What’s the best way to re-energize and re-focus during a very busy week?

Nikil Selvam ‏ @nikil_selvam What’s the best way to re-energize and re-focus during a very busy week?


This is the sort of question where people think they need an answer that involves “more” in order to solve their problem: more coffee, more 5 hour energy drinks, more exercising, etc.

But it’s like that philosophy about money: to get more you either make more or spend less.

You can’t make more hours in a week, so you have to spend less. The key to re-energizing is subtraction. In every way: Physical, emotional, mental, spiritual.

Physical: eat less after 3pm. I don’t care if you have dinner meetings. Don’t drink alcohol (or fake it), and just barely nibble on the appetizers and no dessert and no pasta. If you go to sleep drunk and bloated you will have zero energy the next day.

Believe it or not: don’t drink coffee. You are already so addicted to it that it gives you no added benefit and will only prevent you from sleeping later at night. And it tastes like shit unless you add a lot of sugar, which destroys all the benefits of coffee.

No phone calls with people you don’t like. Nothing that will cause you emotional stress.

Mental: no TV. TV seems like a good way to spend your few minutes of leisure. But it’s not. It triggers the same alpha waves in your brain that are triggered when you sleep. So much better to re-energize by subtracting awake time (i.e. sleeping) then watching mindless TV. No games. No Facebook (you don’t need it on a busy week), no newspapers (you really need to know about Tim Tebow today?).

Downtime is DOWN TIME. You are down and out. You are asleep or taking deep breaths with your eyes closed. You aren’t looking at the SI Swimsuit Issue.

Tell your wife you love her every day. Be grateful for everything you have. This gives energy.

And use all of your spare moments to think: “I’m here right now and this is great.”

The other question: try not to have such a busy week. When I have a busy week here is what I do: no more than 1 meeting in the morning and 1 meeting in the afternoon. No dinner meetings if I can avoid it. Asleep by 8pm. Up at 5am (9 hours). Write my ideas lists. Then I’m ready to go.