There are some parts of the day when you’re brimming with energy and positivity and you want to change the entire world. There are some other parts of the day when you feel so drained and drowsy that you couldn’t care less even if a “global killer” asteroid was heading towards Earth. Why do we go through such phases in a single day? If only you could maintain a good energy level throughout the day you could change your life in half a year, right?. It is difficult, but it can be done. It is not as difficult as it may seem initially, but if you methodically work at it, you can easily maintain your energy level for maximum productivity and effectiveness.
Study your energy level pattern throughout the day
You begin to feel drained and low-energy at set intervals. Most of the times, unless there is some big aberration, this routine doesn’t alter. For instance, if you feel like hitting the bed at 11 a.m. (and you’re not sick) you probably feel that way every day. If you feel highly energized at 1 p.m. then the possibility is that you feel great every day around this time. Start recording your pattern in a spreadsheet. Give yourself a couple of weeks. Note down when you feel good and when you feel bad. You don’t have to record every hour. Just record the time when you begin to feel drained and the energy running out of your body. Then record the time when this feeling is over and you are back in business.
Your productivity takes a hit when you lose lots of time. This may begin to affect even those parts of the day when your energy level is good. So despite feeling productive and energized, you may feel depressed and demotivated. Don’t get mixed up with being productive and feeling energized.
Try to get enough sleep
A well-rested body is more energized. Your body requires certain hours of sleep. Are you giving your body those hours? The number of hours may differ from person to person but on an average people need around 7-8 hours of sleep every day. If you are not getting your quota of sleep you will feel tired and sleepy at different intervals. Sudden spikes in productivity and alertness may occur but most of the time you will feel like going to sleep.
Please keep in mind that getting your quota of sleep is essential to maintaining your energy level throughout the day and if this is lacking, no matter what you do, you will feel drained and de-energized throughout the day. Getting enough sleep can be a goal in itself.
Initially, plan your day according to your energy level patterns
This might be a bit difficult if you work in an office and your tasks involve keeping in sync with your colleagues. But if you work on your own (if you work from home, for instance) you can schedule your work according to your energy-level patterns while you make sense of your highs and lows. Remember that it is not the time that counts, but the level of productivity that you can achieve. When you’re feeling driven, motivated and charged up you work really fast. On the other hand you drag your feet when you are demotivated and drained. So don’t try to work when you’re feeling drained. Give yourself some rest so that you feel supercharged after the rest and be more productive. As I wrote above, this may not work for everybody and this may not even be sustainable over a long period of time but while you’re working at maintaining your energy level throughout the day, you can at least start optimizing the time when you’re feeling energized.
Modify your eating habits
The sort of food you eat has a direct impact on your energy level. There are foods that give you energy and there are foods that drain energy out of you. Seemingly healthier foods can have an adverse effect on your energy levels.
When you wake up in the morning try to have oatmeal with milk. This will give you the needed glucose and by nature oatmeal takes its own good time to get digested, giving your body enough time to derive energy out of it and stay away from hunger pangs. In the morning you can also have a cup of coffee but never make caffeine a substitute for a complete meal. You can also include fruits like apple and banana in your breakfast.
In your lunch avoid foods with lots of starch and carbohydrates because you experience an instant spike in your insulin levels and this will consequently drain sugar out of your blood. This sugar is needed by your brain as fuel. In order to slow down food absorption have a good dose of fiber. Extra fiber makes your food pass slowly through the intestines and reduces the level of absorption into the bloodstream. To prevent your insulin level from going haywire, you can have some grapes or apple after your lunch.
Drink as much water as you can. Avoid having aerated drinks as these can cause dehydration and consequently, drain energy out of your body. Water flushes out the toxins and helps maintain a comfortable body temperature.
Counter your homeostatic system in the afternoon
Your body has its own systems to keep you awake and make you want to go to sleep. The circadian clock wants you to go to bed at the end of the day but the homeostatic system tries to make you fall asleep between 2 PM and 4 PM. While your circadian clock continuously tries to keep you awake right till the end of the day, your homeostatic system continuously tells you to go to sleep. When this happens, just go stand in the sun for a while to communicate to your body that it is still day.
Try to maintain a healthier lifestyle
Healthy lifestyle includes eating well, eating a balanced diet, avoiding foods that consume more energy to digest or the foods that cause imbalances in your insulin levels, and exercising regularly. Go for a jog or a swim at least three times a week. Play tennis go to the gym. Participate in marathons. Avoid using the elevator as much as possible and avoid sedentary position as much as possible.