How to manage energy when the world is against you

man looking frustrated whilst working on laptop
man looking frustrated whilst working on laptop
Reading time: 5 minutes

Making good energy choices has never been more important. It’s a key high performance trait. If you want to be ready to perform at your best in the moments that matter to you, having good health and a full energy tank on your side can make a difference. You don’t need to be an expert, but if you don’t make helpful choices, you’re probably facing frustration, illness and exhaustion.

Make a good, helpful choice. Sounds so simple right?

No. The fact is, the world is working against you, but here’s how you can combat that.

It’s not getting easier

It’s getting harder to stay healthy and to have sufficient energy when you need it.

For most of us, at least three major things are not helping.

  1. Food – it is prolific and unhelpfully so
  2. Being active – exercise and activity are now purely voluntary affairs
  3. Going to sleep – now means actively turning off the TV, laptop or phone

All three areas represent more important, performance affecting choices for us to make than ever before. What you need is common sense, discipline and some support from those around you.

Three key opportunities

1. Food choices

Food is abundant, heavily marketed and lots of it is unnaturally sweet, or it’s man-made and unnaturally full of both sugars and fats. Appetite is stimulated, even when you’re not hungry. There’s so much food around; in the supermarket, in restaurants and on street corners, that it makes it necessary to choose very carefully what, when and how much to eat. The world is not helping you here!

Solution: choose well! What to eat, when to eat and how much to eat. You only need common sense, some mental discipline and helpful friends.

2. Being Active

The world is encouraging you to move less. Cars, lifts, remote controls, luggage cases with wheels and dishwashers all save effort. But it means that if you wanted to lead a sedentary lifestyle you could do so, all too easily! All this sitting and reduced movement is tiring and means your reserves of energy are depleted when you need them.

Solution: choose well! Take opportunities to move. 10 minutes walking is better than 0 minutes.

3. More sleep

A lack of sleep is the health crisis of the future. We aren’t encouraged to switch off anymore. If you remember life when the TV used to finish, you’ll understand this well! The world is encouraging us to sleep less. 24 hour TV and the internet mean there are lots of distractions to turning the light out. A lack of sleep can affect your decision-making, meaning your food choices could be worse too! Double whammy!

Solution: choose well! Go to bed when you’re tired each night. Be skilled with the off button. More mental discipline needed.

It’s getting even harder

It’s getting harder. Not only are all these unhelpful trends increasing but you’re getting older too. Irrespective of how old you are, you no longer have the energy you once had. “The energy of youth is wasted on the young” so my Dad said, and he was right!

So making helpful choices has never been more important than it is now. If you don’t choose, the world is going to choose for you and, it won’t be pretty.

More expertise is not what’s needed. Choose common sense, choose what you know is good for you, and above all – choose!