In order to have excellent time management skills and complete everything on your daily list, you need three things: 1) Time 2) Motivation and 3) Energy. If you’re anything like me, that third ingredient, energy, is sometimes hard to come by.
I’ve been in a real energy drought this week, mainly because I had such a relaxing holiday break that jumping right back into 100% productivity is a shock to the system. It’s felt like trying to go 0 to 60 in a broken down station-wagon. I certainly don’t have the magic energy solution (or I’d be enjoying early retirement on a beach somewhere in Hawaii) but here are some things that work for me.
1) Fight Boredom
Boredom is one of the worst energy zappers. If you aren’t interested in what you’re doing, your energy level will plummet. Make boring days more interesting by changing up your routine. Try switching the order you usually complete your tasks. Turn your work space around, or my personal favorite, open a window! Getting a little sunshine is a great change to a dull workspace. This article suggests some other ways to make small changes to find more energy such as taking a different route to work.
2) Drink Water
I can’t function without my morning cup of coffee, but I also can’t function without a few refills on my water bottle throughout the day. Drinking water keeps you alert and hydrated. When my energy level starts to fade mid-afternoon, a few gulps of ice water is the first thing I try.
3) Move Around
We’ve all heard that exercise gives you energy, and that’s great, but when I’m on a deadline I don’t have the time to hop in my car and go to the gym. Instead, try standing up and walking somewhere briskly, even it is just across the room or around the corner. When I’m trying to knock things out and work in the afternoon, I’ll get up and go to the mail room to check my mailbox, even though I know there is nothing there, just for the energy boost.
4) Fake it!
When I stumble into my car to drive to work at 6am, I’m always amazed at how peppy the announcers on the radio are. Here I am still trying to wake up and they have already been at work for the better part of two hours. Then it occurred to me: when your job depends on having energy at the crack of dawn, you must get pretty good at faking it. Sometimes just pretending to be awake and energetic can be helpful, rather than sulking in your tired state. Pretending may not work all the time, but wallowing in your lack of energy does nothing for your productivity.