feel like a superhuman, know that you are always super to those who love you.
What is YOUR best tip for staying productive?
Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!