You ever wonder why you sometimes feel down, unable to focus, physically exhausted without high performance? I went through a stage early on in my fitness business where I could not overcome procrastination.
I felt uncharacteristically depressed and lost my motivation for physical exercise (my previous most favorite thing in the world).
I could not figure it out until I remembered a little bit about physiology, psychology, and brain chemistry.
See, we all run on three batteries. Think of it as if you are a cell phone that requires three batteries to run.
Maybe one battery powers the ability to take calls (that is your emotional battery), another is in charge of your ability to write good emails (your mental battery), and another one (your physical battery) is the physical structure of the phone, including the processing components required to keep the entire phone operational.
Here’s the deal, your three batteries (physical, mental and emotional) all need to be charged up and working together for you to feel motivated, energetic, and focused. If they are not you will feel emotionally unstable, be unable to focus, and suffer from fatigue.
The first trick to high productivity is to understand how these batteries work.
So, here are two quick understandings: Each battery can be used to charge the others. This is why some batteries feel charged up while others suffer. Business people often keep their mental batteries at high capacity but suffer emotional and physical drains as a result (robbing from one to feed the other).
The stereotypical stressed-out and overweight business person is a prime example of this. The physical battery is probably the most important since it holds the most charge and can provide high-powered energy to the other batteries when needed. This is why getting sick takes the charge out of all batteries and why neglecting your physical health is a recipe for poor mental and emotional performance.
Knowing this, you can now begin to cultivate the beginnings of your productivity strategy.
I would start with these tips:
Sleep: Sleep charges all three batteries and is the most essential practice to starting with a full charge. Get 8 hours of sleep a night.
Lifestyle: I have a concept I call rest-based living. It means paying special attention to rest and recovery activities in your life that allow all three batteries to recover. This includes activities that lower stress hormones, clear the mind and/or support physical recovery.
Some of these could be:
- Sauna therapy or hot baths
- Sex and physical affection
- Slow leisurely walking Massage
- Time with pets and loved ones
- Restorative yoga or Tai Chi Exercise.
Exercise: Exercise has the benefit of charging all three batteries and making the physical battery reservoir bigger. This allows a robust super-charge to perform when required. Exercise every day (preferably first thing in the morning).
Again, not everyone has the time or knows how to exercise. Check out our Metabolic Aftershock program if you need help in this regard.
Food: When it comes to managing energy reserves, staying focused, and staying on task in your mental performance, the body needs a good steady supply of glucose.
For those who struggle with this, a “preemptive eating” strategy might be the best approach.
It works like this: Eat 4 to 6 small frequent meals loaded with veggies, fruits, and protein every day. Add enough starch but not too much. This keeps blood sugar stable and the brain sharp.
Avoid an over-reliance on starchy and sweet foods. These foods provide a short-term charge but cause the energy to dissipate more quickly. Cravings for these foods are a hint your batteries are in trouble.
Coffee is great, but not when loaded with fat and sugar. Learn to love your coffee with little additives, and you may see a performance boost as a result of drinking it.
Small frequent meals are a good eating strategy to use on days where mental functioning needs to peak. A 20-40g protein smoothie (with optional greens and fresh fruit) first thing in the morning, after a workout, or whenever you need a low cal energy boost is great.
Cocoa Powder. Cocoa powder is different from chocolate since it does not contain sugar and fat. It has many different bioactive compounds, including serotonin, PEA (a dopamine mimicker), and anandamide (called chemical bliss).
What do these compounds do? Give you a focused, relaxed brain state perfect for charging and sustaining the mental and emotional batteries.
So which battery do you need to focus on? Which battery are you draining for the sake of the others?