HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR HIGH LEVEL OF ENERGY!
By John Seah
I was just browsing through the web in search of ideas for a new energizer, when it hit me that sometimes we, as Facilitators, need our very own Energizers as well. I for one, require an Energizer myself everyday after lunch (to which totok will suggest doing body parts to body parts) As such, I diverted my focus, to searching for the most efficient and time saving ways (given our very busy schedules) that we can maintain our high levels of energy. Many solutions surfaced as I browsed through the different websites and here are solutions that most websites speak of:
- Learning something new
- Focusing on what gives you joy in your work
- Setting a new goal
- Doing something that will make a colleague happy
- Making time to show gratitude to someone you work with
- Seeking feedback
- Reflecting on how you make a difference at work
- Reflecting on the meaning of your work
However, how many of these solutions are actually feasible?(except for the last point) And those that are actually feasible, in my opinion, don’t really increase energy level (i.e seeking feedback, that of which might deplete energy level altogether hahahah although feedback is still important and most welcome nonetheless! Just not in aiding our cause of maintaining high energy levels )
So I continued searching until I came across this website which gave just 3 simple ways to manage our energy levels. (thus amplifying the power of the Power Of 3 – different story for a different day)
1. Manage your glucose level – One of the things that impacts on our energy levels is the amount of glucose that we have in our blood. The reason for this is that our brains exist on glucose and nothing else. Our brain makes up about 2% of our body weight therefore consuming more than 20% of the glucose that we ingest. The problem with this is that our glucose levels fluctuate during the day; in particular we see a slight drop at 11am and a huge drop at 3pm. How often do you get tired at 3pm? When our glucose levels are low we feel tired, cant focus, and generally our productivity stinks. Obviously we are aiming for stable and steady glucose levels. Two things will help you to achieve this: EATING EVERY 4 HOURS and HAVING LOW GI FOODS
-Eat every 4 hrs- Research tells us that eating approximately every 4 hours is an effective way to stabilize your glucose levels. This means that if you have breakfast at 7am, the next time you eat is 11am, then again at 3pm and finally at 7pm. What you notice is that this encourages you to have two lunches. Yes two lunches. The return on this investment will be huge, and you will get back the time you spend eating back in productivity, ten fold over. Schools are now starting to get on this band wagon and they are starting to bring lunch forward to 11am. What they are finding is that their ability to focus and learn is far greater, and this is being reflected in improved test scores.
But given our busy schedule is it possible to have be eating every 4hrs? It is not set in stone that you must eat at those times, and have two full lunches. The next thing to look at is what you consume at these times.
Your meals in the day should be low Glycemic Index (GI). What is GI, it is the rate at which food that goes in your mouth becomes glucose in your blood. The slower the better. Examples of low GI meals are;
Chicken salad sandwich.
Muesli and yoghurt. – Cheap comfort food and easy consumption
In view of this, I will be purchasing yoghurt and muesli bars that can last us for the week, may be two weeks, only to be consumed at 3pm! And if it works may be Boss could look into sponsoring this cause, before I POK from buying all the yoghurt.
2. Ease off regularly during the day – Stress is a sure fire way to kill your energy levels. So how can we control it? One mistake people make in stress management is that they put off relaxing to a time when they can take a lot of time out. For example most people work themselves to death thinking its ok “I have a holiday in 4 weeks I will relax then”. What happens when they go on the holiday? They spend the first 5 days of the holiday sick in bed. We don’t need to put off relaxation with the belief that we need large amounts of time to relax. Small moments of relaxation are just as effective as large breaks. So how do we do this? During the day allow for small moments of relaxation, we can relax in an instant. One of the easiest ways to do this is by slowing down our breathing. When we slow our breathing down, our physiology shifts to a more relaxed state. Take opportunities in your day to sit still for 5 minutes, slow your breathing down and relax. It will put your brain and body in a better state.
3. Stay positive – (and I agree most with this) Negative emotions like fear, frustration, resentment, worry and sadness kill your energy levels. If you want proof just think of the last time you went through a relationship break up, how much energy did you have around that time? One of the most important things you can for your energy levels is to reduce the amount of your day that you spend in negative emotion. How do we do this?
One of the easiest ways to avoid negative emotion is to maintain a sense of perspective about what is important. So often during the day little things get us off course and we slip into negative emotion. Someone drives too slow in traffic and we drop our bundle, start to get angry yell and scream and spend the next 30 minutes thinking “how could they do this to me”. This lack of emotional intelligence leads to a large amount of stress hormones cursing though our veins that suck the energy out of our bodies. Do you really want to be that flippant with your energy levels? Start to be ruthless with your energy levels and don’t waste them on small insignificant events that happen in our day. So build a bridge get over it and get back into positive emotion!