Episode #42: Manage Your Energy So You Can Write
In this longer-than-normal episode (over 7 minutes), I offer ideas for how to manage your energy as a writer.
You’ve taken charge of your writing space and begun to prioritize it. You’ve figured out where your time is going and now you’re scheduling a regular writing slot and/or grabbing opportunities where you can.
Now it’s time to manage your energy to make the most of that time.
Takeaway 1: Managing our energy starts with identifying activities that energize or drain us. If you do something for 40 minutes that drains you while I do something for those same 40 minutes that energizes me, I’ll be able to continue making progress without much of a break, while you may need to pause and create some space.
Takeaway 2: Doing an energy audit can help us understand the flow of our days—our natural peak energy hours, and the times of day we dip into valleys. Whenever possible, we can schedule writing for peak energy, when creativity is at its max. The audit may also reveal bad habits that are causing the valleys.
Takeaway 3: Improve your sleep (get enough sleep, and make sure it’s quality sleep), nutrition (read studies to see pros and cons of caffeine, and determine the best foods to eat for meals and snacks), and exercise, and you’ll maximize your energy so you can write.
Takeaway 4: Try one of the following three actionable ideas today, during your writing hours, to boost energy while you work.
- Standing desk: I’ve been using a DIY standing desk for several months (in conjunction with a normal, sit-down desk), and I find that standing to write keeps me more alert, creative, and productive—especially at times of the day when I’d be lagging.
- Mini exercise breaks: Once in a while, when you feel you’re losing focus, take a five-minute break and do some sit-ups, jumping jacks, the plank, or a few minutes of hula hooping. These brief, focused exercise sessions not only improve strength and flexibility, they also energize our minds when we return to our writing.
- Drink water: During a low energy time, we may reach for caffeine when what we really need is to simply hydrate. A big glass of water may energize you without relying on coffee.
These simple solutions offer immediate results to help us manage our energy so we can write.
Listen for the full podcast.
Lots of Resources:
- #41: 5 Steps to Find Time for Writing
- #40: Take Charge of Your Writing Space, Tasks, and Projects
- #39: Manage Your Writing Space to Be a More Productive Writer
- #38: Manage Your Writing Space, Time, Energy, and Attention
- Manage Energy, Not Time (article by Jenné Fromm on tracking whether an activity energizes or drains)
- 8 Healthy Ways to Boost Energy and How to Eat Healthy Throughout the Day for Maximum Productivity (both articles include tip of drinking water)
- How to Get Better Sleep (And Need Less Every Night)
- 7 Things You Didn’t Know about Caffeine and How to get as much energy out of caffeine as possible (both are pro-caffeine, in moderation)
- 10 Reasons to Quit Your Coffee
- Five Health Benefits of Standing Desks
- 44 Benefits of a Standing Desk (from the maker of one)
- How to Use Your Body’s Circadian Rhythm as a Recipe for Productivity
- Beyond the To-Do List podcast episode (mentions several ideas including drinking water and exercise breaks for energy)
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Image by Isabelle Kroeker.