Hustle. Work harder. Sleep less, do more. Quit whining and get to work! All of these lines are terrible pieces of advice. I know because I’ve tried them all for myself. I worked 16 hours per day, killing myself to try and grow my business. At the end of the day, my only accomplishment was massive burnout and exhaustion. And then something happened… I discovered the real “secret” to high performance. No one’s talking about it while others laugh at it. For me, however, it helped me transform from being stressed, anxious, and on the verge of bankruptcy into a joyful, happy, and a 7-figure business owner. So, what’s this secret? Read on to find out.
Your Life is a Race Car
Have you ever watched Nascar or Formula One? If so, then you probably noticed that these high-performance vehicles are forced to stop several times over the course of a race to refuel and replace their wheels. Those cars are some of the most finely tuned, high-performing feats of modern engineering our world has ever seen. Yet, they are forced to stop dozens of times over the course of a race to refuel! This is obvious to most people, but when applied to life, most people would think, “Bah, I can sleep when I’m dead. Life’s for the living baby!” If that’s your attitude, then I want you to listen carefully to what I’m about to say. If you want to perform really well, then you need to get serious about refueling yourself. Just ask any bodybuilder you know. Unless they are hopped up on steroids, they will tell you that proper nutrition, high-quality sleep, and the right supplements are just as important (if not more so) than lifting heavy weights. So, how can you apply the “secret” of refueling to your life? It’s actually pretty simple. Focus on the “Three P’s” of high-performance refueling. Physical, psychological, and personal.
Refueling Yourself Physically
The first part of the “Three P” equation is also the most commonly practiced. Physical refueling. Whether you want to or not, every single one of you reading this has to spend time each day eating, drinking, and sleeping. It’s a requirement if you want to continue living. However, few people fail to do that. So, over the next month, I want to challenge you to do three simple things.
Sleep More and Sleep Better
Sleep deprivation can kill you. If you want to perform at the highest level, then you must take your sleep seriously. Here’s a checklist to help you get better sleep tonight.
- Stop drinking coffee by 2 p.m.
- Take 500 mg of Magnesium before bed.
- Turn off all the lights.
- Put the thermostat at 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Take a cold or hot bath one hour before bed.
- Drink one cup of chamomile tea with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of honey.
If you will do these tips, I promise that you will sleep better than you have in months!
Eat More Greens and Less Meat
Many of you might hate me for this one (and I understand) but one of the changes that had the biggest impact on my physical health was reducing my meat consumption (specifically red meat) and increasing my fruit and vegetable intake. I’m not saying that you have to go vegetarian or vegan. I haven’t either. What I am saying is that the quickest way to boost your energy, reduce fatigue, and generally feel better is to eat more whole fruits and vegetables and less meat, dairy, and processed foods.
Practice Weekly Self-Care
It’s amazing to me how many of my friends will spend $997 on a brand new business course promising to transform their lives but they won’t pay $45 to get a massage after a long week of work. The final part of the physical refueling trifecta isn’t more exercise (although that’s important); it’s to find small ways to care for yourself weekly. Whether it’s a massage, a salt bath, 30 minutes in a steam room, or simply a long nap, you need to prioritize taking care of your body and doing things that add energy into your life.
Refueling Yourself Psychologically
While many people excel at refueling themselves physically, they still end up feeling stressed, burnt out, and exhausted (just like I did) because they don’t prioritize refueling their psychological tank. Just because your body is firing on all cylinders doesn’t mean that your mind is keeping up. Here are a few quick tips to help you overcome brain fog and refocus your mind.
Work in 42 Minutes
Although many experts suggest working in the traditional Pomodoro blocks of 50 minutes, I’ve found that I’m more productive when I only work for 48 minutes. Give it a try for yourself and see how effective you are during the day. First, write down your #1 priority for the next 42 minutes. Then, use e.ggtimer.com and set a timer for 42 minutes. Put your head down and work as hard as you can and then, when the timer buzzes, get up and take a break for 18 minutes.
Learn Something New Daily
Ironically, I’ve found that some of the most rejuvenating mental activities are also the most challenging. For example, if I sit down in front of the TV and watch Family Guy reruns for two hours, I will leave feeling drained and mentally sluggish. However, if I used those same two hours to read a good book, practice a new language, or toy around on my guitar, I leave feeling inspired and motivated to take on the day. Commit right now to learning or practicing something new and I promise that, 365 days from now, your life will look completely different.
Take a Morning and Evening “Braindump”
One of the simplest yet most profound techniques that I’ve ever found for clearing mental fog and refueling your psychology is to build a morning and evening “braindump” ritual. The practice is simple. Take a pen, a notepad, and your brain. Sit on the couch, set a 10-minute timer, and then write down everything that comes to your head. Whether it’s to-do list items, angry feelings about a fight you recently had with your spouse, or inner frustrations about a situation at work, get it out of your head. If you do this every morning and evening for a month, your brain will never feel the same.
Refueling Yourself Personally (or “Spiritually”)
Before you check out on me and roll your eyes because I used the “S” word, realize that I’m not referring to anything esoteric, religious, or “woo-woo”. I use the term “spiritually” very loosely, referring to those activities that recharge your “higher self”. Here’s what I mean.
Get Out for 30 to 60 Minutes Every Day
This one simple habit has the power to significantly reduce stress and rejuvenate your mind and body in ways you probably can’t imagine. We evolved to live in harmony with nature. In our fast-paced world, we often forget this and spend days, weeks, or even years without reconnecting to our roots and enjoying the great outdoors. Make it a priority to do something that you enjoy outdoors for at least 30 minutes a day.
Do Only One Thing
This might sound like an odd practice but you’d be surprised at how effective it can be as a refueling activity. In our day to day lives, we’ve seemingly lost the ability to focus on a single task. We’re never just doing one thing. We’ve always got something else going on in the background. So, I want to challenge you to take 15 to 30 minutes a day and just do one thing. Whether you sit and enjoy your morning cup of coffee in complete solitude, enjoy talking with your partner without distractions, or even just do your work without notifications going off in the background, learning to focus on one task at a time will help you conserve your energy and live a more fulfilling life.
Volunteer and Spend Time with Other People
The final way to recharge yourself spiritually is to spend time every month in service to others. Go volunteer at a local soup kitchen, clean up the trails near your home or sign up to build a house with Habitat for Humanity.
See Also: 5 Reasons Why You Should Volunteer
Just do something that will help you remember how much you have to be grateful for in your life. You won’t regret it.
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