5 hacks to reclaim your energy.Jul 30, 2023
For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been encouraging you to take care of yourself — to prioritize sleep, exercise, and things you enjoy — in the midst of all of your obligations.
Maybe you’ve been trying to find a good balance, but most days, you’re still pulling out your hair.
Breathe, and be kind to yourself. This stuff takes practice.
Today we’ll show you how we slow down the crazies long enough to catch our breaths. Check out five of our favorite hacks that help us reclaim enough energy to start gaining clarity and focus, which is the ultimate goal.
1. Reject the busy trap!
Productivity isn’t about getting everything done. It’s about getting the right stuff done.
Being busy is a drug. Science proves that checking things off your list gives you a hit of dopamine. We know we’re not the only ones who’ve added something already “done” to the “to-do” list just so we can check it off.
But when you’re the leader, you need to be focused on the business, not absorbed in the busyness.
2. Master your energy.
It seems counterintuitive, but in the same period of time, you can accomplish as much or more by taking breaks as if you’d worked straight through. So learn to work in small chunks. Building in time between appointments will actually make you more productive.
When you try to power through your days, your energy drains and things just take longer. Master your energy by skillfully balancing your to-do list with moments to recharge.
3. Build your parking lot.
Sarah says one of her biggest stress relievers has been building a parking lot — for her mind.
By getting stuff out of your head and into a place you can come back to at the end of the week, you close open cognitive loops that burn energy unnecessarily.
Sarah’s parking lot is an app on her phone; maybe yours is a small notebook. Choose one and start dumping stuff in your new parking lot so you can come back to it later and either do it, delegate it, or dump it.
4. Normalize procrastination.
Stop being so hard on yourself about procrastination. We all do it.
For some people, procrastination can lead to increased creativity and problem-solving. But too often it’s just draining.
Try this instead: When a task is nagging at you, take two minutes to write about what you want and where to start. You might be surprised that by the end of the journaling session, you will be well on your way to checking that item off your list.
5. Ditch the notion of discipline.
Expecting yourself to be “disciplined enough” to do all the things is simply unrealistic. It’s a line we all fall for at one time or another.
Here’s the truth: Believing you’re supposed to be disciplined and on the ball 24 hours a day is another energy suck. Our brains were never designed to be focused 24/7.
Instead, focus on adding one tiny habit at a time that leads to the results you want.
You can learn to automate or “stack” habits to reclaim your energy. A couple of terrific deep dives are Atomic Habits by James Clear and The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Wendy’s husband, Jay Papasan. Another book along the lines of behavior design is Engaged by Dr. Amy Bucher.
Next week, we’ll share more of our favorite productivity tips to help you regain the mental and emotional bandwidth to enjoy life and build your empire.
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