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Energy for side business... any tips?

Discussion in 'Get productive' started by bernardlau, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. bernardlau

    bernardlau New Member

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    Some of us here are probably working a fulltime job and trying to balance it with our side business after work hours and weekends.

    Most days when i get home from my day job, I'm pretty buggered and tired. Good thing my partner does the admin stuff during the day. But as we're getting busy, once I get home, I gotta start churning the work load (in my case, editing and designing).

    I probably drink 3 coffees through out the day which I think isn't that healthy... and I'm not exactly as fit as I used to be.

    What are some of your tips to keeping the energy to keep going through the night?
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  2. Ytelco

    Ytelco Member

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    Have to admit I'm a coffee freak so I'm sure the caffeine plays a part but I find exercise helps a lot.

    Gym, walk, sports team etc... always get an energy kick after exercising. It's a good social outlet too.
  3. AgentMail

    AgentMail Well-Known Member

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    Hi Bernard,

    This was my situation up until very recently. The first thing that allowed me to stay ahead was that I had negotiated a work from home arrangement with my employer. There are some great tips around this in Tim Ferriss' 4 Hr Work Week - get yourself a copy.

    Second, if getting a remote work agreement really isn't possible (and if you read the book, the solution is to quite, or find another job with more flexibility), you need to be super sharp with your organisational skills, setup auto responders on emails etc. so that you do not waste time on non-revenue generating tasks, but get stuck straight in to the heart of what needs to be done.
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  4. vereD888

    vereD888 New Member

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    In my case I always take a nap at noon break to energized my system for afternoon session. After the whole day work I take a short break to socialized with friends then start working on my side business. I take my daily dose of vitamins and exercise at least 20 minutes. When I feel tired I made it a point to pause and rest for a while to regain my energy.
  5. HollyRose

    HollyRose New Member

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    Hi bernardlau,

    I have to agree with Ytelco & vereD888. Vitamins and excercise. Im a bit different to vereD888 however - when I feel tired I make a point to drag myself outside. When you are really busy, the last thing you want to think about is adding excercise to your routine - as if you have time! But I find 30 minutes to an hour of excercise boosts my energy 10-fold (although it might take a couple of weeks to start seeing the results).

    I go for 'fun stuff', with fresh air. Working out at the gym after working all day is not my idea of fun. I go for walks along the river in Brisbane with awesome music - try the 8tracks.com application on your phone - you'll discover all kinds of new head clearing music. Or my new favourite outdoors excercise is Slacklining (google it). Sometimes I'm out slacklining at midnight!

    Good luck & look after yourself,

    HollyRose.
  6. Couple It

    Couple It Well-Known Member

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    Try replacing the coffee with water instead - you'll be amazed at how much energy it can give you, since dehydration causes tiredness. But first you'll have to spend 2-3 days with headaches as your body detoxes from the lack of caffeine.

    Definitely worth the pain though.

    Wendy :)
  7. ExactEditing

    ExactEditing New Member

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    I've been through similar and still going through it! I don't drink coffee as its a stimulant that doesn't actually solve the problem of not having enough hours in the day. Sometimes unfortunately there's nothing you can do in the short-term, but I found it helped having goals and having them all in front of me. For example, if you're wondering if it's worth it all, write down how long you're prepared to commit to the current situation and when you think it may get better. If its not going to change for 12 months, can you stick it out for that long and is it worth it? If it is, clearing your head, whatever that involves, is a must. I've learnt it's not worth pushing through saying you can't stop, when having a break means you work faster and smarter afterwards. Find your "zen" and keep your goal always in sight. Sometimes the relief is just over the hill! Good luck.
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  8. NickHumphries

    NickHumphries Active Member

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    Energy should come from your motivation. Always remember why you're in this and visualize the end result every day!
  9. JohnTranter

    JohnTranter Well-Known Member

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    It's not always possible but I always say don't work when you're tired. You make mistakes and often I've spent more time fixing work I did when I was tired than I would have spent doing it in the first place.

    Take a proper break when you feel tired, and I don't consider watching t.v. or browsing websites a proper break if you work on a computer.
    Go do something completely different, make a cake, take a walk, drive to the shops for an ice cream or something.
    Then get back to it.

