Newsletter, 2/23/24

Elements of Physical Energy

Newsletter 2/23/24


The 4 Elements of Physical Energy and How to Master Them

“Manage your energy, not your time.” – Tony Schwartz

This is the quote that made Tony Schwartz famous. And it is one, that I believe best represents a truly efficient lifestyle the best.

And yet, living in a way where you “manage your energy, not your time” is incredibly hard, at least for me. It probably took me around 1 year just to fully grasp its meaning. Since then, I’ve turned my life upside down and changed my routine dramatically.

As we develop tools for better social media management here at Buffer, we use an informal line to help us make better decisions. It goes something like this:

“Working more is never the answer.” READ MORE


How to Manage Your Emotional Energy For Mental Well-BeingManage Your Emotional Energy

Every human, regardless of age, location, financial status, or ethnicity, has the same amount of time in a day: 24 hours, 1440 minutes, and 86400 seconds. That sounds pretty straightforward. But why is it that some people seem to be able to do more, go on vacations, be fully engaged in all aspects of their lives, and still have more physical, mental, and emotional energy? How is it that they seem to have more time?

Meanwhile, most of us are just trying to get by. Our day doesn’t start without a cup of coffee (or two) just to wake up and conjure up the energy to get through the morning. In our busyness, we choose quick and fast foods so that we can get onto our next meeting, activity, or task. READ MORE


The Making Of Mental EnergyMaking Of Mental Energy

It’s hard to define and harder to measure, but mental energy is something everyone wants more of.

It’s only 2 percent of your body weight, but your brain consumes 20 to 25 percent of your metabolic energy. And that’s just on idle, the energy cost to keep your 86 billion neurons and give-or-take 164 trillion synapses on stand-by.

Once the brain is activated, energy demands quickly multiply. Paying attention is an energy-guzzler requiring mental effort and the application of self-control. Decision-making, empathy, and even meditation consume mental resources. Taking in information and processing it, conducting a quick inventory check against memory, maintaining focus and interest, to say nothing of suppressing distraction—whew, it’s exhausting just thinking about it. READ MORE


How to Tap into Your Spiritual Energy: A Step by Step GuideTap into Your Spiritual Energy

If you google, “Why is it important to be spiritual?”, the most redundant answer found is, “because spiritual people flourish.” That bold statement – but one that holds water. Spirituality helps you listen to what you truly need—and acting upon that works towards balancing your life. So, the next question to answer is how to tap into your spiritual energy.

How to Tap into Your Spiritual Energy

1) DAILY, MORNING MEDITATION

Begin your day with a meditation practice. Over time, with some practice, meditation helps calm the mental storm in your mind. And once the racing thoughts begin to subdue, your intuition becomes clearer.  READ MORE


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How to Tap into Your Spiritual Energy: A Step by Step Guide

Tap into Your Spiritual Energy

If you google, “Why is it important to be spiritual?”, the most redundant answer found is, “because spiritual people flourish.” That bold statement – but one that holds water. Spirituality helps you listen to what you truly need—and acting upon that works towards balancing your life. So, the next question to answer is how to tap into your spiritual energy.

How to Tap into Your Spiritual Energy

1) DAILY, MORNING MEDITATION

Begin your day with a meditation practice. Over time, with some practice, meditation helps calm the mental storm in your mind. And once the racing thoughts begin to subdue, your intuition becomes clearer.

2) TAKE ALTRUISTIC ACTION WITHIN THE COMMUNITY

One way to grow spiritual energy is to express kindness and compassion. And there’s no better way than to help others in your community. Community building can also help you find your tribe. Developing your spiritual side is not a solo endeavor! Connecting with people in a meaningful way is good for your emotional, physical, and spiritual health.

3) GET A DAILY DOSE OF NATURE

Spending time in nature helps build your sense of holistic balance and personal growth. Being in nature can reduce stress, boost your energy, and connect with a power higher than your own. There is magnificence, strength, and beauty in nature that it’s humbling. However, you are not separate from it. As the waters and air of the world flow through your body, you are a part of nature, as nature is a part of you. So, take a moment to feel that connection.

