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How to Structure Your Day for Maximal Output

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Muhammad Ali In Bed

Success isn’t a matter of who has the greatest ideas and plans; success lies in action. The person who can get the most done, and at the higher quality, will be more successful than the one who can’t.

The greatest people in history have been known to have a unique abundance of energy. When others slept, they worked. When their peers were on breaks, they hustled. Energy is a necessity, a commodity as important as time, and far more important than money.

Learn how to structure your day so you can have more energy, get more work done, and live a more successful life.

 

Energy Begins with the Breakfast 

The majority of the people on the planet consume some form of carbohydrates for breakfast; but they shouldn’t. Carbohydrates – especially high glycemic carbs like white breads, sugars, and most fruits – raise your insulin levels and blood sugar rapidly.

As your blood sugar rises you get a brief boost in energy; the key word here is brief. A crash follows that brief spike, and an hour or so after you’ve consumed your toast, or sugar-filled coffee, you’ll find yourself lethargic and often yawning.

Rather than spiking your blood sugar, you want to allow them to rise slowly. In doing this you’ll see your energy levels build throughout the day, rather than have them filled with the ebbs and flows that normally occur.

Have meat and healthy fats for breakfast. Meat slows the rise of blood sugar, giving your energy levels a steady increase. Healthy fats, like animal fats and omega-3 fatty acids, increase your insulin sensitivity; that is, your body’s ability to use carbohydrates as fuel rather than storing them as fat. They also improve brain function, and give you more energy.

 

Try this breakfast:

2-4 slices of Ham

2-4 whole eggs (the yolks are filled with healthy omega-3’s, and testosterone-boosting cholesterol).*

1/2 cup of assorted berries (keep them dark – blackberries, blueberries, raspberries – to avoid a spike in insulin).

Assorted vegetables.

Have a cup of coffee as well, but make sure to keep it sugar-free and black.

*Eggs have been given a bad name because of their fat and cholesterol content. However, eggs have been shown not to increase your bad cholesterol levels, and actually help your body produce less of it when they’re consumed.

 

Start Your Day off With Activity

Aside from the fact that getting in great shape, alone, will help you have more energy; exercising to start your day will result in the release of powerful endorphins that positively effect mood, energy, and productivity.

Try this workout to start your day:

[youtube id=”uHcHBJv61bk” width=”620″ height=”360″]

 

Make Your Second Workout Break An Active One

As the day progresses and you begin to hit a wall, take an active break. Head to the gym, or go outside for a run. Too many head to the TV to take a break, but come out of their “time off” feeling more lethargic and less ambitious.

A short 30-minute workout will give you the boost you need to finish your work day off strong.

 

Fall Asleep By Having Carbs?

One of the greatest nutrition myths in existence, is that having carbohydrates late at night will stop you from sleeping. Actually, they have the opposite effect.

We already talked about how spiking your blood sugar results in an energy crash, not a prolonged boost. Well that crash, when it occurs late at night will actually help you fall asleep faster, getting the sleep you need to be as productive as you can be tomorrow.

 

How to Structure Your Day to Have Optimal Energy Levels 

  1. Meat + good fats and no carbohydrates for breakfast.
  2. Start your day with activity.
  3. Keep your carbohydrates low on the glycemic index:
        a. Whole grains
        b. Dark berries
        c. Quinoa
      d. Sweet potato and yams
  • Make your first real work break an active one.

Make sure you fall asleep by consuming carbohydrates with your dinner.

I hope this maximum energy plan gives you everything you need to reach your highest of goals.

Chad Howse is the creator of Be Legendary, a company dedicated to helping guys experience greatness in Fitness, Work, & Life. Chad has been featured in Men's Health, Men's Fitness, and Shape magazines, and is a contributor to the Art of Manliness, and Addicted2Success.

Motivation

How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals

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Time is the raw material of our lives. How we choose to spend it, shapes our life accordingly. So having the motivation to spend it on achieving goals is crucial to creating a life we want.

What is Motivation?

The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something – our drive to take action.

Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopamine pathways of our brains. When we do something that feels good, that’s dopamine kicking in. Our actions are driven by the desire for that reward (the good feeling).

Author Steven Pressfield describes motivation more practically. He says we hit a point where the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it. He sees motivation as crossing the threshold where it’s easier to take action than it is to be idle. Like choosing to feel awkward while making sales calls over feeling disappointed about a diminishing bank account.

However you choose to think about it, we all want to harness motivation to achieve our goals. 

How to Get Motivated

James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that most people misunderstand motivation. They think that motivation is what gets us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Once we start a task, it’s easier to continue making progress. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: objects in motion stay in motion.

This means most of the resistance when working on your goals comes right before we start. Since motivation naturally occurs after we start, we need to focus on making starting easier.

4 Ways to Make Starting Easier

1. Schedule it

One reason people can’t get started on things is that they haven’t planned when to do it. 

When things aren’t scheduled it’s easier for them to fall by the wayside. You’ll end up hoping motivation falls in your lap or hoping that you’ll muster enough willpower to get it done.

An article in the Guardian said, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”

2. Measure something

It’s easy to feel uninspired when you don’t know if you’re making progress or what you’re even working towards. That’s why you need to make your success measurable in some way. Starting is easy when you know exactly how much closer your current actions will bring you to achieving your goal.

3. Extrinsic motivation

This type of motivation is from external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motivation consists of incentives like money, prizes, and grades. Negative motivation consists of deterrents like being fired, having a fight, or being fined. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t work effectively long-term, but it can work well in the short term to get you started on something.

4. Make it public

Keep yourself accountable by telling friends and family your goals, or even sharing them on social media. This makes it easier to start something because you’re pressured to not let others down.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

How to Stay Motivated Long Term

When we say we want to feel motivated to do something, we don’t want to be pushed or guilted into doing a task. We want to be so attracted and drawn to the idea that we can’t resist not taking action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation that will set you up for consistency.

These are 5 techniques that will help you do just that:

1. Stay in your goldilocks zone

The goldilocks zone is when a task is the perfect level of difficulty—not too hard and not too easy. In this zone, we reach peak motivation and focus.

For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against a 4-year-old. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become bored and not want to play. Now let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against Serena Williams. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become demotivated because the match is too challenging. 

The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of that spectrum. You want to face someone with equal skill as you. That way you have a chance to win, but you have to focus and try for it. Adjusting your workload and goals over time to stay within your Goldilocks zone keeps you engaged and motivated long-term.

2. Pursue intrinsically motivated goals

Being intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal is when you want to achieve it for what it is. There are no external factors like a reward or the risk of being fired. The drive behind your actions is coming from within. 

For most intrinsic goals we pursue them because they will enrich our lives or bring us closer to fulfillment. That makes these goals extremely sustainable long-term because they directly affect our quality of life and the things we care about.

3. Use “chunking”

Chunking is the technique of breaking down a goal into smaller short-term targets. By doing this you achieve multiple successes in your pursuit of the main goal. This triggers the brain’s reward system and drives you to keep going.

Traditionally, you may set a goal that you expect to achieve in one year. That’s a long time to commit without seeing any results along the way. By chunking your goals into monthly or quarterly targets, you get the consistent positive reinforcement you need to stay motivated long-term.

For example, instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in one year, try to lose 4 pounds every month for 12 months.

4. Be flexible

We’re all victims of circumstance. Things happen along our journey that we can either adjust to or quit because of. That’s why it’s important to have leeway and flexibility when you’re pursuing a goal. If you expect everything to go perfectly, the inevitable failure can make you disengaged and desireless. When you plan for things to go wrong, you make sure you can keep up for the long haul.

5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable fashion

Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success. Overnight successes are the 1%—for the most part, they don’t exist. What we see as an “overnight success” is actually countless hours of work behind the scenes finally hitting a tipping point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for a drop in self-confidence and satisfaction. It also cultivates a mindset where you think you haven’t done enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.

This is pointless because things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won’t compare to the things around us when starting.

Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that ability at your fingertips, you can accomplish your goals and shape a life you want to live in.

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