I have a question for you: Do you know what needs to change to increase the amount of energy that you have every week to run your business and basically just do life?
Well, there are a lot of things, but it starts with three super simple things: The Entrepreneur’s Energy Trifecta.
So that is what we are diving into today on the podcast. So are you ready?
- Discover the 3 super simple things you need to increase your energy.
- Understand WHY those three things are so important.
- Learn what areas you can leverage for more energy in your life and business.
Links in this Episode:
- Ep 033: Optimize Your Energy for Ultimate Productivity
- Amy Shah’s I Am So Effing Tired Book
- Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep Book
- DM me on Instagram
Rather read than listen? ⬇️
Wish you could be like the energizer bunny and keep going but your limited energy stores are keeping you from getting it all done? Well, believe it or not, you can. So here’s another question: Do you know what you need to change to increase the amount of energy you have every week to run your business & basically just do life? Well, there are lots of things but it all starts with 3 super simple things so that is what we are diving into today on the Goal Get It Podcast. Ready? Let’s go.
THE MANAGEMENT OF THE ENERGY TRIFECTA
So let’s talk energy management for a second. Because really that is what this is all about.
So, energy management. This term as a productivity hack is relatively new but the idea isn’t. The idea behind it is that we not only have limited time each day, we also have limited energy and mental bandwidth. And managing your energy well is a key part of getting more done. But you can also increase the amount of energy you have to begin with by paying attention to a few key areas.
So by paying attention to the ebbs & flows of your energy, planning your tasks & to-dos around those ebbs & flows, and implementing a few key strategies to increase the amount of energy you start with, that leaves you with more fuel to do all the things that are important to you meaning you finish each day feeling productive & accomplished in all areas of your life rather than defeated, tired, and yes, burned out.
In the last episode, I mentioned there were three domains of energy all of which you can influence & manage. Check out episode 033 if you want a bit more on this concept as a whole. But today I am talking about physical energy, one of those three domains. In fact, I am specifically talking about the energy trifecta which all are designed to increase your physical energy which in turn will up those other two domains as well. Win-win-win. So what’s this whole energy trifecta and how in the world do you optimize it?
This energy trifecta outlines the three key players when it comes to the availability of physical energy aka your body’s ability to do the thing. Probably unsurprising to you is that the three aspects of the energy trifecta are movement, nutrition, and sleep. And I can hear you groaning now, like I get it, Get enough sleep, eat well, and exercise… sounds like a broken record of everyone else out there. BUT, before you click away, I want to answer a very important question which is why? Why these three?
WHY THE ENERGY TRIFECTA MATTERS
Well, thinking, doing, being all require fuel, and more energy means more effective uses of that fuel, which is where these three come in. Think about your body as a car. Doing different activities aka going different speeds, distances, durations, etc. all use fuel differently. And you can add gas once you empty the tank to keep going further, but it requires you to stop at the gas station to fill up right? It doesn’t just magically appear.
WHY MOVEMENT MATTERS TO YOUR ENERGY
I know you were hoping I didn’t say this one but let’s face it, it is necessary.
Exercise as part of your energy management routine isn’t necessary about your health, although that is important and it isn’t about “looking” a certain way, although if that is important to you, this is a great side effect. All that being said there is no wrong way to move your body as part of your routine.
You may have heard of a simplification of Newton’s 1st law – an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion.
But how does all this work? How does exercising INCREASE energy?
Well, I am gonna put on my scientist hat for just a second to drop some physiology knowledge on you. Don’t worry, there won’t be a pop quiz.
To begin with, changes happen inside your body at the cellular level when you exercise. When you exercise, your body then creates more mitochondria inside your muscle cells. Mitochondria are known as the powerhouses of cells, because they create energy out of glucose from the food you eat and oxygen from the air you breathe. Having more of those mitochondria increases your body’s energy supply.
Also, exercising also increases the amount of oxygen inside your body. This increase in oxygen not only supports the mitochondria’s energy production, it allows your body to function better and to use its energy more efficiently. And, your body gets a boost from an exercise-induced increase in hormone levels that makes you feel more energized. And it helps you get deeper, more regenerative sleep, if your exercise is not done too close to bedtime. (Otherwise it can disrupt your sleep).
Reaching for cardio or something that is sure to make you sweat can get your heart pumping blood throughout your entire body, encouraging you to drink all the water, which we certainly need.
WHY NUTRITION MATTERS TO YOUR ENERGY
Nutrition is a huge part of energy management. For food to give you that much-needed boost, you need to eat the right ones at the right time.
Well, you need to maintain your blood sugar levels. If they dip, you dip too.
Blood sugar refers to the amount of fuel (sugar, glucose) you have in your blood. Pretty straight forward, right? This is how your body cells get energy. Your body produces insulin (a hormone) when you have glucose in your blood, especially after a big meal, etc. That insulin helps the body’s cells take in the glucose so that cell can turn that glucose into usable energy. The different kinds of foods are converted to energy at different rates, based on how readily available the glucose is absorbed into the blood.
