25 Nov Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time
Do you ever feel behind, too busy, exhausted, stressed, toxic, impatient, irritable or unfocused? Is your yawn another scream for a coffee? Does your dessert order always start with “I shouldn’t”, yet you end up stuffed?
Growing up, I developed a love for sweets. My grandma and grandpa always had a basket of Hershey bars. Every day before grade school, I would help myself to my mom’s loose change jar and buy three donuts for 99 cents at the legendary Gilbert’s Bakery in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. In high school, our team would go to Burger King before practice, and I would get a Hershey Pie after a Whopper with cheese and fries. When I worked as the Assistant Concessions Manager for the Milwaukee Brewers, I would order a tray of brownies for my office and consume a generous portion during the 7th inning stretch. When I started dating my wife, Rachel, I discovered that her parents owned a candy store. The rest is history.
After spending over 10,000 hours in my life enjoying tasty treats, 10,000 hours in the gym as a kid growing up and 10,000 hours as a health club leader, I’ve developed the following acronym and formula to help improve energy levels: FEW (Food + Exercise + Water = Energy). Stop complicating wellness and start simplifying it. Always plan the FEW fundamentals and you’ll be on fire every day.
Click to Tweet: Always plan the FEW fundamentals (Food + Exercise + Water = Energy) and you’ll be on fire every day. @derekdeprey #movetolivewell
Let me breakdown the FEW fundamentals.
FOOD: What we eat affects our productivity and can make or break our entire day. I’ll never forget the time when I attended a full-day workshop and a participant came in late and looking sluggish with six full bottles of Coke, two full liters of orange juice and a couple candy bars. That was his “fuel” for the day. Unfortunately, for those of us who are always checking email, running to the next meeting or bogged down with a nonstop schedule, we give more thought to work than nutrition. Minimize your eating decisions. Make them before you get hungry or thirsty.
EXERCISE: When we think about exercise, we tend to focus on the physical benefits. For me, however, the more immediate benefit is how it improves my mood, focus, creativity and stress levels. The next time that you are sitting in your comfy chair and dozing off at the computer, don’t check more email…move! Exercise is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. Find something you enjoy, make exercise a part of your “job” or schedule it with a friend every day just like you would book a meeting. Watch your energy level and performance soar in work and life.
WATER: So, what can water do for productivity? Everything! In school, we learned that the body is about 65% water. Google lists over 60 million articles, podcasts, videos and other resources on “The Benefits of Water”, such as more energy, younger skin and a healthier body. Because I’ll forget or fail to make the time to refill, I pack multiple 16-ounce bottles of water every day to ensure hydration. Find out what works for you and start being intentional about your consumption of water.
…DON’T FORGET ABOUT SLEEP: I’m not an expert on sleep. However, I know from personal experience that a bad night of sleep makes me irritable while an awesome night of sleep gives me a day filled with opportunity. Instead of telling yourself, “I’m too busy to sleep”, ask yourself, “Do I want to be too busy and crabby for the rest of my life?” Build a life where you can get work done and STAY HEALTHY at the same time.
Click to Tweet: Build a life where you can get work done and STAY HEALTHY at the same time. @derekdeprey #movetolivewell
Think end of time, not end of month. All of the excuses that we use to avoid wellness are typically the many reasons why we should be well. For example, if you don’t take the time to make yourself a priority and are always feeling tired, you will likely end up less productive and more exhausted. If you follow the FEW fundamentals, you will have more energy and more quality time. The number one “thing” that you can give your family, friends and team members is your energy. Manage your energy, not your time!
Don’t always say that “I’m going to start my new wellness routine on Monday”. Instead, start now by implementing page 3 of the “Planning the FEW” worksheet for the next 4 weeks. When starting, think singular, not plural. Week 1, focus on Food. Week 2, focus on Exercise. Week 3, focus on Water. Week 4, focus on sleep. Live well short-term so that you can lead well long-term.
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