4) SURROUND YOURSELF IN MUSIC

Music can speak to you and heal you in ways that no person can ever because it affects your thoughts, emotions, subconscious, and you’re your physical well-being. Listening to music can help you connect with your spirituality by connecting with your essence, reaching the deepest part of your soul. Allow music to connect you with your spirituality by listening to music that moves you, participating in a sound bath, or chanting.

5) LISTEN TO YOUR GUT

What does your heart really say? How do you really feel? And often, what really aligns with you, may go against your “rules” of spirituality. Don’t be afraid to listen to that voice deep inside and even begin to act in ways that support it. Give yourself the freedom to experiment and discover your own path.

6) SUPPORT YOUR MIND AND BODY

Your mind, body, and spirit are connected. Supporting your spiritual side means supporting your mind and body as well. Express yourself using your body, such as drumming, dancing, singing, or playing sports. Feed your mind by following your curiosities; reading, writing, or creating are great ways to allow your mind to express itself freely.

7) APPRECIATE WHAT YOU HAVE

Having appreciation and gratitude for the things you have, the people around you, and the accomplishments you have achieved in life. Appreciation is not only a quality that is internal, being content with your possessions and not always out searching for the new, shiny thing, but also external. A simple smile or hello to your neighbors extends a sense of appreciation and caring to others. Small actions, multiplied by many, add up!

8) ACCEPT OTHERS

Each of us is unique. And each of us is on our own journey. It’s virtually impossible to know what is affecting other people’s priorities, actions, and words. You can judge them based on your personal values and biases, or give them space to be themselves. This does not mean agreeing with everything someone does or trying not to be a guiding voice when needed. It’s about not being confrontational, judgmental, or cruel.

Why is Spiritual Awakening so Painful?

It’s hard for me not to overthink the concept of spirituality and sell myself short. Spirituality is the personal qualities that inspire you to do what is right and good for yourself and others. It’s not measured by how often you attend church or how much money you donate to charities.

Spirituality is about acting in ways that align with your authentic essence and putting effort into making the world better, however big or small act you can do. It’s about being compassionate and forgiving.

There are benefits to learning how to tap into your spiritual energy. If you’re willing to open yourself up listening to the guiding energy that surrounds us all, you will become healthier, calmer, and more in tune with yourself.

However, spiritual awakenings can be emotionally painful as you shed layers of mental constructs, patterns, and beliefs that may make you wonder who you are without them. But the temporary pain as you transition from fear and old conditioning to listening and allowing your soul to speak is an immensely rewarding experience.

Source: wholisticcare.net ~ By: ~ Image: Canva Pro

The Making Of Mental Energy

Making Of Mental Energy

It’s hard to define and harder to measure, but mental energy is something everyone wants more of.

It’s only 2 percent of your body weight, but your brain consumes 20 to 25 percent of your metabolic energy. And that’s just on idle, the energy cost to keep your 86 billion neurons and give-or-take 164 trillion synapses on stand-by.

Once the brain is activated, energy demands quickly multiply. Paying attention is an energy-guzzler requiring mental effort and the application of self-control. Decision-making, empathy, and even meditation consume mental resources. Taking in information and processing it, conducting a quick inventory check against memory, maintaining focus and interest, to say nothing of suppressing distraction—whew, it’s exhausting just thinking about it.

You can’t think much at all—or laugh, or respond to danger, or dream about the future, or even remember where you put the car keys—without mental energy. It’s quite literally at the heart of everything you do and sets the agenda for doing anything at all. Straddling the mind-body divide, mental energization consumes oxygen, glucose, and a full suite of macro- and micronutrients, requiring your heart to step up its pumping action. It’s reflected in a rise in blood pressure.