But it isn’t all just about direct glucose into the blood into the cells. Your gut aka intestines play a large part in energy as well. The bacteria in your gut plays a large part in absorbing specific nutrients that are key in metabolism aka turning that glucose into energy, So you need to keep your gut bacteria happy too. A great book to read about all of this is Amy Shah’s I Am So Effing Tired.
And as you might have guessed when you choose to eat will also affect your energy. Your body does actually use energy when digesting so when you are digesting a meal, chances are you may be a little more lethargic. Think after Thankgiving meal how tired you feel.
WHY SLEEP MATTERS TO YOUR ENERGY
This one is sure to be the one I get the most push back on. And I have been guilty of not prioritizing my own sleep in the past, staying up too late to get stuff done, or getting up extra early to get it all in before everyone else wakes up. But reading one very important book changed everything for me. It’s called Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker and while it is a long read and a rather scholarly one, the case it makes for prioritizing getting adequate quantity and quality of sleep is irrefutable.
Walker makes an excellent case for sleep in basically all aspects of your life & health but specific to how energized you feel, you can imagine that there is a pretty straight forward relationship here. But WHY do we feel tired when we don’t get enough sleep. Well, it is a little chemical called Adenosine that builds up in your brain the longer you are awake. As that builds, it is what makes us feel sleep pressure, or wanting to curl up & close our eyes. When we sleep, that adenosine build up is lessened, with most/all of it gone after 8 hours or so. So if you don’t get enough sleep, you don’t give the body enough time to get rid of all the adenosine, and then you add another day on it, and it just keeps getting worse and worse. Making you feel more and more tired the more sleep-deprived you become.
Also, without going into all of the complicated biology & physiology, there are lots of processes happening in your body while you sleep that cannot occur while you are awake. Things like cellular restoration, energy conservation, weight maintenance, insulin production, and heart health.
OPTIMIZE THE ENERGY TRIFECTA
That is the energy trifecta – movement, nutrition, & sleep. Optimizing any one of these areas can do wonders for your energy, but doing all three is sure to be life-changing. Now, I know everyone is different and I will never sit here and say that someone has to do something a certain way or to copy and paste a plan to increase energy levels. What I will encourage you to do is to take a look at these guidelines & strategies for the energy trifecta and start to create an energy management plan that works for you.
Let’s start with sleep. According to most sources, adult humans need 8 hours of quality sleep each night, which means giving yourself 8.5 to 9.5 hours in bed for sleep opportunity.
For those of you saying, no, I only need 5 hours, I’m different, that is highly unlikely. What is much more likely is that you are chronically sleep-deprived and that your body has made this your new normal.
Also, when you sleep matters in order to get good quality sleep. Following your own circadian rhythm, which is your body’s 24 hour clock, will lead to the best quality sleep, which means go to bed between 9-10:30pm and wake between 5:30-7:30am consistently.
Not someone who gets great sleep? Before reaching for sleeping pills and melatonin, try dimming the lights in your house in the evening, doing relaxing activities in the evening, turning off the computer, phone, ipad, etc, keeping your bedroom cool & dark, and giving yourself a real chance to get sleep.
Okay, nutrition. The biggest thing here is understanding how the food choices you make effect your body and how it fuels you. As you might already suspect, plants and whole foods will help provide you with more sustainable energy than processed stuff. Fibrous veggies help your intestines do the work that they do.
Another note when it comes to nutrition is plan ahead. You can still enjoy food AND make it easier on yourself by having just a few choices that make it easier to reach for an option that will optimize your energy, rather than agonizing over if you want pancakes or oatmeal, or what type of eggs you want. Meal planning can help eliminate decision fatigue and make decisions more aligned with increased energy. Decision fatigue is real and trying to make all the decisions every day will drain your energy.
And it is recommended that you stop eating 2-3 hours before you go to sleep so your digestion doesn’t interfere with your sleep.
Just like you should stop eating a bit before you sleep, you should also limit your movement and physical activity in the few hours before bed too. Movement & exercise need not be hour-long cardio sessions every day. In fact, some research has shown that you can get better results from HIIT workouts that are 20 min or so vs hour-long or longer cardio. Also, consider movement that fuels your emotional & spiritual health as well. 2 birds here. Yoga or walking outdoors in nature are both great options.
Remember, this isn’t a prescription of how to increase your energy, It is an invitation to get curious and start to build an energy management plan that works for you.
I always like to end each episode with an action step that you can take right now to help you move forward and begin to implement immediately. Here is your action step for this episode: Grab your journal. Answer this question. Honestly, how would you rate your energy on a daily basis currently? Which of the three is likely to make the most impact on increasing your energy? What is one thing you can do towards either your movement, nutrition, or sleep?