3 Energy-Draining Habits That Undermine Your Health and Waste Your Money
At no point in history has it been easier to become a millionaire or get a six-pack (of abs). We live in the golden age of information where anything you want to learn is a five second Google search away.
While the principles of building wealth and optimal health are simplistic in nature, the difficulty lies within the daily execution of these simplistic habits. Despite a never-ending sea of valuable, readily accessible information, obesity and chronic illnesses are on the rise -- along with a steady stream of entrepreneurs whose businesses are a sinking ship with seemingly no answers in sight.
While it may be popular to look into the macro aspects concerning health and business, often times, it’s the micro aspects that are being neglected, which is ultimately creating all the issues. I call these the daily intangibles of life. If you don’t have the health nor wealth that you desire, focus on optimizing the daily intangibles -- the micro aspects -- of your life. This starts by eliminating these three energy draining habits.
1. Making too many small decisions.
A common metric that entrepreneurs overlook when it comes to their health and wealth is their mental energy. Much like a vehicle can only go so far before it runs out of fuel, your ability to make high-quality decisions can only extend so far before the quality starts to plummet.
Everything you do comes at a cost. Some things are more expensive than others, but nevertheless, you are paying for it. There’s a reason why Steve Jobs and other high performers wore the same outfit, among other ritualized habits. It’s to conserve mental energy for the tougher decisions of the day.
Wasting energy on small things leaves you shorthanded for mental fuel when the time comes for making major decisions. As Jeff Bezos states, his "primary job each day as a senior executive is to make a small number of high-quality decisions."
To help preserve your mental fuel, automate your day as much as possible. Schedule priority meetings before lunch, aim for three impactful decisions a day, and cut off tough decisions by 4 p.m. Concerning your health, have your meals planned out to prevent stress-eating and wasting energy thinking about what’s for lunch.
2. Not settling your everyday conflicts.
Growing a business, managing a team of varied personalities, winning important contracts and still maintaining important relationships in life. These are just a few of the everyday things for entrepreneurs.
However, with those things in mind, sleep is often times greatly impacted. You look at the clock and realize how late it is. Now you've inadvertently added another stressor to your already long list. Are you having trouble sleeping because you're anxious and stressed out? Or are you anxious and stressed out because you can't sleep? Regardless, this issue is arising simply because of “not settling the conflict” -- that's code for stress that’s left unaddressed from the day.
According to the American Psychological Association, stress is steadily increasing, which is affecting entrepreneurs mentally, physically and emotionally. Stress causes a plethora of health issues, but it also wrecks your professional world due to a higher likelihood for burn out, foggy brain and irritability.
The first step to combat this is to become more selfish. Put your own oxygen mask on first so you’ll be able to show up in your highest capacity. Lastly, try out the 4-7-8 relaxation breathing.
To get started:
- Exhale completely through your mouth while sitting in a comfortable position.
- Close your mouth and inhale through your nose for a count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale through your mouth for a count of eight (you'll make a whoosh sound).
- That's one complete breath. Repeat this cycle for a total of four.
3. Lack of structure to your day.
The default environment in the world isn’t conducive to optimal health nor productivity.
The default food environment is full of tasty and convenient, but nutrient-devoid, choices that offer short-term pleasure and long-term agony. The default business environment is set up to zap your productivity through social media and a plethora of other distractions that provide quick boosts of dopamine but offer no substantial long-term dividends.
To avoid these energy traps, schedule your day with ruthless precision. If you don’t take control of your time, something else will, and it’s a guarantee that your goals aren’t the top priority.
Scheduling your day for success starts by optimizing your mornings and nights. Your mornings and nights are the perfect opportunity to prime your mind and body for growth and expansion -- while aligning your circadian rhythm for maximum energy.
Set aside 90 minutes for each one and use that time to connect with loved ones, reflect on the day, prepare for the upcoming day, address your health, and schedule important activities so you can hit the ground running.
Automating your health and building the wealth that you desire has levels of progression to it. Before you get bogged down in the large encompassing details, don’t forget about the daily intangibles that quietly control your energy.