The Missing Link

Despite its sine-qua-non status, mental energy is a missing factor in most accounts of psychic operations. It’s not even clear what mental energy is. One model sees it as one part mood state (feelings about having the capacity to complete mental or physical activities), one part cognition (reflected in tests of attention and speed of information processing), and one part motivation (determination and enthusiasm). The Profile of Mood States scale (POMS) measures mental energy by the level of endorsement of such adjectives as vigorous, enthusiastic, and dynamic. There’s no agreed-upon measure of or method for assessing mental energy.

Although motivation and mental energy are often used interchangeably, there’s reason to see them as different phenomena. “I think of motivation as the wanting,” says psychologist Roy Baumeister, “and the energy goes into the doing and the thinking, Motivation is one of the foundations of the psyche, closely linked to what you need to survive and reproduce. Wanting can be there in people with high or low mental energy.”

Baumeister in fact shook up the world of modern psychology in the late 1990s by introducing the idea that mental energy is a major player in everyday mental life. He put forth evidence that—to a degree still much in debate—self-regulation, the centerpiece of the brain’s executive function, is an energy-dependent phenomenon. Self-control (aka willpower) draws on finite energy sources, and a demanding task requiring self-control will impair performance on a subsequent task—so-called ego depletion. It’s not that motivation flags but that energy, furnished by glucose, gets pretty much used up.

“We chose the term ‘ego depletion’ as a sort of homage to Freud because we couldn’t find anybody since Freud who said the self was made out of energy, at least in part,” Baumeister says. “We weren’t buying the rest of Freud’s model.” All life, he notes, is an energy process.

Whatever mental energy is, it plays a role in shaping personality and accomplishment over the life span. The late behavioral geneticist David Lykken saw mental energy as the companion ingredient that catapults talent into genius. He considered it a capacity shared by great thinkers and achievers from Archimedes to Isaac Newton, Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Teddy Roosevelt, and Pablo Picasso.

The Cost of Inflammation

As mental energy is closely linked with intellectual performance, so is it tied to immune function.

Activated by stress and infection—any threat, external or internal, including troubling thoughts—the immune system triggers an inflammatory response that makes significant demands on energy. Evidence indicates that inflammation also shifts attention towards negative bias, a possible pathway to depression, the mother of all low-energy-feeling states. (Increasingly, any number of disruptions to metabolic processes in brain cells are being implicated in mental health disorders, including depression and cognitive decline.)

It’s tempting to think that the polar opposite of mental energy is fatigue, that they are the extreme ends on a single continuum. But there’s some evidence that they are distinct states supported by different mechanisms and serving differing needs. Sitting at a desk all day decreases energy without necessarily increasing fatigue. Moderate exercise has been shown to increase energy without affecting levels of fatigue.

Neurotransmitter systems seem to differ between the two: Energization, driven by dopamine and norepinephrine, supports approach behavior; fatigue, facilitated by serotonin and inflammatory cytokines, underwrites avoidance behavior. The opposite of energy isn’t fatigue, some find, it’s apathy.

Whatever mental energy turns out to be, one thing is clear: It’s something people want more of. Perhaps because we live in disquieting times that we struggle to make sense of—even decisions about what to put in the garbage bring us face-to-face with existential threats—there are unrelenting demands on mental energy. Or maybe it’s just the price of having a big cerebral cortex in a time of information overload.

There are known ways of sustaining mental energy. Most accessible, perhaps, is the judicious use of whatever mental energy individuals already have. Habits are nothing if not great conservers of mental energy. They obviate the need to make any number of decisions. Good habits are even better; they additionally avert the need to expend energy on mopping up the damage done by bad habits.

It’s also possible to generate mental energy from within by a technique known as mental contrasting. New York University psychologist Gabriele Oettingen developed mental contrasting as a way to mobilize the energy necessary to turn goals into achievements.

The technique requires imagining a future you want to attain—writing a book, say—and the best outcome of that desired goal—feelings of accomplishment and pride. The critical part is then avoiding pure fantasy by contrasting your wishes with the reality of the work necessary to attain them.

