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  • How to quickly restore energy level

    Hi GTDers!

    I need your advice on energy management. GTD is great tool to track projects and actions when you have enough energy I loved what I do but started to mention that I have low energy when I leave my office. I believe that's what everybody experience. Or maybe not everyone? I need your advice on how to quickly restore the energy levels so I could play with kids after work and do other stuff at home. It could be your personal tips and tricks or just books recommendations. Let's help each other to quickly restore our energy levels!

  • #2
    First question - when did you last eat and what? First thing I do when I get home is a cup of tea or coffee and a snack to restore my lagging glucose levels. And have you been having enough to drink during the day?

    Also consider doing an activity completely different to your day job - if you work in an office find something physcial to do like taking the dog/kids for a walk.

    R

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    • #3
      I second eating something!

      But then I need to eat every two to three hours or I'm really a mess.

      Also, make sure you are getting enough sleep and exercise. It is amazing how these three things (food, sleep, exercise) work together to lift you up and fill you with energy or spiral you down into lethargy. So choose one you think you need to/can work on and try to instill a new habit.

      You may also need to consider the type of person you are and the type of work you do. For example, I need alone time. Constantly being around people drains my energy and I need "me-time" to replenish. Apparently some people are the opposite - needing to socialize to get energized. Depending on what you've been doing all day and what gives you energy, you may want to choose some afternoon/evening activities that are the opposite to get you fired up again.

      Good luck!

      Comment


      • #4
        In an day it is perfectly natural after a lot of exertion, physical or mental, to have your energy level drop. You started the question with what I see as the right idea "energy management" but I also see possible concern with the ending of "quickly restore."

        How do we manage our energy? I think it's very much in line with GTD. We need to look at it as a project. Steps must be taken. Things may need to change. Maybe we need to change our exceptions? Maybe, just maybe, you won't have energy at that time of the day. Could you modify your schedule to be active at home in the morning? Or, do you have a schedule where you could leave work, do things at home and then go back to work? Weekends might be the only time you could fully commit to those interest.

        I am a morning person. I wasn't always. Now, I like to get up around 5am and start my day. Some mornings I putter around the house. Some mornings I play guitar. But, I know the morning is when I will do most of my things. At the end of the day I am tired and like to take it easy. No thinking, no mowing the lawn. That is not a part of my current natural cycle.

        Of course coffee works wonders too. (but if you're like me, coffee in the afternoon means no sleep...and that is a larger problem!)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Borisoff View Post
          Hi GTDers!

          I need your advice on energy management. GTD is great tool to track projects and actions when you have enough energy I loved what I do but started to mention that I have low energy when I leave my office. I believe that's what everybody experience. Or maybe not everyone? I need your advice on how to quickly restore the energy levels so I could play with kids after work and do other stuff at home. It could be your personal tips and tricks or just books recommendations. Let's help each other to quickly restore our energy levels!
          Complete something that's been stuck. That's one of the best ways I know to free up energy.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Borisoff View Post
            or just books recommendations
            Check out Tony Schwartz's The Energy Project and his book too.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Borisoff View Post
              Hi GTDers!

              I need your advice on energy management. GTD is great tool to track projects and actions when you have enough energy I loved what I do but started to mention that I have low energy when I leave my office. I believe that's what everybody experience. Or maybe not everyone? I need your advice on how to quickly restore the energy levels so I could play with kids after work and do other stuff at home. It could be your personal tips and tricks or just books recommendations. Let's help each other to quickly restore our energy levels!
              Are you sure your kids want high energy playing in the evening time? Maybe they're also tired after a hard day at school (or running about outside if it's school holiday/ vacation time). Also it might not be a good idea to hype them up in the few hours before bedtime. I think it's important to have a time of the day to be active and a time to rest and relax. Experiences of shift work and past anxiety problems have taught me that.

              What about scheduling some low energy activities like (depending on age) reading, board games, jigsaw puzzle, building a model, watching TV (gasp!), singing, go for a gentle walk, build a camp fire, etc, etc. You could save the high energy activities for weekends or other days that you are not working.

              Comment


              • #8
                The Energy Project works...

                Originally posted by vbampton View Post
                Check out Tony Schwartz's The Energy Project and his book too.
                +1 to Victoria's suggestion!

