3 Tweaks for Greater Energy

Want to be more productive? Want to have higher levels of energy throughout the day? Then try these three tweaks.

1. Modify Your Morning Shower

Everybody enjoys a warm shower, but the bad news is that a warm shower has the opposite effect of energizing you.

As you step out of the warm shower and into a cooler room, the sudden drop in body temperature signals to your body that it’s time for bed.

Your heart rate and digestion start to slow down, which make feel sleepy.

Instead, if you really want to gear yourself up for productivity, stand under a blast of cold water for thirty seconds.

You might want to let out a scream, which is fine if it helps.

Alternate to warm water for thirty seconds, then cold for another thirty. This will get your blood flowing and really wake you up. Although it may not feel very pleasurable, your newfound sense of morning energy will speak for itself.

2. Eat with energy in mind

Eating breakfast has a significant effect on your energy levels throughout the day.

Skipping breakfast hurts people’s ability to concentrate – at least until lunch. Eating something in the morning is vital, but what you eat is just as important.

Starting your day with bagels and coffee may be tempting, but high-carb, sugary foods lead to energy crashes later on. 

Early in the morning, energy levels are low from the day before and cortisol (stress) levels are high.

Protein have been shown to reduce cortisol and keep energy levels steady throughout the day.

Try porridge, eggs, peanut butter, bacon or ham for breakfast, topping up energy levels throughout the day with fruit or nuts instead of energy bars.

If you only have access to junk food at work, take time to plan snacks by bringing food from home.

3. Do what Howard Schultz does

As soon as you wake up each morning, there are no doubt emails, phone calls, and people that need your attention. But resist the urge to start responding right away.

Put your phone down and move away from your laptop. Checking those messages may seem like a great way to get a head start on the day, but it leaves you reacting to other people’s agendas, rather than setting your own.

Instead, outline your own priorities.

Consider Starbucks founder Howard Schultz, who puts aside one hour every morning to set his agenda. If judging only by the success of his company, it looks like Schultz may be on to something.

The truth is, how you start the first hour of your day determines how much you have accomplished by the last. So, spend that initial hour mapping out your objectives, eating a healthy breakfast, and meditating or working out. Not only will these things increase your focus, they’ll also provide the boost of energy you need to get more done in less time.

Want more productive employees? Then don’t neglect this

Want more productive employees? Then don’t neglect their physical wellbeing.

Through my work at HPX, I get to speak and consult with a lot of companies on the topic of wellbeing and vitality at work.

Every organization I work with wants it’s employees to be more productive, to make better decisions, to be self-starters and ambassadors of quality.

When an organization hires HPX to work with its employees to increase energy, engagement, and resilience, one of the first things we typically do is conduct as an assessment of the current habits of the employees.

One of the habits that we focus on is on the physical wellbeing of the individual. This includes:

  • How much sleep are they getting?
  • Do they exercise regularly?
  • Do they lead an active or sedentary lifestyle?
  • What foods do they rely on to fuel themselves?

The sort of results we see are shocking! 

Typically, these are the ranges we see:

  • 40 – 70% of employees report being physically inactive
  • 50 – 65% report getting only 6 hours or less of sleep
  • Up to 70% say they lack energy at work

How do you think that impacts your organization if 70% of your organization says that they are constantly tired and lacking energy at work?

Akash Karia

If you want more productive employees, take care of their physical wellbeing. Create a culture in which employees understand that they don’t need to sacrifice sleep for work; that being physically active is critical to sustainable performance.

If you’re a manager, model that behavior for your team. Bring in experts to work with your team on their physical, mental, and emotional habits so that they can perform at their peak.

Akash Karia
Founder, HPX Institute

How to Make Your Healthy Habits Stick

We all want to be healthier – exercise more, eat better, sleep more restfully. However, over 80% of people who set New Year’s Resolutions fail at them.

So, how do you avoid becoming a part of the statistic? How do you make your healthy habits stick?

Here are a couple of strategies that have helped us and our clients.

1. Make sure the habit itself is enjoyable – e.g. if you hate going to the gym, try running. If you don’t enjoy the book you’re reading, try another one. If the work you’re doing isn’t fulfilling, look for ways you can make it so.

2. Accountability – When our founder needed accountability writing, he used Focusmate.com, which assigns you a virtual work partner. For personal habits, we at HPX prefer to use Habitbull.com to track our habits and keep ourselves accountable.

3. Find the right placement for your habit – Akash tried exercising in the morning but found himself skipping the workouts. Once he changed it to afternoons, and he was much more successful at it. Experiment with what time of day works best for you.

4. Convenience is king – Want to exercise? Find a gym close to your home or work. Or do an “at home” workout. Want to eat healthily? Get rid of the junk food at home, and fill up the kitchen with fruits and healthy snacks that are visible and within arms reach.

5. Set a trigger – “After I take a shower, I will do 10 squats”, “If my alarm rings at 1:00 p.m then I will close my laptop and go for a walk”.

6. Be fluid with your habit – Don’t feel motivated? Do the 30-second version of your habit (e.g. 5 pushups). Feeling very motivated? Do the 30-minute version. But do something on the day you said you would do it. That’s how you build discipline. And that’s how you build habits that stick.

5 Strategies for a More Productive Workday

What is it that makes certain people highly productive at work? If the three cups of coffee you drank this morning aren’t doing the trick, it might be time to try a new approach.

In his article on Fast Company, HPX Founder Akash Karia highlights five ways to get more out of your workday with a little less anguish. Click here to read the article.