Want to know the bad daily habits that can drain out your energy?
I get pretty bummed this day.
I’m tired, not motivated, worst is I spent too much time in front of my screen. Not to do work, but to waste time on my social media
The truth is, I always get this cyclical bout of productivity alternate with being stuck in the deepest slump I’ve ever gotten.
I’m cool with it, because I know I’m a human and I tend to be cyclical in nature and not function continuously perfect like a freaking robot.
But this time around is a bit different.
Not only do I spend way too much time using Twitter, but my energy level is also seriously declining so low. It’s like non-existence.
I need to identify habits that drain my energy.
Phase 1: Identity the bad Daily habits that drain my energy
I’m sorry for recommending this way too much in this blog, but really, journaling.
Write down my routine and see what bad daily habits that sap out my energy the most.
This is how I spend my time these couple of days.
(It’s embarrassing, don’t judge)
- 5 am: sets alarm
- Snooze until 640am ( I count in my head, I snooze about 8 times today. Pathetic? I know)
- 7 am: actually gets up, drink 1st coffee
- 7:40 am: Drive to work
- 8:30am: reach office, chatting with a friendly colleague until 930am
- 9:30 am: talk to self-“I’m going to be productive”, drink 2nd coffee for motivation
- 10:30 am: Called in for an ad-hoc meeting. Last for quite some time, scroll Twitter while waiting for lunch
- Noon: had a lunch, 3rd coffee
- 3 pm: got the biggest afternoon slump -blame the 3 coffee I drink
- 6 pm: reached home, feeling so tired. Lie down on the sofa while scrolling the phone
- 7 pm: dinner, felt sleepy afterwards
- 9:30 pm: get ready to sleep with the phone in my hand
- If this routine needs a title, I will name it: The diary of pathetic losers.
Because it really is
- Journaling For Beginners: How To Get Started In 5 Simple Steps
- How To Start Creating A Personal Journal Prompts For Beginners (5 Practical Steps!)
Phase 2: Find the solution for each bad daily habits
I’m honestly got goosebumps on how unproductive and pathetic my routine looks these couple of days.
This routine left me feeling so tired, like no energy left in my body
Based on the routine I write, I have a few energy-draining habits that cost me my productivity.
Yours might look like mine. But do the audit so you can find a specific solution for your problems.
Bad daily habit 1: Snoozing
I don’t get the idea of snoozing just to get a couple of extra minutes to sleep. Yet I’ve been doing it regularly recently.
At first, I thought I am really tired. So I let myself do it. Then I repeat the next day. And another day. And it continues till today.
Why torture self with the agony of hearing the blasting alarm from the phone.
Matt Janes, mental health and neuroscience expert when spoken to NY Post claimed that the snooze button has a detrimental effect on our mental health
“The act of pressing the snooze button is like giving a repeated assault to our autonomic nervous system each time you’re awoken
Every time we wake up, the. Hormone cortisol the stress hormone is being released and put us into stress the whole day”Matt Janes
As the result, you wake up feeling sluggish, tired, and grumpy even before you start your day.
Way to have a bad day huh?
The solution given by the sleep expert is to just wake up naturally. Well, I can’t do this, because I definitely will not make it on time for my work. What I can do is to sleep earlier and make it a quality sleep
I might need one alarm clock, the manual one. And let it blast and wake my neighbor too (kidding).
And set in on a reasonable time for me to wake up.
I’m not Jacko Willink, I’m not ready to wake up at 430am and I should realize that.
Related Post: 5 Simple And Gentle Approaches To Help You Wake Up Earlier In The Morning
Bad daily habit 2: Drink too much coffee
No, dummy, coffee is a stimulant, it makes you feel excited not draining your energy.
And so, I thought.
This well-written article has debunked my superficial assumption and explained why drinking coffee, especially in large amount can drain energy.
First, it is adenosine, a chemical in our central nervous system. This neurochemical is involved in regulating our sleep-wake cycle.
When we are awake, the adenosine level is increased in the forebrain which leads to the initiation of sleep tendency. Simpler words, drowsy or sleepy.
What caffeine in the coffee does is that it blocks the binding of the adenosine to its receptor which leads to the accumulation and increased level of adenosine.
This is what causes sluggishness or tiredness.
Secondly is that due to the property of coffee can cause increased passing of urine aka diuretic. Which can lead to dehydration.