    As for energy levels, I could blab on about low GI foods, but I also drink a lot of caffeine and eat food I shouldn't so I'm in no position to lecture anyone! I do however take plenty of exercise which helps with energy and stress.
  10. bernardlau

    bernardlau New Member

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    Thanks for great tips and letting us know what you do to keep "fresh".

    I like the idea of taking a REAL break in between the full time job and the side job. REAL as in go for a walk and not sitting in front of a TV or screen surfing the net.

    Excercise would really help. I used to excercise almost daily for at least an hour a few years ago while I was juggling a fulltime job and 2 part time jobs and I still felt that I had energy to spare. I really need to get back into that.

    Water > Coffee? Alright, I'll try that too.

    I think I need to start planning a specific daily/nightly schedule from now on and try to meet those goals. Hopefully I don't become some drone...
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  11. JenG

    JenG Active Member

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    For those who can manage it, try going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. I find working in the early hours (3.30-4am -ish) I get much more done than in the evenings. There are no interruptions with phone or email, the house is quiet, you wake with enthusiasm and ideas and your mind is fresh. I find it's the time that I work more efficiently and get more done. Then, about 8ish, I go for a 45 minute fast walk, home to the shower, breakfast, then back into it.

    I know not everyone would be up for the early start, but for those who, like me, enjoy the early hours, it's a great tactic!
  12. Stockings99

    Stockings99 New Member

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    If your business earns enough money for you to give up 20% of your day job income, try to negotiate with your boss to work only 4 days per week so that you can free up say Fridays to run your business. Then you will gain 9 hours per week to run the business and take more rests during the evenings. Time is clearly the problem here.
  13. Shaukat Adam (Khalid)

    Shaukat Adam (Khalid) Well-Known Member

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    Here's what i found. When you have a big enough & specific goal, especially that benefits a community, 4 hrs of sleep will be too much for you.

    Problem is i don't have a big enough specific goal. :confused:
  14. SAmedia

    SAmedia Active Member

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    Have you thought about getting a fish tank? I find that after looking at my fish for 5 minutes I feel great.

    Anyway that's my two cents!

    All the best,
    Sean
  15. Matt Rankin

    Matt Rankin Member

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    I have a VA from odesk.com who does a lot of my manual/tedious web-related tasks for me very cheap. It probably saves me 5 hours per week, but it's also the type of work that is very boring, and thus easy to put off. Now I just let her know what I need a day in advance, and I have it in my inbox usually within 24 hours.

    So think about the things you do that could be done by someone else, and outsource!

    I am happy to help anyone at all with oDesk as I have been using it for 2 years, and only have good things to say about it.
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  16. marnieb

    marnieb Active Member

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    I'd ditch any caffeine and sugar and switch to a paleo diet, along with some light exercise. I've never had more energy than I have eating paleo. :)

  17. bernardlau

    bernardlau New Member

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    Had to Wiki up what Paleo Diet was: "fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, vegetables, fruit, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils"

    Or essentially the caveman diet, haha, isn't this what most of us eat? Well, not too sure if the meat I have is truly grass fed or not... probably not.

    Some good suggestions above, I like the fish tank/bowl idea and I have heard that a lot of successful business people really just sleep about 3 - 4 hours a day. Like Pepsi's CEO Indra Nooyi!!
  18. Burgo

    Burgo Well-Known Member

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    Been there done that.
    Water will get you through, coffee wont.
    However you need a break between your daytime activities and your evening activities.
    Go for a 30 minute walk before dinner, a shower after dinner and drink water , and water. You may need to go to the little house a bit more but you will find you will concentrate better and be more productive

    Just my thoughts
  19. charm91

    charm91 New Member

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    yeah.... my flying solo job is currently volunteer marketing, but i love it so i am happy to do it (including 'research' on forums at 11.00pm)
  20. Brett N/Nerds Computer

    Brett N/Nerds Computer Member

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    Great question Bernard!

    Energy can be managed by focusing on a few core areas:

    1. Eating the right sorts of foods

    2. Exercising - it is counter intuitive but it really helps to eat well

    3. Motivation

    The last one is so important. By the sounds of things Bernard you are spreading yourself to thin. This is not sustainable and may result in burnout and/or ill health. Make looking after yourself the top priority of everyday. I can tell you are very hard working. If you are sick you won't be able to focus on any of your projects.

    To stay healthy you might have to learn the hardest word for us business people to learn. The word "no".

    Good luck and keep healthy,

    Brett

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