The judgments people then make about how likely they are to attain the desired future are activating, and the energy mobilization can be measured physically in tests of hand-grip strength. Further, Oettingen finds, that mental contrasting gives rise to a universal arousal state in which energy is transferrable to mental tasks wholly unrelated to the fantasy that birthed it.

The Energy Pantry
Day in, day out, most mental energy is acquired without—from diet. Macronutrients—proteins, carbohydrates, fats—are essential. So is the entire panoply of micronutrients. As the energy powerhouse that it is, the brain definitely needs a steady supply of them all. Many people reach for dietary supplements designed to boost mental energy. Most important for brain activity are B vitamins, vitamins C and D, omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium. There’s also evidence that the amino acid L-theanine, a natural constituent of tea, reliably increases brain arousal.

Source: psychologytoday.com ~ By: Hara Estroff Marano ~ Image: Canva Pro

How to Manage Your Emotional Energy For Mental Well-Being

Manage Your Emotional Energy

Every human, regardless of age, location, financial status, or ethnicity, has the same amount of time in a day: 24 hours, 1440 minutes, and 86400 seconds. That sounds pretty straightforward. But why is it that some people seem to be able to do more, go on vacations, be fully engaged in all aspects of their lives, and still have more physical, mental, and emotional energy? How is it that they seem to have more time?

Meanwhile, most of us are just trying to get by. Our day doesn’t start without a cup of coffee (or two) just to wake up and conjure up the energy to get through the morning. In our busyness, we choose quick and fast foods so that we can get onto our next meeting, activity, or task.

The pressures and demands at work cause us to lose patience. We are irritable, reactionary, and rushed, thus, making careless mistakes or forgetting simple things. By the evening, we feel so drained. We just want to lay on the couch, disengage, and relax with a glass of wine (or two, or three). We feel like there just isn’t enough time in a day, overwhelmed and drained.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? You might think, “Well if only I had more time…”

According to Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz in the book The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal, it’s not actually about managing your time, it’s about managing your emotional energy.

According to them, “the number of hours in a day is fixed, but the quantity and quality of energy available to us are not. It is our most precious resource. The more we take responsibility for the energy we bring to the world, the more empowered and productive we become.”

What Is Emotional Energy?

As simple as it may sound, emotional energy is the energy we source from our emotions. Simply put, our energy comes from our emotions and different emotions vibrate at different frequencies. I know this might sound a bit “woo woo”, but hear me out.

Take a moment to think back at a time when you felt elated and full of energy—like you were on top of the world. Maybe it was a promotion or raise at work, the first kiss with your partner, traveling to a new country, or just laughing till your stomach hurts with your best friend.

The emotions of joy, love, passion, and enthusiasm that you felt at that time are considered high-frequency vibrations. In those moments, you felt like you had an unlimited source of energy—you could go all night! Because your emotions were high-frequency vibrations, your energy was abundant. You were operating on high-frequency vibes!

On the opposite end of the spectrum, some of the lower frequency vibrations are fear, grief, depression, and insecurity. When you think back at a time in your life when you broke up with someone you really loved, let go of your job, were depressed or sad, your emotional energy was low, wasn’t it?

What Drains Your Emotional Energy?

Here are the most common things that drain your emotional energy.

    • Excessive worrying
    • Negativity
    • Guilt
    • Indecision
    • Overcommitting/overwhelm
    • Lack of healthy boundaries
    • Negative rumination

How Can You Increase Your Emotional Energy?

Our energy comes from our emotions. In other words, the emotions we feel become the energy we put out into the world and we tend to attract the energy we put out. “Like attracts like”, “birds of a feather flock together”—it is simply the law of attraction.

If you take an honest look at your life and the people you surround yourself with, would you say they are mostly negative or positive influences? Do they complain or are they uplifting? The external world is your mirror. It just reflects what is going on you on the inside.

This is neither “good” nor “bad”. There is no judgment here—it simply “is”. It is important to note that this is not a time for self-judgment. It is simply an assessment of what is.

