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Motivation

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.

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Alexandra

    Jul 10, 2013 at 9:26 am

    You forgot about drinking water through the day

  2. Justin Bautista

    Jul 9, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    When working on constant designs and projects this can be easily forgotten, but keeping those energy levels up is a definite requirement to stay creative and productive! Thanks!

  3. Kids Toys (Malaysia)

    Jun 27, 2013 at 3:10 am

    Starting a business uses a lot of energy. Thanks for the great website that I book marked.

  4. celine

    Jun 23, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    just amazing , thanks for information

  5. mirshadoz

    Jun 21, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Great info and exercise!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Cheers!

  6. Motivational Speaker

    Jun 19, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Can’t beat a morning workout it clears the mind and gets the body energised.

  7. dejiu

    May 11, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Chad Have done it again! thanks for the info bro!

  8. Ruby Singh

    May 10, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    To Live with passion and inspire others is simply a great way of living

  9. Bob Kaigey

    May 9, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    I want to try it out as I am struggling to lose fat around my abs thanks for the tips

  10. jai2010

    May 9, 2013 at 3:35 am

    Vishnu, we’ve heard this from you before. Until you start following through on some of your promises regarding your health, your comments will not be needed here.

  11. Karen Tuttle

    May 9, 2013 at 1:00 am

    Thanks, I need this extra push to bike at the beginning of the day instead of grabbing the laptop.

  12. Vishnu

    May 6, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Nice tips…Thanks i will try to follow them..

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The Guide to Staying Motivated While Working Alone

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Working alone at home might sound like a nightmare to some, but as a fully signed up introvert, working alone at home is an absolute dream. No energy-draining small talk, no noisy distractions, just peace and quiet to complete deep and focused work. Well not quite. Working alone at home has more challenges than you might expect. Boredom, lack of focus and lack of motivation to name a few.

When you start working for yourself, you quickly realise that one of the biggest problems you face isn’t the job itself. Maintaining your motivation poses a potentially huge difficulty. Much of that difficulty stems from working alone, rather than in a traditional office setting. There is also the challenge of staying focused on the task at hand. With no boss or supervisor looking over your shoulder, social media can distract or cat videos interrupt you.

But the greatest problem by far is a simple lack of motivation. There doesn’t seem to be a pressing need to finish this project right now, making it far too easy to put it off until later. Left unchecked, a lack of motivation can cripple the work you are trying to accomplish. Over the past few years I’ve developed a few go-to tactics to improve my lone working motivation.

Here are some of the tools I’ve used to stay motivated and on-task.

These first few tips focus on using different tweaks in your personal work schedule to provide some variety and maintain your focus.

1. Include short breaks

My eye doctor once told me that for every 20 minutes of staring at a computer screen, you should look away and focus on something across the room for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a chance to reset. Do something similar with the rest of your body; don’t just look across the room, walk, jog, or run across the room. Give your body a break, and try to reset your thoughts. If you don’t have the discipline to take regular breaks, use an app to remind you.

2. Block out an afternoon for social activities and networking

Set aside one afternoon a week for your social life. Friday afternoon works best for me. If you feel guilty about not working, think of it as a chance to network. Either way, be sure to spend this section of time with other people. Socialise and network.

3. View your personal schedule as your work schedule

A 9-to-5 job requires getting up every morning, preparing for the day, leaving the house, and commuting to your workplace. In other words, it requires going to work. You want to recreate the same rhythm at home. You may not actually need to leave your house in order to work, but try to stick with the schedule. Filling the old job timeslot with your new work helps to keep you motivated – you can’t clock out early!

These next few tips are little things you can do to trick yourself into staying focused!

1. Music

This tip may sound cliché, but try listening to an upbeat song loudly whenever you feel unmotivated. It’s a simple trick, but a surprisingly effective one!

2. Have somewhere else to work for a change of scenery

When procrastination sets in, sometimes a quick change of scenery is all you need. If you work at home, going to your favourite café can be a huge help. Other freelancers I know have even gone so far as to hire office space outside the home, and rotate between the two to help stay on-task.

3. Love what you do

This is arguably the most critical point on the whole list. If you don’t love what you do, it will be hard to keep yourself motivated – particularly long-term. Sure, you may be able to push on through sheer force of will for a while, but sooner or later you’ll lose motivation entirely. Do something you genuinely enjoy, and you’ll find it much easier to stick with it for the long haul.

These last few tips are Industry-related!

1. Make sure you have fun projects

Not all of your work projects will be fun, but fight to make at least a couple of them fun. These might even be personal side projects, not particularly related to your main job. Or they might be in the same general field, but not your specific focus.

2. Attend industry events a couple of times a year

Nearly every imaginable industry has an organising body of some kind. Find the local branch, and use it to keep tabs on industry-related events. Attend some seminars, network, and maybe even glean some new tips and tricks from industry insiders.

3. Schedule at least one call a week to learn something within your industry

View this as an opportunity for personal development. At least once a week, try to learn something new about your industry. For me, this might mean calling a new tool provider to demonstrate their gadgets. Whatever your industry, try to expand your horizons a little bit every week. You’ll learn new methods and make new connections at the same time.

These tips worked for me, hopefully, some of them will help you out as well. Above all, strive to enjoy what you do, stick to a “work schedule,” and look for opportunities for constant self-improvement. With those ideas in mind, you’ll find staying motivated much easier to do alone or in a group!

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