I certainly find that it's easier to be motivated if you have energy to burn. As opposed to dragging yourself out of bed after only a few hours sleep and feeling like death warmed up before your day even gets started.
Top entrepreneurs don't just bounce out of bed, with a spring in their step ready to conquer the world either. We all need a few tips and tricks to help us maintain or grow the energy required to excel and be happy doing so.
Hang in there, trust me this will make a difference, and we are going to improve your energy levels and put a smile on your face as well.
Energy To Burn ... Come At Me
There have been many studies into the recommended hours each day of sleep for adults. The most recent study found that most adults require at least 7 - 9 hours of sleep to be fully energised for the day ahead.
They went further and specifically recommended against less than 6 hours a night and not more than 10 hours; and it seems most adults find they are getting less sleep not more.
Don't worry if you have the occasional night here and there with less but consistently getting less than 6 hours nightly will be hindering your likelihood to be able to cope with life's curve balls when they are thrown at you.
Task 1: Develop a Nightly Routine
So how much sleep are you really getting? Do a quick audit of your last week and see if you are getting 7 - 9 hours of good sleep each night. Notice I said good sleep.
To set yourself up for a good nights sleep it is recommended you develop a pre-bed routine and stick to it. After much research I have come to the conclusion that my nightly routine is woeful, in fact it's pretty much none existent.
So here's what we are going to do.
Decide what time you are going to go to bed
For me it is going to be 9.00pm, to be asleep by 9.30pm and the alarm will be set for 4.30am. That's the required 7 hours a night and will work for my routine most nights.
Now for you this might be later or earlier. It doesn't matter, choose times that will work the most harmoniously with your schedules, the other members of your household, and that you are most likely to stick with.
Cause that's the next factor you really do need to try to hit that bedtime hour each night for 21 nights.
Then set a pleasant routine you can run through each night before you actually slide under the sheets. You might need to remove contact lenses, clean off make up, get into your PJ's or not (probably too much information there!), make a cup of hot chocolate. What ever you normally do each night but make it into a set routine and then follow that through in the same order until it becomes a habit before bed each night.
What this does is starts to set your body into sleep mode. With some repetition your brain begins to register that this sequence of events is followed by sleep and your body then starts to wind down ready for the end of the day.
A few more tips to keep in mind. If you can modify these things around your bedtime routine you will find going to sleep much easier.
No More Smart Devices
Don't use your smart devices half an hour before you want to go to sleep. I know torture right! I do it too, I lay in bed and check Facebook, catch up on emails or read an e-book. Books are great and I encourage you to add a 20 minute read before lights out but e-books not so much.
The ambient light, called blue light, which is emitted from these devices actually messes with our brains and blocks production of the sleep-inducing hormone called melatonin. Even putting your device into sleep or night shift mode as it's called won't make that much difference. The slight change from a blue light to a more orangey one isn't enough to trick your brain.
So turn off your e-reader at least 30 minutes before you want to be asleep.
Keep it dark and cool
Keep your bedroom as dark as possible and on the cooler side of warm. If you are anything like me you will have your Ipad, mobile phone, a TV with it's associated boxes and speakers, maybe a fan etc.. all with little green or orange lights on them. When you turn the light of in my bedroom it looks like a heap of techno cyclops looking back at you, some staring and some blinking wildly.
Not conducive to a good nights sleep! If you can turn them around or as I have done with a portable air-conditioner cover the light with a bit of tape. Many of those lights are just for decoration so block them out completely.
Many of us are use to be overly warm. When the temperature takes a nose dive we all turn on our heaters or load up the wood fire for the winter, making our homes a haven of snug warmth.
This is not conducive to a good night's sleep however. It is better to have your bedroom a little on the cool side so you snuggle under the blankets for warmth, it creates a cocoon effect which will help your doze off and stay asleep.
Tossing and turning all night, getting up multiple times or falling asleep in the armchair are not going to help you even if you do get 7 hours. So try these ideas and see if you can get a solid 7 hours per night over the next month.
Task 2: Toss, Restore & Organise
Really Heidi! What on earth has this got to do with increasing my energy or my happiness?
Having to deal with constant clutter and chaos around your home will drain you of that wonderful energy you've just created by improving your sleep routine. You may not even notice it happening as clutter just tends to grow unnoticed and we get use to it.
I can guarantee that once you do these tasks you will be amazed at the weight that is lifted and the feeling of freedom that comes with it.
So let's get stuck in and de-clutter your environment.
I am not a hoarder but somehow in our modern, some may say wasteful lives, stuff just seem to accumulate and then hang around unused and collecting dust.
