I’m a big fan of time management techniques and productivity hacks and use them daily. However, many people place these at the forefront of their personal development and it’s not the most important thing to manage.
So what is?
When I refer to energy, I mean all-day energy, from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. Avoiding slumps in energy is the key to ensuring that you stay in a state of peak performance, deliver outstanding results and work consistently throughout the whole day.
If you’re not running optimally and don’t have energy then you can have all the tools, techniques and hacks but time will drift, you’ll still procrastinate and not focus on the things that really matter. If you get your energy levels right then you’ll have the resources to deploy effective time management techniques.
For peak performance, manage your energy first and then manage your time. To become truly productive, you need to maximise your energy by powering-up your mitochondria.
So what is mitochondria?
Mitochondria are ancient bacteria that lives within every single cell in your body and are the power plants within every cell. Each cell has approximately 1,000-2,000 mitochondria in each cell, with x10 more in your heart, brain and ovaries. They enable the food we eat (sugar, fats and proteins) to be converted into energy through a process called ATP (adenosine triphosphate).
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is the genetic material found in mitochondria. It is passed down from mothers to both sons and daughters, but sons cannot pass along their mothers’ mtDNA to their children. This is because mtDNA is transmitted through the female egg. So the natural strength of your mitochondria is directly correlated to how healthy your mother and grandmother were before they conceived.
How do you spot the signs of low energy levels?
If you suffer from any over the following then it’s likely you are suffering from low energy:
- Inability to focus, allowing yourself to procrastinate and getting distracted
- Stress, tiredness and running on adrenaline
- Negative mood
- Poor motivation
- Using will power as the way to get things done
How do your energy levels feel right now?
Here are some things that you can do to help power up your mitochondria:
Dial in your diet
If you have an energy slump at any point during your day, look back at your last meal. It’s very likely that there was something in that meal that you shouldn’t have eaten and it’s made you feel weak, impaired your mitochondria and sapped your energy. Almost everybody will feel better when they eliminate gluten and sugar from their diets but they might also consider removing grains, dairy and nightshades before reintroducing them slowly.
Rest and renewal
Take frequent breaks and rest – use the Pomodoro technique to give focused bursts of work followed by periods of rest and renewal. Busy lives mean that we are always striving to complete the next thing but taking some down-time will keep you fully charged and enable you to reach your goals faster.
Make sure you get at least 6.5 hours of sleep a night and prioritise quality over quantity of sleep – see our blog post on sleep quality
Move as much as possible
This doesn’t necessarily mean exercise or walk 10k steps per day but make sure you that you move consistently throughout the day. Don’t take calls while being seated, make it a rule to take calls while standing up, take the stairs and go for a walk at lunchtime.
Take a good look at the environment around you
Toxins, EMFs, mould, LED lights, mercury fillings, and pesticide exposure are poisons to your mitochondria and rob you of your energy. Take time to notice what your kryptonite is and avoid it at all costs.
Meditation Boosts two critical chemicals: Growth Hormone (GH) & DHEA, which are responsible for an increase in overall wellbeing, reducing fatigue and increasing motivation. As we go through our day, we unnecessarily trigger our fight-or-flight response — releasing a bunch of chemicals like the stress hormone “cortisol”. Meditation reduces cortisol by 50%.
Supplementation to boost your mitochondria
- CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10) – this helps protect your mitochondria from oxidative damage, which is helpful for several chronic diseases, including heart and brain diseases
- PQQ (Pyrroloquinoline quinone) – this is an amazingly effective antioxidant – around 100 times more effective than Vitamin C at quenching free radicals and generating new mitochondria.
Nick Powell is the founder of Stronger Self and he works with entrepreneurs and senior leaders to enable them to take their personal and professional performance to the next level.
Nick’s approach uses cutting edge tools and techniques from the worlds of biohacking, productivity, anti-aging and neuroscience; harnessing the exciting intersection between biology and technology.
Nick has developed his Peak Performance Coaching Programmes to enable his clients to deliver extraordinary results across all aspects of their personal and professional lives.
He runs his Coaching sessions face to face in London & Surrey and across the World via Zoom.