                In one of my previous organisations, our whole business unit of 50 people or so took the Energy project and it's incredible how much energy and how much more productive we became individually, and as a team.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Energy Level thoughts

                  If you buy the classic American/Euro diet advice to eat lots of grains, carbohydrates, low fat you'll need to eat fairly often or you will have a low blood sugar energy problem. Have some nuts, snacks available and eat, it can really help.

                  An alternative strategy is the very low carbohydrate diets (Atkins, etc). MOST people report increased energy after a couple of weeks of adaptation. There is no credible evidence that a well formulated low carbohydrate diet is harmful (and I'm an MD.) Some people adapt so well that they can fast all day and not lose energy. If you try this, get a good book and follow it; just slashing carbohydrates without a plan doesn't work so well (I've tried it.) I've been on an Atkins-like plan for a year and love it.

                  Then in addition to diet: Exercise often helps, at least exercise in moderation.
                  Taking a five minute outdoor break helps me as does a 5 minute prayer/meditation break. The Pomodoro plan folks build a five minute break into every half hour!

                  Kelly is absolutely correct that sometimes the drain is something on your mind that is sapping your energy; do a mindsweep or do the thing you are dreading. Or alternatively imagine something great and work on that--sometimes that breaks my tired cycle.

                  How much sleep do you get? People really need 7-8 hours; many of us (remember I'm a doc, we're all crazy) fool ourselves into thinking we can do it on 5 or 6 hours. I'm so much more productive (and less whiney) if I just go to sleep at 10.

                  Good luck...Jim

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi GTDers!

                    Thanks for sharing your ideas! I now have at least 8 instruments to make me more energised!

                    I would add that it would be great to say to myself after using one of the proposed ideas: "Now I feel energised"!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree with a lot of good suggestions given by others; especially treelike's question about whether your kids want high-energy activities. Here are some ideas:
                      -- The book Sleep Thieves argues that 8 hours of sleep per night is less than the optimal amount.
                      -- Lie down for a rest at lunchbreak.
                      -- Meditate, e.g. for one minute per day during breaktime
                      -- From time to time during the workday, take a few deep breaths, stretch your muscles, get in touch with your emotions, and ask yourself what's causing you stress; then get those issues clarified, into your GTD system and out of your head.
                      -- Improve thyroid function: e.g. avoid drinking fluoridated water; maybe increase your iodine intake.
                      -- Maybe it's better to listen to your body and rest when it tells you to, than to try to quickly energize yourself.
                      -- Splash cold water on yourself to quickly energize.
                      -- Have everybody in the family collect or invent jokes during the day each day. Share them when you get home, and laugh good loud healthy laughs to release tension.
                      -- Laugh for no reason, as in Laughter Yoga, together with your family. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laughter_Yoga
                      -- Read the comics together when you get home.
                      -- Experiment with various activities to see what you can do with the family that's restful for you. Everybody lie down for a nap together? Dance to slow music without talking? Do yoga? Play a card game? Read the comics together?
                      -- Play games like Ring Around the Rosie and laugh a lot.
                      -- Give each family member including yourself 3 minutes to talk about how their day went, without being interrupted.
                      -- Have each family member list 5 things they appreciate (e.g. good things that happened that day like having stopped and smelled a nice flower on the way home).
                      -- Use a method of commuting home from work that reduces stress, e.g. walk, jog, bicycle, take a bus and close your eyes during the ride.
                      -- Read "You Don't Have to Go Home from Work Exhausted" by Anne McGee-Cooper http://www.amazon.ca/books/dp/0553370618
                      -- Reduce your hours of work. When my kids were little, for a year I worked 80% of full-time hours and it was great. I got to go home about 3PM every day and I still had both time and energy and could take the kids to a museum or something.
                      -- Arrange to do your last hour or two of work at home after the kids go to bed (but make sure you get enough sleep).
                      -- Use "Game for Active Child" http://web.ncf.ca/an588/par_game.txt to get your child(ren) to have fun while you don't have to exert much physical energy

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Fried!

                        I recently ran across a book called "Fried: Why You Burn Out and How to Revive" by Joan Borysenko. I've not yet read this one, but have read some others by Joan and loved them.

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