Take an honest evaluation of your circumstances, finances, friendships, or whatever area you want to focus on. Is it everything you wished for and imagined it to be? If not, it’s important to examine some of the beliefs, thoughts, and emotions relating to those areas. The good news is, it is up to you.

If our energy comes from our emotions, this means that we have the power to change our emotions and thus, change our energy. The Latin derivative for the word emotion, “emovere,” literally means “move out, agitate”—to set energy into motion.[1]

So, let’s get that energy into motion! Here are five ideas on how to manage your emotional energy for mental well-being.

1. DO THINGS THAT YOU LOVE AND ENJOY

This sounds simple enough. Think back—when was the last time you intentionally set aside time to do things you love and enjoy? If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed and drained, I bet it’s probably been a while. Try scheduling in a few hours this weekend and do something that you truly love and that brings you joy. You deserve it.

2. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE WHO LIFT YOU UP

Next, surround yourself with positive people and remove toxic friendships and relationships. If the toxic relationship is a family member, try limiting the amount of time you spend with them and keep the interactions positive. This may be difficult at first, but if you are operating on high-frequency vibrations (see chart above), then your energy will raise the vibrations of that interaction.

3. LEARN HOW TO SAY “NO” WITHOUT FEELING GUILTY

It’s okay to say no. Saying “no” to others is saying “yes” to yourself. And you are the most important person in the world. If there is no you, there is no one to take care of those you love. Put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others. Self-care is not selfish.

4. STOP “SHOULD-ING” YOURSELF

I believe words are very powerful, and how we phrase and use words has the power to create our experiences. Eliminate the word “shouldn’t” from your vocabulary. The word carries so much weight, burden, regret, and judgment.

Remove the word “shouldn’t” and see how it changes these sentences:

    • “I shouldn’t have watched so much TV.” ➡ “I watched so much TV.”
    • “I shouldn’t have wasted time on this.” ➡ “I wasted time on this.”
    • “That shouldn’t have happened.” ➡ “That happened.”

Removing “shouldn’t” makes the action or event completely neutral. It moves it from something “negative” to just a matter of fact, neither good nor bad—just what is. From that neutral place, it allows you to move to a sense of responsibility. If it’s something you shouldn’t have done, ask yourself, “What did I learn?”

When you keep “should-ing” yourself, events, or actions, it keeps you stuck in the past. We can’t change the past (surprise!) and keeps you in a victim mentality or self-blame.

A more important question you can ask yourself is “What could I do instead?” Learn, reflect, and move forward. “What will I do in the future?”

Replace “should” with “choose to”. Watch how these words shift how you experience these phrases.

    • “I should go for a run and exercise.” ➡ “I choose to go for a run and exercise.”
    • “I should stop this negative self-talk.” ➡ “I choose to stop this negative self-talk.”
    • “I should be more patient.” ➡ “I choose to be more patient.”

Replacing “should” with “choose to”—all of a sudden, you are in control. You are empowered. You get to choose to do something. You get a choice, not just an “I should” and then do nothing about it. “I choose to” allows you to take ownership and responsibility.

5. MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS

Mindfulness

is the practice of bringing attention to the emotion that comes up, not identifying it as part of self but simply noticing it and getting curious. When there is curiosity, there is no space for judgment. When there is no judgment, acceptance is much easier to follow.

Many research studies show that mindfulness meditation is effective at reducing stress and can improve physical and mental health by changing the brain and biology in positive ways. Researchers reviewed more than 200 studies of mindfulness among healthy people and found that mindfulness-based therapy was especially effective for reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.[2]

Conclusion

“The more we take responsibility for the energy we bring to the world, the more empowered and productive we become.”—Jim Loehr

The energy that you put out is your responsibility. When you realize this, it is empowering. It means that you have the ability to control your energy and mental well-being—not the environment, not other people—you! You get to be in the driver’s seat of your life.

So, are you ready to drive?

