Are you just fatigued by life? This is how to stop wasting your energy, according to an expert.
It’s a new day and you jump out of bed ready to take on your tasks with gusto. But after just a few hours in the office, your energy starts to take a major dive bringing your motivation down with it. Sound familiar?
There are external factors that contribute to you feeling drained that you may not be aware of. It might be the colleague next to you, your lack of movement or even what you’re putting in your mouth.
Here are five things that might be secretly draining you.
1. Trying to manage your time instead of your energy – time is fixed, but energy can be created. Those who are consistently productive know how to create it. It’s time to forget everything you were taught about time management, and start to implement “energy management”. Figure out what times of the day you perform best and have the most energy, so you can plan to tick off heavier tasks during those periods.
2. Other people’s negativity – or even your own. People who complain and seem to have more problems than solutions are a massive drain on energy. Positive psychology studies show that if you want to be more productive, then you need to increase your positivity or optimism. This also helps to decrease your chance of suffering any mental health issues in the long run. Practice gratitude and rewire your brain to be a glass half full thinker – and encourage the people around you to be too. If you really can’t avoid working with energy zappers, try to limit your interaction with them.
3. Being a slave to notifications – we’re all exposed to hundreds of notifications a day – emails, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, texts and calls. These can all be incredibly fatiguing and are leading us to have shorter attention spans as a result. In order to be productive, switch off all notifications and access your devices at set times of the day. Messages and emails don’t always need an immediate response, remind yourself to only attend to them when you’re ready.
4. Not eating right or moving around – everyone knows that movement increases your brain’s ability to be more productive. Without movement, your brain is sluggish and not thinking at its optimum level. Remember to integrate some form of exercise or movement throughout the day, even if it’s a brisk 20-minute walk. As well as movement, food plays a significant role in your enthusiasm at work. Fuel your brain and body with nourishing foods, and keep away from the biscuits and cake come 3 o’clock.
5. Letting ‘bad stress’ get to you – our brains need a certain amount of stress to think clearly and sharply. But too much stress causes the rational part of the brain to shut down and give way to the amygdala – the fright/flight response. Unfortunately it can’t distinguish between real danger and the danger of a deadline, so if you are constantly in a high stress mode your productivity and energy will both decline. Take five deep breaths using your diaphragm instead of your chest, and send a message to the amygdala that you have everything under control.
Vanessa Bennett is the CEO of Next Evolution Performance, helping leaders, individuals and teams to improve their performance by incorporating neuroscience for optimal performance. Follow Vanessa on Instagram: @High_Perform_Ness and on Twitter: @Vanessa_NEP.
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