Everyone wants to know how to increase energy and productivity, but there aren’t many of us willing to do what it takes to achieve it. Most of us would simply like for someone to hand us a magic elixir that says, “drink this” (insert energy drink of choice here) and call her good. Nope, that is not the way to get the results I’m guessing you’re looking for if you are reading this article.
Here are 4 key steps to increasing your energy and productivity throughout your day.
GET PLENTY OF SLEEP:
Well heck, you say… that’s a no brainer, you say. Sure, everyone knows you should get plenty of sleep, but how many of us actually make it a priority to get the rest we need to be productive and energetic the next day?
Your body requires 7-8 hours a night for you to be your most effective self the next day. Sleep reduces cortisol levels which kills energy and makes you better able to handle stress. It also reduces depression caused by lack of rest. Sleep clears toxins from your brain and gives you better cognitive abilities, such as better decision making, reasoning and deduction capabilities, as well as better short term memory recall.
Yes, you do have time to exercise. Make it a priority. I find the best time to exercise is first thing in the morning, rather than waiting until you get home from work when the last thing you want to do is exercise. You don’t even need to go to the gym, you can do a 25-30 minute workout at home at least 3-5 times a week.
Exercise increases your energy levels and increases your feel good hormones, serotonin and dopamine, which in turn decreases depression. Exercise increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain which is very important for healthy brain function and regeneration of brain cells. As you grow older your brain mass decreases and exercise can actually reverse that and increase brain mass by generating new brain cells. And of course, the more oxygen and brain cell regeneration your brain has, the better reasoning, decision making and memory recall abilities you have.
It is very important to take time to just be silent. Turn off the television, take your head phones off, find a private spot and just let your mind drift. You will be surprised at the amazing restorative calm this practice gives you, if you have never tried it.
Take time everyday to try this essential restorative technique. Silent time releases tension in your body and reduces cortisol levels. It restores your brains ability to focus and concentrate and to make decisions. Taking time to be silent can actually regenerate brain cells. When you give your mind the opportunity to rest from the noise and to just drift, you’ll discover that this can be the time when you have ah ha moments and when you get your best creative ideas.
DITCH THE COFFEE:
Whaaaaat, you say?! Before you circle the wagons, hear me out. Coffee is a roller coaster of highs and lows and after time you find you may drink it all day long just to keep you going. It affects your ability to focus and concentrate and your mind will hop around from thought to unrelated thought.
Coffee causes anxiety. The caffeine increases your cortisol levels and blood pressure, which increases stress and kills energy levels. And then what? You need more coffee right?
Try taking Ashwaghanda, an adaptogenic herb that increases energy levels naturally and gives you focus and balances hormone levels. Take Siberian Ginseng which is also an adaptogenic herb which helps to increase energy, focus and concentration and helps to reduce stress.
A final thought, (which really leads to another article) do you have a purpose or a plan? No? When you don’t have a plan for your day or a purpose for your life, your day and your life tends to plan you, which leaves you unproductive, fatigued, depressed and ultimately, unfulfilled.