Why you need more energy not time

Time is a limited resource, energy isn’t. If you feel like you’re living in a pressure cooker, then follow SEEK’s tips for supercharging your energy levels.

With an instant energy boost you’ll get more done. And the more you get done, the more satisfied you are with your day, says wellness expert Dr Clara Budd, regional manager New Zealand at Vitality Works.

“Fundamentally you can’t make more time,” she says. “But energy is something you can control.”

As the mother of 2.5-year-old triplets Dr Budd practices what she preaches to ensure she gets home from work with enough in her energy tank for family life.

If you want to feel more energised, try these quick and dirty tips:

  • Drink water. Dehydration makes you drowsy. By drinking more your body will perform better. Don’t be too hard on yourself, says Dr Budd. There is a place for a strategic coffee from time to time if you really need to get a piece of work done. But make sure it’s a one-off and not multiple cups a day.
  • Always eat breakfast. Breakfast boosts your metabolism for the day and a balanced breakfast including fats and protein as well as carbohydrate makes you feel fuller for longer. Budd always has a protein-based cooked breakfast as it helps her get through the day.
  • Exercise in the morning. Light physical exercise in the morning will give you more oomph to get through the day. You don’t need to sweat up a storm to feel the benefit. Walking to work will help, and so will climbing the stairs instead of taking the lift. If you’re desk bound then Google “deskercise” for easy exercises to do at your desk.
  • Schedule your day. Being organised can help you feel more alive so create a schedule around your rhythms. Everyone does their best work at different times of the day. If that’s 5am, as it is for Dr Budd, then get up early. Create a to do list, to ensure you prioritise work. Always review your day and celebrate your successes
  • Do breathing exercises. Meditate if you can, or simply stop once an hour to take a long slow breath in and out. As you breathe, repeat words that help you feel calm such as “life in, stress out”. Sitting down is killing you. So try to get some fresh air as well, says Dr Budd. Her office is near a beach where she and colleagues take strolls to boost their energy levels.
  • Have fun. Make sure you build something into your day that you enjoy. Laughing and feeling happy can make you feel more energetic.
  • Declutter your workspace. A minimalist workspace makes you feel calmer.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. We all need sleep. To improve the quality of that sleep create a space you love, avoid using devices and your TV for an hour before going to bed, don’t drink caffeine or alcohol in the evening, and block out light. If your workplace allows it take short 20 minute naps or full 90 minute sleep cycle, says Dr Budd.

Finally, we know it’s impossible to be perfect. And it takes at least 30 days to change a habit. Start with one change at a time and tick off the list as you go. You’ll crack it sooner than you think if you follow this plan.