Reference

[1] Online Etymology Dictionary: emotion
[2] American Psychological Association: Mindfulness meditation: A research-proven way to reduce stress

Source: lifehack.org ~ By: Yurika Vu ~ Image: Canva Pro

The 4 Elements of Physical Energy and How to Master Them

Elements of Physical Energy

“Manage your energy, not your time.” – Tony Schwartz

This is the quote that made Tony Schwartz famous. And it is one, that I believe best represents a truly efficient lifestyle the best.

And yet, living in a way where you “manage your energy, not your time” is incredibly hard, at least for me. It probably took me around 1 year just to fully grasp its meaning. Since then, I’ve turned my life upside down and changed my routine dramatically.

As we develop tools for better social media management here at Buffer, we use an informal line to help us make better decisions. It goes something like this:

“Working more is never the answer.”

Whenever we are struggling under more workload, the first thing is to stop what we’re doing and think about a better way to manage our energy, not to add more work hours to our days.

Schwartz famously proclaims in his book, that most of us are chasing the wrong resource: hours in the day. Instead, we should focus on something entirely different: our energy.

Our energy can be broken down into 4 different elements:

  • Your physical energy – how healthy are you?
  • Your emotional energy – how happy are you?
  • Your mental energy – how well can you focus on something?
  • Your spiritual energy – why are you doing all of this? What is your purpose?

The order of how these energies are written down is not random by the way. But Tony gives them this specific order to guide us through developing our energies in the right way. And in doing so, your physical energy comes first, because it is naturally our base and foundation for any other energy or focus we want to develop.

So for this article, I wanted to break down all elements of physical energy as our most important foundation. Let’s dig in:

Your physical energy – how healthy are you?

Your physical energy naturally serves as the base, says Schwarz. It is going to be very tough to build out your other energies without taking care of your body first. What’s most interesting is that up until now, your physical energy is the most discounted element in our day-to-day lives.

To break it down further, how you arrive at optimal physical energy is through these 4 elements:

Nutrition – Do you keep a sustainable glucose level in your bloodstream?

We’ve talked before about the importance of nutrition when it comes to productivity. After all, nutrition is your fuel. And yet, so many of us neglect what we eat every day gravely. Here is a typical graph of our glucose level, showing the difference between eating more sugar and less. From first sight it is clear that most of us base too much of our diet on the 3 big meal times throughout the day and get a similar spiky pattern of ups and downs:

glucose level

To optimize your above graph, I wanted to pick out 3 most important parts to get your nutrition back to the level it might have once been:

  • Reorganize how food is stored in your cupboard: Researcher Brian Wansink demonstrated in a surprising experiment that “You are 3 times more likely to eat the first thing you see in your cupboard than the fifth thing you see.” Put the healthy things in reach and the not-so-healthy ones out of it.
  • Carbohydrates in the morning, fat and protein in the evening: This is something bodybuilders have been practicing for a long time and I believe it applies equally to anyone trying to work with more energy. Learning to better manage your energy level, one of the most important things is to respect your catabolic and anabolic cycles. Giving your body carbohydrates (= energy) in the morning will give you all the fuel. Moving more towards protein and fats in the evening so your body can refuel overnight is equally important.
  • Doing nothing else when eating food:  It seems such a fitting experience to watch TV, work, read, or do anything else but solely focus on eating when we eat. Funnily enough, it almost appears to be a waste of time if we “just eat”. The latest research on multitasking however reveals the exact opposite. Solely focusing on eating doesn’t just help you digest your food better, it also makes you a more efficient worker for any other tasks.

Fitness – How well do you transport oxygen through your body?

The second element of great physical energy is how fit you are. Meaning, how much oxygen your bloodstream can transport at any given time. And working on your fitness level doesn’t just come with great health benefits. It can serve as the most important element to change your life into the one you want:

Out of all possible habits and routines, the gym habit is by far the most powerful one writes Charles Duhigg in The Power of Habit. The reason is simple: Going to the gym creates something called a “cornerstone habit”. That means you can build any other habit you want, around this habit. After you have a consistent fitness habit, you are basically ready to tackle any other challenge much easier.

