As entrepreneurs, we know all too well the meaning of burning the candle at both ends. From stress-filled days to sleepless nights, it’s no wonder most of the entrepreneurs I know are so addicted to coffee. They may as well invest in Starbucks!
Just because you work for yourself or at a startup, doesn’t mean you’re great at starting up yourself!
While the research is mixed on just how good or bad your coffee addiction is for your health, if you’re looking for a few alternative ways to boost your energy levels, read on – because, I know all too well the importance of never-ending energy.
1. Drink water.
When glued to your desk, it can be hard to remember to drink enough water – and even harder to tell when you’re showing the early signs of dehydration. But when your energy is low, opt for a big glass of H2O instead of a refill on your cup of Joe and you’ll feel instantly energized (without the risk of an impending caffeine crash). I always have tangerine, vitamin infused MIO nearby at all times to liven up plain H2O.
2. Snack on chocolate.
Indulge that sweet-tooth with raw, dark chocolate and you’ll be less likely to feel the late-afternoon slump than if you head for the vending machine. Make a hot chocolate drink with raw cacao powder and almond milk. I prefer dark chocolate covered almonds as an after lunch snack.
3. Get outside.
Whether it’s cool and brisk or warm and sunny, a 2-minute walk around the block will reset your mind and mood. Take deep breaths, meditate, or listen to your favorite song to clear your head and reset your fuel reserve. This is why some companies, like Google, have a gym, game room, sleep pods, etc.
I’m more of a class clown than a dancer but a quick mini-dance party in your office combines two of the best energy-boosters: music and movement. Playing a great song activates the same parts of your brain that light up during sex. And moving (even just a short-burst of high energy movement) increases blood flow – and energy! If you’ve ever worked with Tony Robbins (or just seen him in action) you know it’s one of his best little secrets.
5. Mix it up.
Switching from one task to another will help revamp your mindset and refocus your energy to starve off any energy slump. Set a timer and alternate between tasks to stay engaged and motivated. I started a journal which turned into a blog. Start here!
6. Smell citrus.
Revitalize your energy levels as well as your senses by sniffing a lemon, orange or grapefruit. Squeeze a bit of lemon in your water and it will also raise the pH level of your H2O for even better hydration. Not a fruit person? Just the smell of citrus can cure chronic fatigue so even a citrus-scented candle will do the trick!
7. Drink tea.
Just a few cups a day have been shown to help reduce stress hormone levels, which will help to balance energy levels. Keep a pitcher of freshly brewed caffeine-free iced tea in your office fridge and you’ll not only stay stress-free, but also increase your overall health.
8. Clean up your workspace
Studies have shown that messy desks can have a detrimental impact on energy and productivity levels and can lead to less clarity and calm. Luckily, I hate clutter and trying to become more of a minimalist. Take a few minutes each morning to clear up any mess on your desk and see how your mood and energy levels elevate.
9. Understand your chronotype
Your chronotype is the way your circadian rhythm is set to manage energy levels throughout the day. There are four main chronotypes – dolphin, lion, bear and wolf – which each govern how much energy you feel at different times of the day. For example, a lion enjoys strong energy levels soon after waking up, while a wolf doesn’t peak until the end of the day. By identifying which chronotype you are, you can devise a system that works in harmony with your circadian rhythm to get the most out of your day. I’m a bear along with Ellen and Jeff Bezos! Find your Chronotype here!
10. Healthy snacking
What you put in your body is a key part of maintaining healthy energy levels. When it comes to snacking, unfortunately, many people pick the easy option and go for a tasty, high-fat snack which will lead to an energy crash later in the day. Healthy snacks like nuts and seeds can slowly release energy and ensure you don’t suffer from a drop in energy later in the day. The better the food, the better you’ll feel.
11. Take regular breaks.
Research shows that taking 15-minute breaks every 90 minutes will re energize you and help increase productivity. While it’s slightly different for everyone, most of us aren’t capable of truly focusing for more than an hour and a half at a time. Don’t power through every client call, report, and meeting without one. You’re doing yourself a disservice.
12. Take a power nap (or the equivalent).
Some people are not the best at shutting down their brain enough to take a nap, but if YOU can do it, I say go for it. The National Sleep Foundation claims that a short 20-30 minute nap can help to improve your mood, alertness, and performance. Basically, naps re-energize you in powerful ways.
13. Learn to delegate tasks
This might not seem to be an available option for many of us who have taken on a lot of numerous hats — perhaps as partners, parents, or dedicated career people.
We might feel stifled by our responsibilities — from the very small daily chores, such as doing the dishes, to the less mundane, such as a vital work project with many ramifications.
However, if we don’t find a decent strategy to redistribute some of these responsibilities, at least from time to time, it may lead to burnout and a constant sense of fatigue in our day-to-day lives, which is not at all conducive to productivity and happiness.