2 Essentials of Massive Everyday Performance
Do you know the days where you want or need to be productive - but you feel wiped out and out of concentration? You just want to get some things done but your energy levels do not allow you to do so? You wish that the day finally ends and you can fall into bed – so you can try again tomorrow? You see those effective people work twelve hours and more a day and ask yourself how they can do this?
The good news: You can do something about it!
I want to show you two simple strategies to sustain your energy levels so that you stay energized all day long. No coffee. No cocaine.
Drink enough water. Your brain and your muscles consist of around three quarters of water – you should act like that. This may sound simple; but honestly ask yourself: “Do I really drink enough?”
So, what is enough? There is no clear answer to find – recommendations vary widely. Your water intake needs to stay between two extremes: drinking too less and drinking too much.
Don't fear drinking too much, this is happening not very often.
If you drank too much you would recognize it. You can take your urine as an indicator: it should be light yellow. If its color is completely like water you can slow down your water intake a little bit.
But drinking too less is more a problem than drinking too much – a big part of our society is constantly dehydrated. Did you know that:
- Most headache comes from dehydration
- Dehydration affects consciousness
- It causes speech incoherence
- Hypotonia of ocular globes
- Orthostatic hypertension
- And weakness?
Especially headache and weakness could sound familiar to you.
If you're thirsty it's already too late and you're dehydrated. Make sure to drink before your body screams for water.
A good recommendation for how much water to drink is to divide your bodyweight (kg) by 20.
There you have an approximate number of liters to drink a day. Yes, that means a 100kg-person should drink around five liters a day. With this recommendation, you're on the safe side and have no risk of dehydration.
Your water output can vary with factors like sweat intensity, temperature, activity etc.
This means you should make sure that you adapt your intake to those – if it's hot: drink more; if you're very active: drink more.
Now you may ask yourself: “How can I drink so much water?!”
A simple trick is: Always keep a big bottle of water near you. It is then easier for you to take regular sips without always leaving place. Do you remember the saying “Out of sight, out of mind”? With this trick, the water is in sight – and in mind.
Taking breaks is essential for your performance. On average, you can only work concentrated for a maximum of 45 minutes. Then you should take a short break for around five minutes.
Now some people may think that they lose work time by taking breaks. But they actually gain work time!
All the work you do after those 45 minutes is slow and inefficient. It's not about the time you work – it's about the results you get. No concentration = no results.
Others fear losing the work flow they're in. But that's also no reason to skip your break. If you do you will soon lose flow and will be easily distracted by minor things because your concentration declines.
So rather take a short break of five minutes and get back focused and energized; picking up the flow again for the next straight 45 minutes. Allow yourself to get up, free your mind and pause.
Now how do you know when to finally take your break without always looking on a watch?
I think nowadays everyone's got a smartphone. Set a timer. Or if you work on your computer, set a timer there. It does not always have to be 45 minutes, it can also be less.
Remember, the 45 minutes is the maximum of concentration time for your brain. If you already feel a little tired or poorly concentrated, choose 20 or 30 minutes.
Another question is: What to do in those breaks?
Since most people are sitting for work, stand up and move around. Make sure to get some fresh air, maybe go outside a little. This stimulates blood flow and gets your brain some new oxygen.
Also, a great thing to do in a break: stretch out.
Most people have a bad posture, working hunched over in their chair. Their muscles adapt by increasing their muscle tone: forcing them more and more to stay in that bad posture.
On the long term, this can lead to back pain and other aches. An easy way to prevent this: loosen your muscles by stretching.
Finally, your mind needs to break free from your work for those five minutes of your break.
If your thoughts keep circling around your work topic, your brain does not really relax. Do you know the feeling when your mind feels overwhelmed and full of thoughts?
To prevent this, focus on something simple in your break that has nothing to do with your work. Watch the little butterfly outside fluttering around those yellow flowers. Or the trees swaying in the wind. Just something simple; let your mind go.
As soon as you finish this article: take your first break! Get some fresh air, stretch out and make sure you get enough water.
When you feel unconcentrated, check out how much water you drank and when your last break was. Those two simple strategies keep you on track and help you becoming an achiever. Without coffee or cocaine.
About the Author
Maurice Leibinn is the creator of Productive Energy Management – a method that helps people get a maximum amount of results in a minimum of time while sustaining their energy and avoiding any kind of overwhelm.
He is a productivity Coach serving serving overworked entrepreneurs and professionals. Read more...