Go through your wardrobe and shoes and ruthlessly cull what you no longer wear. Make 2 piles - one that's rags and one for clothes in good condition you can donate to the local op shop or sell for a bit of extra cash.
Check sizings - if you do not fit into anything right now put it in a pile. If you haven't worn it for 12 months put it in a pile. For shoes if you know they give you blisters or they look like they may have been fashionable in the 70's put them in a pile.
Once you've finished your wardrobe if you are feeling motivated and enjoying the feeling of calm that comes with reducing chaos you can start on the kitchen pantry, the kids rooms, may be even the dreaded laundry cupboard.
One fantastic way to de-clutter is to consider it like a virtual move. Every item you look at think "if I was moving would I take this?" If the answer is no then give it away or put it in the bin.
If you come across items of value this is also a great way to earn a bit of extra cash. With the advent of Buy/Sell/Swap groups on the internet and social media it's super easy to re-home your unwanted possessions and make some money at the same time.
How's your work space? Really!
If you work from home get critical about your work space. For me my home office doubles as our spare room, space is limited and while it's not ideal beggars can't be choosers.
Some days my office feels more like a dumping ground than a productive, inviting place to get blogging. So I decided to move. Not move house completely but I have moved my office into our lounge room.
Many of us have to share our office space in a room with a dual purpose eg. the spare room or the lounge room. Make it your office first and the dual purpose second. This might mean replacing the spare bed with a fold out couch, introducing some shelving or a filing cabinet, and then make it inviting too may be some scented candles or framed motivational quotes.
Now this may not seem like much but often a few small changes, even rearranging your existing furniture can give you work space a whole new feel and make it more inviting. You need to create a space that you want to enter and feel comfortable staying in for extended periods of time.
Create a serenity shelf
A what? This is one shelf it can be anywhere, in a book shelf, in your kitchen, on top of a dresser and storage space that you currently have "stuff" on.
Clear it off. Either toss what was on the shelf or if it actually is worth keeping then relocate it somewhere else so that you have one shelf that is completely clear of everything.
Task 2 is all about creating order and serenity in your life and the serenity shelf is a tangible, physical reminder to help you maintain the organisation you have started.
Tackle those nagging tasks
And start today. You know the ones, those often small tasks that do need to get done one day, when you get a round to it, but they do need to be done. Or may be they are new tasks with some urgency but you either don't want to do them or you are not sure how and so they keep being put off till tomorrow.
We all have those irritating tasks that just never seem to get done.
Make a To-Do-List today with all these tasks on them and then start from the top and work your way through completing at least one each day. Don't pic and choose which ones you want to do just start at the top and get it done.
I always prefer notepad and pen for my To-Do-Lists so I can physically cross them off. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction when ever I look at the list and see the items at the top crossed out.
But use what ever works for you, there are some great online programs like Trello that help you plan out projects and task or you can use the to-do function in Outlook if you run that.
It's Only One Minute
The One Minute Challenge is another great idea which has been working really well for me. So the basis of this is if you see a job that will take you less than a minute to complete then do it right away.
Don't question it, don't start planning it for a later time, just get stuck in and get it done right then.
Often for me it's putting a load of washing on. I know I need to do it but it just seems like I have better things to do with my time, so it gets put off until there is a mountain of clothes and then it really is a big deal.
So I have modified the 1 minute challenge and increased it to 2 minutes.
What's 2 minutes out of your day?
And you will be amazed at what only takes 2 minutes to get done and then you don't have to make time for it later and you will feel more accomplished at the end of the day.
You can read more about this in the Happiness Project book but check out Gretchen's video below on the 8 commandments from her Happiness Project. These are general governing principles for your life to increase your happiness which will help maintain your energy levels.
You can develop your own principles and add to these as you go.
I personally embrace the 1st one - Be Heidi. It is so important to be your authentic self, you are enough and you need to be true to yourself to be happy.
Trying to be someone else, perhaps the person you think you should be, is not sustainable and will only make you miserable.
Feeling More Energetic yet?
OK so maybe just reading about these ideas hasn't made you suddenly happier and bouncing with energy, BUT please do try one or two of these tasks and see if it gives you the extra energy and vitality you need to bounce through your day.
If these suggestions have given you some of your own ideas to increase energy, re-organise your environment and get you moving those annoying possessions and to do lists please share your ideas below.
I'd love to hear how you go and of course if you need any clarification on how to attempt any of the tasks just drop me a comment in the box below and we can have a chat.