“Where do you get that energy?!”

Frequently, people ask me that question.  Those who ask are usually witnessing me in a professional situation; if they saw me after the alarm goes off, there’s no way they’d ask that!

But it’s true- if we lead, we have an obligation to give those we serve our best, and that means maintaining optimal mental and physical energy.  Everyone’s prescription is different, but here’s mine, for what it’s worth.

It’s about balance.

Balance point one: Caffeine and Hydration

While it is true that I drink half a pot of coffee each day, usually between 6am and 1pm, I also drink at least a half gallon of water.  Unless court-ordered, I will never give up caffeine.  There is evidence of its benefit, and I can feel it.  However, it dehydrates, so it must be balanced by water.  Not pop.  Not energy drinks. Water. No substitute.  I’ve seen lots of perpetually groggy energy-drink drinkers. There’s a better (and cheaper) way.

Balance point two: Exercise and Rest

Sleeping 7 to 8 hours per night seems to work wonders. So does exercise 30 to 120 minutes per day, 5-6 days per week.  If only one of those two things happen, I get sluggish.  I have ODed on exercise, and ODed on sleep.  Both make me cranky, not energized. Important; at least one exercise-free day per week.  Not just for muscle repair, but for the renewed eagerness to run or work out the next day.

Balance point three: Work and Re-creation

Work hard; play hard. Too much of one or the other throws us off-kilter. Most people I know OD on the work; too few OD on the play.  Too bad.  Who, towards the end of their life, says “man, shoulda gone to work more.” No one. No one sane, anyway.

Balance point four: Face-to-face time-with-others, and Alone-time

Energized by other people? Always. Need time alone to think, reflect, be? Yup. That’s one of the benefits of being a runner, by the way; alone-time mixes with exercise.

The first draft of this post was a list.  Then I realized that it was about a balance between things, rather than the things themselves.  There’s another post in there, somewhere…

How do you keep your energy up?  Figure it out – your people deserve your best!

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