Are you tired? You’ve got a lot going on. You can’t make it to social events, you can’t get your work done on time. How could you consider taking on new challenges? You’re even too tired to sleep!
The more you exhaust yourself with minutiae, the harder it is to do something worthwhile. We’re all under a lot of pressure to work to exhaustion, but there are ways you can stop this cycle of listlessness. If you can cut back on habits that mess with your energy levels, your body and your mind will both thank you.
Here are a few things you should avoid:
- Staying in the Past
Sure, reflection can be useful. Looking back on everything you’ve achieved can give you useful insights and even boost your mood. Sometimes, nostalgia can make you happy or reaffirm your goals.
But if you spend too much time thinking about the past, you will lose momentum. Could-have-beens are particularly tricky – it’s really easy to slip out of reality and spend your time thinking about alternate realities where a different choice in your past led to a different life.
Leave the butterfly effect out of your self-reflection. Whatever path led to where you are, you’re here now! You should concentrate on that.
Regret can be pointless time-suck too. Though you should learn from past mistakes, you can’t let them rob you of your present.
- Staying on Call
What happens when you take a work-related call in the middle of relaxing? What about taking the time to check your facebook in the middle of a project?
Both of these things can disrupt your flow. Flow is a term coined decades ago by Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi . It refers to a mental state where you’re fully immersed in what you’re doing, and you’re having fun with it too.
Little distractions completely disrupt your flow, and it’s hard to get it going again. Between smartphones and live messaging, it takes a lot of effort and deliberation to keep your flow going. But you’ll be surprised by the difference it makes to your productivity, your mood and even your health.
- Staying Away from Making Decisions
Have you heard about analysis paralysis ? It means getting stuck in a state of indecision, and it’s especially common among people who are cerebral and who value rationality.
Both big and small choices can have a petrifying effect on you.
Some people choose to put decisions off and do something else instead. However, this will only decrease your initiative, and make it difficult to focus on anything. Others obsess on gathering every possible fact before they decide what to do.
Both approaches are ineffective, exhausting, and they don’t actually help you make the best decision possible.
The best solution to the problem of making choices is to set yourself a deadline, and accept that you can’t know every consequence. Instead of worrying about what can go wrong, stick to your decision once you’ve made it, and you’ll find that you can fix most problems even if they do occur.
- Staying in Bed
Sleeping is one of the best ways to keep your energy levels up. But oversleeping has the opposite effect. If you give in to the temptation of lazing around in the morning, you’ll feel sluggish and distracted once you finally get up.
This can cause a domino effect and ruin your whole day. It’s much better if you can complete your first daily task with maximum focus, and then take the following tasks one at a time.
So how can you wake up energized? It’s boring, but guaranteed to work: you have to keep up a regular sleeping pattern. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
Keep your bedroom cooler than the rest of your house. When you’re in bed, don’t keep any electronics at hand. Many people start the way with checking their smartphones, but it’s a much better idea to leave that for after you’ve showered and had a light and balanced breakfast.
- Staying on the Beaten Path
Routine can be helpful when it comes to conserving your energy. After all, the more familiar you are with a problem, the less effort it takes to complete it.
But that is exactly why routine can rob you of your energy levels. If nothing is exciting or challenging, it’s hard to find the motivation to do your daily tasks. Even the simplest problems can feel impossible to solve, and everything you do will stretch out. After all, you don’t have the motivation to finish things faster. Since every day is the same for you, there’s no point in putting in extra effort.
So one of the most important things you can do is to brave new territory. You can start small, such as taking on a hobby you’ve always wanted to try. Or you can choose to burn every bridge and start working on something completely new.
It will be scary and it might feel overwhelming.
So, what are the best ways to use your energy? How do you avoid starting every day tired and apathetic?
- Go Offline
You don’t want to go completely off the grid, but you’ll find that it’s possible to cut back a lot on using electronics.
- Go Outside
Exercise and fresh air are the best energy-boosters. They will help you sleep better as well. If you’re taking a break, a short walk’s much more useful than catching up with online news or even taking a nap. Additionally, a change of scenery can help your creativity and it will put things into perspective.
- Go Get What You Want
Don’t get lost in your imagination, and don’t obsess over might-have-beens. Implement some small changes, and don’t shy away from huge ones either. Once you’re doing the things you love, you’ll find that the day is actually a lot longer than you thought.
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