If we are drinking too much coffee and didn’t take any other fluid, chances are, we are tired because of dehydration
As our cells didn’t receive adequate fluid, fatigue and sluggishness can kick in
– Limit the coffee intake to a maximum of 2 cups before 2 pm
– Ensure good hydration after each caffeine consumption
Bad daily habit 3: No Physical Activity
I probably need to take my own advice and start physical activity now.
I have a love and hate relationship with exercise. Mostly hate.
It’s annoying as I know the benefit of it, yet I don’t muster the energy to do it.
But now since it’s already affecting my life in terms of productivity, I have to do it. No, I must do it. I need those endorphins
Endorphins are the feel-good hormones, release when we exercise that can reduce stress and pain.
This eventually triggers positive feelings that make us feel more energized and reduced the feelings of fatigue.
Another thing is that it helps and improves sleep. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that good quality of sleep helps us feel more energized and less tired during the day.
What Type of exercise i should do when I’m tired?
A study was done by the University of Georgia on volunteers that suffer fatigue and do not exercise (ie Me) and break them up into 3 different groups.
- The first group: 20 min moderately strenuous exercise 3x/week for 6 weeks
- Second group: low-intensity exercise 20 min, 3x/week for 6 weeks
- Control: Did not exercise
What they found is that there is a 20% increase in the energy level of both groups that exercise. But what’s interesting is that moderate-intensity exercise show more reduction in fatigue or tiredness compare to strenuous exercise
So, I have identified the issue
I did the strenuous exercise, and it makes me feel that exercise is tiring, and I just don’t do it
- Make exercise a habit, by being specific on when to do it: Once reach home from work, change immediately to workout attire before sitting down and workout for 30 minutes.
- If I feel the tendency to avoid the exercise, use a simple trick like using stairs instead of a lift or park far away so I can get the steps to count.
Related Post: how to start good Habits this 2022 (The only tips you need!)
Bad daily habit 4: Wasting time on social media
And reading self-help, productive tips on Twitter is included.
Let’s admit it, we can’t ever defeat the genius-engineered social media platform that makes us addicted to it more than a piece of chocolate cake.
In my case, it’s worst. I try to justify to myself that Twitter is filled with information that is good for me.
But what I don’t realize is that it spikes my dopamine the same way Instagram did.
“Dopamine is known as the feel-good neurotransmitter—a chemical that ferries information between neurons…. contributing to feelings of pleasure and satisfaction as part of the reward system. “
In an interview with Teen Vogue, Anna Lembke, MD, psychiatry professor of Stanford Professor mentioned that,
“The more we activate that intense pleasure response on social media, the more we crave it. The repetitive action becomes less exciting and we end up needing more to give us the same pleasure we experienced with a lesser amount before”Anna Lembke
That’s why I found myself scrolling the timeline even when I’m driving craving the dopamine hit.
Here is what’s interesting,
The longer I spend on the screen, the more tired and sluggish I felt. So, I was wondering what the mechanism behind this is.
Number one longer screen time can cause reduce sleepy hormone production (melatonin). Hence you get a poor quality of sleep if you are scrolling your phone right before bedtime
And number two,
Surprise, surprise, it’s the cortisol again. This hormone is shown to increase with excessive screen time. And of course, linked to reduced energy and poorer sleep
No wonder I feel like such a potato lately. I have been spending most of my time working on my laptop and my downtime, I spend again on the screen, this time on my phone reading news and whatnot on Twitter
My cortisol might be in a rage inside my body
- No phone after 8pm
- Replace phone scrolling with micro-journaling on notes.
Bad daily habit 5: Too much chatting & socializing
There is a possibility that because I’m introverted, the chit-chatting near the water cooler drains my energy.
I don’t know how much truth in this but really, the more chatting I did, the more people I meet, and the more tired I feel as I get back from work.
Then I remember, last week I spent the whole weekend with my family and was involved with a lot of socializing.
By right, socializing is draining for everyone, both extroverted and introverted. However, extrovert people have a more ramped-up dopamine system compared to an introvert.
So having a less active dopamine system cause a certain level of stimulation—loud noise or maybe lots of activity tend to be overwhelming
Even though I’m not entirely sure the science behind this, maybe it’s among the thing I need to keep in mind regarding my energy level.
- Allow one day to recharge energy after a whole day of socializing. It may or may not work but need to try it first
- Avoid water cooler chit-chatting if possible
What about you? what are your bad daily habits that have been sapping out your energy?
I’m gonna tweak my routine and update the progress