What if you were built like a computer where you could run at full speed, operating multiple programs and all at once? If you’re like me, you attempt to do just this and then get frustrated, if you (or the computer) don’t change as quickly from one program as you deem necessary…what’s wrong with this picture?

Could be a simple lesson in patience, but I suspect the real reason is today’s demands exceed your capacity.

Let’s take another example: Compare your mind and body to a tank of gasoline.
You know when the tank is full you’re in for a long haul. When the gas hand begins to get low (near the empty mark), you begin looking for a gas station so as to not deplete your ‘fuel’. Once you fill the tank, it’s rock-and-roll time again.

How can you equate this to yourself?

Perhaps in the morning after you’ve had your coffee or whatever, you feel energized, alert and ready to workout. The after the workout, you may need a good breakfast or an energy bar to fill your tank up again. This just makes good sense; energy out, energy in.

What happens to your mental capacity after you’ve been on the phone, working on a project or in a meeting for 2 hours? If you’re like most folks, you’re on information overload. I’m such a collector of information anyway, that after a 90-120 minute focus, I must take a break to clear out my tank (brain) by changing activities, walking outside, having a cup of tea (disengaging) before it can be re-energized enough to focus again.

It’s a fact regular renewals fuel great performance.

It’s helpful to be very honest with yourself about when you personally need to disengage and renew. Notice when you’re trying to run all your programs at once; your effectiveness actually goes down. It’s entirely possible to be very busy without accomplishing much and accuracy will be low. In fact you may have to do it over again; because pushing yourself without renewal undermines productivity and accuracy.

Here’s the skinny:
When you’re at full capacity:
• So are your talents, skills and resources
• You feel better and you treat others better
• You more likely to energize others and the organization
• You model sustainability
• Your productivity increases
• Your accuracy increases
• You have more ideas and
• You make better decisions

In order to operate at full capacity you must also get enough sleep and eat high-octane foods. In fact, you need more sleep and less food than you think you do.

A recent article in The Huffington Post stated the secret to success was to get more sleep. At lease one experiment seems to prove this theory: rats died after 17 days without sleep but they lived for 17-21 days without food. And we wonder why our brains don’t do all we expect them to! Another experiment showed that if you get only 5 hours of sleep per night for 4 nights straight; your body and brain functions the same as it does when its intoxicated. You may be working intoxicated!

What to do?
• Go to bed earlier
• Take a 30 minute nap at lunch (after a nap, your creativity will sky-rocket)
• Build in breaks every 90 minutes
• Stop multi-tasking (it decreases effectiveness by 40%)
• Eat good food; protein and complex carbohydrates
• Focus on getting better at relaxing
• Listen to your body, it tells you when you need a break

How do you explain a nap to your boss? Tell her it’s not about being lazy, it’s about being more creative and productive!

For more great tips see Tony Schwartz' The Energy Project on Facebook or http://TheEnergyProject.com

Author's Bio: 

Judy Irving is a master executive and leadership coach who believes that it's more important to be effective than efficient; both are even better. She works with her clients to tap into their strengths and desires, to become the person they want to be and to take both self and career to the max. Judy combines spiritual principles with logic and common sense to assist her client to tap into their greatness.
More can be found at www.movingon.net.
In her spare time she loves performing wedding ceremonies. See www.weddingvowslasvegas.com