High performance leaders are high achievers. You demand more from yourself and have a natural tendency to push yourself into overtime. You keep going, even when your energy reserves are tapped-out. That’s fantastic, and it’s a great asset which will make you more competitive.
But overdo it and it will undermine you. Lack of energy dilutes productivity and performance, while it compromises your immune system. That makes you more susceptible to illness, unwanted stress, and even premature career burnout.
We don’t want that! So here are some tips for boosting your energy in a sustainable way that keeps on giving.
Sleep consumes about 30 percent of your entire life. But who gives it much thought? You probably spend more time studying restaurant menus than you do making decisions related to getting a good night’s sleep. But researchers, including those at Harvard Medical School, remind us that we need to pay closer attention to sleep. In fact, it is just as important as nutrition and exercise!
Want to make sleep more productive? Experts recommend that you go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, to properly set your internal clock. Reduce stimulants, too, including coffee, sugary foods, and soft drinks. Those provide a burst of energy – eventually followed by an exhausting crash that requires a longer recuperation cycle.
The Miracle Stimulant
Stimulants like that double espresso latte are convenient and tasty. But they can’t compare to the benefits of a power nap. Carry earplugs and a sleep mask, and all you’ll need is privacy (even in your car) to tune out the world and sleep. Even 15 minutes can totally refresh you. Some will argue that there’s no time for napping. But you’ll lose more than 15 minutes worth of productivity if you skip the nap – thanks to a lack of mental clarity. In fact you’ll probably spend at least 15 minutes ordering and paying for that wake-me-up latte!
Be Present During Downtime
If you’re in an important board meeting, my guess is that you are 100 percent present and engaged. But when you’re off work, are you really? You need to be just as committed, invested, and fully present during your downtime. Otherwise you’re neglecting your friends, your family members, and yourself – and those are your most important gifts and assets. Unplug. Unwind. Enjoy!
I know this may sound funny. But when it comes to relaxing and having fun you need to get serious! The results will be immediate, tangible, and all-pervasive. You’ll feel better and be more productive – in both your personal and your professional life.
As a pioneering and visionary innovator, Sarah is a certified professional image consultant and brand strategist, speaker, trainer and author. Her company, Illustra Consulting, provides leading-edge image and brand management strategies for top leaders and high achievers who wish to take their career to the next level. She also delivers innovative and inspiring corporate workshops to assist large organizations in strengthening their corporate brand.
Copyright © 2012, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS
1-800-267-3245, [email protected]
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