My sleeping patterns have been all over the place recently. With a no-day-is-the-same schedule, my nights are almost never the same. One night I might be up until 3am getting through a project on a deadline. The other night I might find myself at a four-hour dinner catching up with a friend I haven't seen in a while. Or watching a movie and cuddling on the couch. Or sucked into a book that I just can't put down!
Some mornings I wake up rested and other mornings I'm dragging a little bit. I'm absolutely a morning a person and generally can't sleep in much even if I'm exhausted... I literally toss and turn the minute the sun starts coming up. Rather annoying.
While last year I felt like I was constantly running on fumes (sleeping about three hours a night), this year I can actually manage my energy. I'm so much more in control of how I feel throughout the day and it's a game changer. Of course, some days are better than others and I would certainly classify it as a work in progress.
My energy management tips:
ONE // Choices
Seriously, good energy basically comes down to making good choices. Procrastination drains energy (more stress) in and of itself, but it also can mean loss of energy afterward– you're up late getting things done last minute. Lounging around all weekend might seem relaxing, but do you ever get up at the end of the day feeling even more sluggish? Yep. Energy management. And even though it would be so great to stay up really late watching every episode of House of Cards, if you have important things the next day, you just shouldn't. (Although, this totally doesn't mean you can't have fun! You just have to make better choices based on your priorities!)
To be honest, I often stay up later than I should doing who knows what and I tend to regret it more in the morning than fun I had the night before. Not worth it!
TWO // Coffee and Sugar
Believe it or not, I've significantly cut back on my caffeine intake. Like... I only drink a small cup in the morning now and a latte only if I'm in my favorite cafe. I feel so much better. There are definitely days when I need more coffee than one cup, but those are times when I totally made a bad decision at some point (see number one). As for the sugar, contrary to what my Instagram may look like, I don't really eat that much sugar during the day. It makes a big difference in that I don't get spikes of energy.
Oh, and weening myself off the coffee wasn't really easy, but I just made the decision to not drink as much and started significantly cutting back over time. I crave coffee at, like, 10pm now still but I resist the urge!!!
THREE // Filling Food
During the day, I tend to eat really simple food that just makes me feel... energized? I think it's probably different for everyone what makes you feel full and full of energy. For me, I tend to eat two eggs of some sort (scrambled, hard boiled, omelet) and peanut butter toast for lunch. (I don't eat breakfast, I know... so bad, but it makes me want to take a nap!) And then in the afternoon, I'll have some sort of fruit (oranges currently) and a smoothie. And then a bigger dinner (sometimes healthier than other times).
Feeling full without feeling like I'm in a food coma is super important for my body to maintain its energy. Obviously, I'm not a nutritionist and just go off of what I feel my body saying... but I don't think it would hurt for anyone to sit down with a professional and work out personal meal plans for better energy!
Also... if I get too busy for a meal, I more often than not find myself uncontrollably HANGRY. #nobueno. My productivity goes out the window at that point. Then I have to eat and take a nap to get back to neutral. Eating properly and regularly is way easier and way better across all fronts.
FOUR // Getting Up and Getting Away
My biggest source of lack of energy is when I'm beyond annoyed or frustrated or mad. That's when I know I need to get up from my computer and away from whatever is causing me stress. Taking Teddy out for a walk or running out for a couple of forgotten errands. I come back feeling refreshed and ready to go with lots of energy.
FIVE // Avoid the Bed and Couch
Seriously... My iMac is the best thing for me because it forces me to sit upright at a desk. Lounging on a bed or couch makes me feel so sluggish. There's definitely a such thing as too comfortable! My rule of thumb? If I can close my eyes and comfortably fall asleep then I shouldn't be working there. (Pinterest on Saturday mornings on the couch, however, is totally fine by me!)
With ever-growing to do lists, maintaining my energy throughout the day is so so so important to my productivity and success... What are your personal tips?