In a powerful post from Leo Babauta, he addresses the 15 most common excuses to form a gym habit and how to work against them. Here are my 3 favorite ones:

  • “I don’t have the time”: That is by far the number one excuse Leo mentions. And yet, the problem is often the fear of having to start a 5 days a week bodybuilding workout. “Do 5 minutes a day. You can squeeze 5 minutes of brisk walking into your busy schedule.” Says Leo to overcome this more easily.
  • My family isn’t supportive.” This is one of the toughest ones Leo talks about. His insight to overcoming it is to tell your family early on: “One of my favorite tactics is getting my family on board early — before I’ve decided to make a change when I’m still thinking about it. I send them articles I’m reading, talk to them about things I’ve learned, why this is important to me, etc. Then when I’m ready to make a decision to change, I ask for their help deciding — and then their help implementing.”
  • I’m not good at it.”  Another key excuse Leo mentions is this one, fortunately: “No one is good at it when they start out. Everyone has to learn, everyone starts somewhere. You get good at it by doing it. Here, especially using the Tiny Habits method can help tremendously.

And as the last help with this, exercising also makes us happier.

Sleep – Do you sleep enough to renew your body?

We’ve talked in depth about how much sleep you really need to renew your body overnight. One of the key elements I keep coming back to myself is to focus on both light sleep and deep sleep in your sleep phases. Here is an outline from sleep tracking app Zeo on how the average data on sleeping for its users looks like:

Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 3.21.25 PM

What is most interesting to know if your amount of sleep drops below the above-mentioned level is this. The research on sleep shows that it changes our cognitive functions entirely:

“Working overtime doesn’t increase your output. It makes you stupid.”

The problem with not getting enough sleep is quite simply that we don’t know we aren’t getting enough. And the consequences can cost us dearly.

What I’ve personally started to experiment with, together with the whole Buffer team is to start tracking our sleep with the Jawbone UP fuelband:

Jawbone

It’s been an amazing help to get better sleep, and also know if you are getting the right kind of sleep. What I tried to optimize over the past few days was the amount of deep sleep I’m getting every night. The reason for this is that deep sleep serves as the most important element in your sleeping phase for renewing your brain cells and body cells. I’ll definitely have to do a more in-depth article about my findings here. For now, here is my best sleep pattern yet where I got over 4hs of deep sleep:

photo

Renewal – Renewing your energy levels within the day

Tony Schwartz talks about this last part as one of the most overlooked elements of our lives. Renewal that we get throughout our day. Yes, that’s right, if you are anything like me, that’s probably the last thing anyone does and yet, it couldn’t be any more important.

Fittingly he mentions that even the fastest racing car couldn’t win the race with at least one or two great pit stops. The same holds true for ourselves. If we don’t have “pit stops” built into our days, there is no chance we can race at a high performance.

To better manage your renewal throughout the day, here are 2 quick ideas to help you get started:

  • Take a nap, every day. Being able to nap is the most important part of getting daily renewal in. NYT best-selling author Michael Hyatt puts it best in his article about napping recounting his predecessor: “Every day after lunch, I lie down on the sofa in my office, I hold my car keys in my right hand and let my hand hang toward the floor. When the car keys fall out of my hand, I know I’m done.”
  • Build a reading habit. Almost everyone I know wants to spend more time reading. And yet no one seems to find the time for it. Personally, I’ve recently started to build a daily reading habit of just 30 minutes in, straight after lunch. Especially as this is a time when you are likely not going to be very productive, it is a great way to catch up and get daily renewal.
  • Develop a meditation habit. Another fantastic way to get more renewal throughout the day is to develop a meditation habit. Around 6 months ago, I started to first incorporate meditation in my daily routine and I’ve had it ever since. The best way I found to get started was through an amazing app called HeadSpace. It solved the big problem of not knowing how to get started with meditation, as Andy guides you through every step.

Building up all 4 of these elements for a greater capacity of physical energy will build the base for getting better at whatever it is you want to improve, says Tony Schwartz.

Source: buffer.com ~ By: Leo Widrich ~ Image: Canva Pro

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