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How to Maintain High Energy

by Beth on October 18th, 2011

Many people today are facing an energy crisis. We don’t get enough sleep and we spend our days fighting traffic, rushing to meetings, and stressing about deadlines.

So what can we do to maintain a high energy level throughout the day? Many of us turn to caffeinated beverages to boost our energy. I must admit I’m sipping my second cup of coffee as I write this blog. But I am going to start doing things differently after reading about a fascinating new study looking at strategies that workers use to manage vitality and fatigue.

According to the study by Charlotte Fritz, Chak Fu Lam, and Gretchen Spreitzer, many of the strategies that we typically use to increase our energy level actually do the opposite! Have you ever tried any of these?

  • Drink a caffeinated beverage
  • Talk to someone about common interests like sports or hobbies
  • Listen to music
  • Surf the web
  • Check and send personal e-mails or text messages
  • Make plans for the evening or weekend
  • Daydream
  • Shop

Results of the study showed that all of these strategies reduce feelings of vitality and increase fatigue. Really? So then what can we do to boost our energy level?

People in the study who experienced high levels of energy pursued strategies related to learning something new, building relationships, or finding meaning in their work. Hey, these are positivity strategies! Learning builds psychological resources through growth and development, high-quality relationships sustain us, and we are more creative and engaged when we feel that the work we do matters.

So the next time you need a pick-me up don’t reach for the Red Bull.  Try one of these strategies instead:

  • Learn something new
  • Focus on what gives you joy in your work
  • Set a new goal
  • Do something that will make a colleague happy
  • Make time to show gratitude to someone you work with
  • Seek feedback
  • Reflect on how you make a difference at work
  • Reflect on the meaning of your work
  • Take a meditation micro-break

These strategies were found to increase vitality. I hope they work for you!

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