Time runs fast. Energy levels seem to get depleted quicker. Keeping strong for the week ahead is all in the planning and practice.
Here are a few tips that I have learnt to use that help to keep the week running smoothly and my energy levels high.
I have noticed through listening to others and from my own experience that to stay strong during the week takes a little preparation. This process isn’t long and drawn out and can make your life a whole lot easier when the pressure is on.
It’s a combination of human needs and human being. Here is my take with a little help from my friends:
Take some exercise
We feel guilty when we do and we feel guilty if we dont. With family, animals and community commitments its not a surprise that exercise gets left as a lower priority. To make it happen I try and take exercise before people wake in the house. This helps to dampen both my health and family guilt and also sets the day off with a great frame of mind. Set your alarm half an hour earlier and go outside for a walk or a run.
Eat whole food
We are driven by the ever increasing number of ready meals on the shelves and the increasing desire to do less in the kitchen. The reality is that these meals are not nutritious and to stay strong we need to be kind to our bodies. Challenge yourself to eat a different type of fruit and vegetable each day of the week (on top of what you are already eating). Make a meal at the weekend from scratch double the quantities and then place in the freezer for later in the week. Buy at the weekend so you have the ‘right’ healthy snacks to hand.
Create a sleep pattern for the week ahead
We are all guilty of seeking to bank extra sleep at the weekend with the hope that it will make up for less sleep during the week. The reality is it doesn’t work like that. The best thing for your body is for it to have a consistent rhythm (Circadian Code by Dr Satchin Panda) of when you go to and get out of bed. We all have our own in built rhythm. The trick is to keep the same rhythm 7 days a week. OK so some of you will be travelling which adds to your bodies confusion. (There are ways to help this. Have a look at Linda Geddes Chasing the Sun). Getting started at the weekend allows you to set the tone for the week ahead.
Disconnect from screens
Turn off all your devices at least an hour before going to bed. Use apps to remind you to limit your time. Have a read of Cal Newport’s work on Digital Minimalism to get some tips and tools along with stories of those who have. Reading weeks and disconnecting times are when we are at our most creative. I call it brain decompression. I see it as a chance for your brain to breath. By doing this your plans and opportunities for the week ahead will be clearer.
When you listen more you hear your own and others needs. Assumptions don’t appear along with misaligned communications. Recognising what these needs are can allow you to plan better for the week ahead. My children and I have noticed that we tend, due to the enthusiasm around the table, not to allow each other to finish a sentence or conversation before they start on the next. We now focus on the listening when we are eating and talking around the table. You’re not listening by Kate Murphy tells more stories and anecdotes that you may enjoy to keep you focused.
Organise one walk
Whether it’s a walking meeting with someone else or others, a time on your own for some thinking or planning or just a walk in the park, getting outside for a walk can benefit you on a number of levels. For those working from home and feel disconnected from the world of humans find others in a similar situation and get outside. Its always brighter outside whatever the weather.
Prioritising pausing seems weird. There is nothing to touch or see but we know the value in learning from past events, preparing for what is coming next and much more including for our mental health. Robert Poynton in Do Pause talks about:
1. Designing a calendar of pausing.
2. Build in personal pace layers (look at each layer of your life and see where you can build in pauses).
3. The scanner (using O and | divide your day into how your day went yesterday, then look at where you could place pauses on a similar day, month and year)
I will add:
4. The 30 second pause before you get up in the morning.
5. The 30 second pause when you sit up in bed before you go to sleep.
6. The 30 second pause before you leave the house and face the world for the day.
7. The walk at the weekend on your own with no technology….
You might think that all this is impossible. As a mother of two young teenagers and running my own business, I am aware of the constraints that family, domestic and work life brings. It is in the planning and preparation that makes my life so much easier and I feel stronger as a result.
What are your tips for keeping your energy levels up?