As a busy business owner and parent of a toddler, I know that the battle to stay focused and have more energy is REAL. As entrepreneurs, we don’t have set schedules and are often required to prioritize between family time, working out, eating well, sleep, hygiene… Whatever you may deem important on a daily basis.
I would still never trade in being self-employed as it allows me so many beautiful benefits like working from wherever I want, the ultimate flexibility with my schedule, and no cap on my earning potential. But that said, when it comes to energy and focus… it can be a tough gig at times unless you have the right practises in place to set yourself up for success.
Here are six ways to increase your focus and energy so that you can stay productive and get more done every day:
1. Shift your schedule so you have more time for… YOU.
You may not want to hear that I recommend getting up even earlier than you already do, but this has truly been a game changer for me. Getting up before anything ‘needs’ to be done allows me some quite time to do what I need to do for me. What this looks like for me is waking up around 530am and going to bed by 10pm.
Before I became a parent it wasn’t uncommon for me to wake up at 8am, then waste time scrolling until 10am before I’d get out of bed, which led to a major guilt spiral… not exactly an ideal way to start the day. Getting up before you have any expectations of yourself allows you to start the day feeling proud of yourself instead, and that’s energy worth riding for the rest of your day.
2. Stop the dopamine train before it starts
Dopamine is an essential neurotransmitter that allows us to feel good. That being said, the trouble with feeling good is that it can be followed by a comedown side effect. When dopamine tapers off after a spike, people can feel depleted after having just felt incredible.
When we start our days by spiking our dopamine levels, our brains spend the rest of the day looking for those high dopamine levels again. Things that can create this effect include scrolling on social media when you first wake up ( or at anytime really, to be honest), eating sugary foods, nicotine in cigarettes, sex (don’t shoot the messenger), amongst other things.
If you want to stay focused all day and maintain energy levels, it’s about hitting the right level of dopamine and not creating surges (which then lead to crashes) — think going for a walk with your favourite music rather than eating sugary cereal while scrolling social media at breakfast.
3. Balance your frickin’ blood sugar
If you happen to follow me over on Instagram, you know that I’ve been on a journey to balance my blood sugar as I deal with insulin resistance due to PCOS. According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), more than half of the U.S. adult population has diabetes or pre-diabetes… and up to 90% of those people don’t even know they have it.
Balancing your blood sugar has preventative effects for diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and even Alzheimer’s. Oh and by maintaining steady blood sugar levels you’re also going to have more energy, sleep better, and increased focus. Pretty major motivators if I do say so myself.
Here are just a few things I’ve incorporated into my lifestyle to help balance my blood sugar:
- Drinking 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar diluted in water before meals, or using it as a salad dressing
- Going for walks before or after meals
- Getting morning sun whenever possible
- Making sure fats and proteins accompany the carbs I eat
- Going to bed earlier to ensure better sleep
My favourite place to learn about blood sugar balancing is from Biochemist Jessie Inchauspé’s Instagram account, aptly named @glucosegoddess.
4. Break for a walk outside whenever you can
On the topic of balancing blood sugar, going for walks is one of the easiest ways to help. Whenever possible, I recommend adding time onto your lunch break to get your body moving outside. Going for a walk after your lunch is an ideal time not only to help keep blood sugar levels in check, but to also help our bodies process stress more healthily, so we can come back to our work in the afternoons with a refreshed and clear mind.
Bonus – if it’s sunny outside, that vitamin D also does you a lot of good. Vitamin D protects neurons and reduces inflammation in our bodies, keeping our brains sharp and energy levels steady. It can also improve mood, support immune health, and decrease the risks of heart disease.
5. Plan your work schedule in alignment with your energy levels
If you’re anything like me, you might find you have the most energy and focus in the morning hours and then it dips in the mid-late afternoon. Because of this I plan to do my most focus-heavy work in the mornings each day, and schedule my other work in the afternoons. For me, this generally looks like tackling anything creative or labour intensive in the mornings, and using my afternoons for client coaching calls where I can focus on the client and not on producing work.
I used to fight my own nature, beating myself up and questioning why I couldn’t produce at the same level all day, but when I stopped fighting this and worked with my natural energy flow of the day everything became a lot easier and I actually became more productive.
So wherever you naturally have the highest levels of focus and creativity in your day each day, plan to do your heavy lifting at those times, and look and what you can schedule in for the other parts of your day where energy isn’t as high.
6. Take the right energy supplements
Notice the emphasis on right? With so many energy drinks and supplements on the market today it’s hard to know what actually works and is good for you at the same time.
Enter the Naked Fire Shot by Naked Nutrition:
I generally steer clear of energy drinks and similar products, however, this daily detox and energy supplement is the first I’ve ever been able to back and recommend. Why? Well its ingredients are natural, not harmful, and ones I already take. There are also no added preservatives or synthetic ingredients.
The shot contains:
- Apple cider vinegar — AMAZING for blood sugar balancing
- Caffeine from green coffee beans — contains chlorogenic acid which is once again great for blood sugar balancing and also has other protective effects, while also giving you the energy boost from caffeine while exerting less pressure on blood vessels than regular coffee
- Organic panax ginseng — a powerful adaptogen that contains antioxidants and has other neuro-protective effects, while increasing energy levels
- Ginger root extract — LOADED with antioxidants
- Organic ashwagandha — helps with stress and anxiety, improves sleep, benefits cognitive function
- Organic cayenne pepper — contains a variety of protective plant compounds, like capsaicin and flavonoids which boost metabolism and help increase stomach enzymes to break down food and promote better nutrient absorption
See the full ingredient list here.
With an ingredient list like that, you’re probably wondering… so how does it taste? And the answer is… pretty darn good. There is a touch of wildflower honey, lemon juice concentrate, and pear concentrate to help it go down smoothly. It’s got a kick from the cayenne pepper and certainly wakes you up with a nice zing on your tastebuds.
After it takes effect I notice a marked difference in my overall energy and focus levels, and it seems to last for about 4 hours, making it the perfect afternoon boost for me when I need it. If you choose to incorporate it into your routine, just ensure you’re mindful of how many other caffeinated beverages you have at the same time when you take the Naked Fire Shot as they already contain the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee.
Disclaimer: This article was sponsored by Naked Nutrition. All content is created by me, and all opinions are my own and authentic. I thoroughly review and test products before recommending them to my audience and readers.