How do I restore my energy and capacity to do things?

Try these 7 tips to restore and generate more energy throughout the day so that you can do what is important to you:

Redesign your mornings.

Instead of dreading your alarm clock and dragging your feel out of bed, create a morning routine that will give you energy early in the day. It can be a 15-minute workout, a 5-minute breakfast that doesn’t require any cooking, or any other morning rituals that can maximize the early hours of the day so you already feel like you’ve accomplished something good.

Focus your mind on what matters most.

Start every morning with this question: What is the ONE THING I am committed to completing today? This small but incredibly powerful habit will force you to prioritize your tasks so that you focus on only one. The benefit: you can direct all your energy to completing one task, so you can benefit from small wins which will add up over time.

Reconnect with the bigger picture.

It’s common that our energy gets zapped when we find ourselves going day to day, bogged down with responsibilities, and not seeing an end in sight. Here’s what can help: when you are working, don’t just focus on the specific task in front of you. Instead, ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” Make the connection with the initial reasons why you even started doing the work. It can be to learn a new skill that will be useful to you, or to discover a topic you’re interested in, or to study so that you can pass an exam and graduate, or to work on building your career, or to solve an important problem.

Work smarter, not harder.

It’s not about doing your work to the point of exhaustion, but doing it in such a way that you get more stuff done with less effort and less time. Here’s what can help:

  • Make the most of your circadian rhythm. That’s your body’s biological clock, and it can indicate to you what are the optimal times of performing certain tasks. For example, you can use your mornings to complete your deep work, i.e. work that requires a lot of your concentration. It’s around 2-4 hours after waking up, so if you wake up at 7, your peak times are between 9 and 11 a.m. Use this time for the most complex tasks: reading, writing, problem-solving, or anything else that requires your utmost focus.
  • Use a timer to divide up your work day into more effective segments. This technique will allow your brain to focus in a more targeted and effective way. Try thePomodoro technique which consists of 25 minute blocks of time, followed by 5 minute breaks. When you’re done with one segment, do something unrelated to work: stretch your legs, grab a snack, listen to music, have a cup of coffee or tea for a small caffeine kick.

Use your one hour lunch break to generate more energy for your day.

Maybe you’ve kept the same routine each week: sitting in the cafeteria or eating out with your coworkers or classmates, having the same conversations, gulping down your food while talking and then walking back to the office or classroom. Sound familiar? That’s one hour in your day that goes by unnoticed, but that you can use to your advantage and get yourself energized when you need it most. Try a different approach: use the lunch breakto feed your body as well as your mind, and you’ll quickly see what a big difference it can make!

Spend your free time with people who boost your energy, not drain it.

Be selective with the company you keep; choose close friends that are intelligent, witty, playful, and have a positive mindset. Do not give your time away freely to people who zap your energy, are continuously rude or disrespectful, speak negatively about their lives (or yours), require you to devote long stretches of time to listen to their problems, or who demonstrate any type of behavior you consider toxic.

Re-energize and reset your body and mind with sleep.

Sleep is probably one of the most underestimated activities, probably because we think it’s just a time when nothing goes on and we are not being productive. As a result, most of us have opted to use nighttime to catch up on work and then had only 3–4 hours to sleep before moving on to the next day. In the long run, though, the downside to losing sleep may include lowered cognitive abilities, a loss of neurons, lower concentration, and poor memory. To make it easier to fall asleep at the same time each evening, try following a simple nighttime routine that will relax you faster and help you unwind in a more pleasant way.

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