Have you noticed the buzz online lately? Everyone is talking about entrepreneurship and how badass it is to live that entrepreneurial lifestyle. All the cool kids are doing it.
Back in the day (before my time), I heard if you were an entrepreneur and didn’t go to school and get a good job, you were a loser.
Now if you’re an entrepreneur, you’re a certified badass who’s on their way to being a millionaire if you’re not already. Except not!
Don’t get me wrong, I love entrepreneurship and I do see myself owning and operating my own business in the future. I live and breathe many of the same values and work on a handful of entrepreneurial projects.
However, right now I’m an employee and I’m proud to say that I have a very compelling career working for a first-class general contractor.
And that’s what we’re talking about today. We’re talking about strategies for being an effective employee.
My goal is for this article to be more than something you just read. I want this article to be the start of a discussion on how to be an effective employee.
These are the things that I’ve found to be effective so far and I still have a lot of room for improvement.
So what is a High Energy Employee?
An employee that’s fully engaged, energized, proactive, coachable, focused, driven, and working their tail off to deliver as much value as possible to the client, the company, and the environment.
The majority of employees don’t work more than 8 hours a day. They clock in and they clock out. They complain about Mondays and live for the weekend.
However, The High Energy Employee isn’t like this. The High Energy Employee loves to work and strives to make everyone in the workplace better.
The High Energy Employee demands more from themselves than anyone else could ever expect from them.
“It’s not normal for people to have the energy to work 12-16 hours per day. It’s too much!”
You will find out that you do have the energy to put in the work and bring the value. You just have to have the right strategy.
14 Strategies Of The High Energy Employee
1. A Tremendous Attitude
The #1 thing that generates a boat load of energy is a winning attitude.
If your attitude is garbage, your performance will be garbage.
If you look at your work with a positive attitude, it’s much easier to actually do the work. Taking initiative on anything is almost impossible if you have a pessimistic attitude.
I’m always glass half full, even if I have a drop. Optimism is the secret sauce.
Weak Attitude = Weak Energy
Tremendous Attitude = Tremendous Energy
A great attitude requires zero talent, anyone can own one. It’s a decision you make when you wake up every morning.
When you start to make that decision every morning, you open yourself up to an abundant resource of high energy.
What else requires zero talent from The High Energy Employee?
Smiling. Positive Body Language. Treating people with respect. Being on time. Work Ethic. Doing Extra. Being Prepared. Being Coachable.
The High Energy Employee does not complain. Complaining kills all energy, focus, and results. The High Energy Employee is focused on the solution and not the problem.
2. Two Ears, One Mouth
There’s a reason why we have (2) ears and (1) mouth. We should listen at least twice as much as we speak.
The High Energy Employee is a life long learner, and nobody has ever learned anything from talking. Arguably one of the most successful leaders in history, Richard Branson, swears by the power of listening over talking and says that the most successful business people he knows all have the habit of listening in common.
Listening over talking gives you the full picture when trying to tackle challenges. It puts things in full and proper perspective which gives employees an advantage.
3. A Morning Routine
Repeat after me: Conquer the morning, conquer the day.
A great morning makes it a great day. A bad morning makes it a bad day.
A morning routine sets the tone for the whole day, and if you do each day right, you’ll do life right.
Taking control of your mornings is the best way to avoid mental fatigue. It helps me feel in control and non-reactive, which in turn reduces anxiety and ensures I’m more productive throughout the day.
The first 20 minutes of my day are peaceful and meditative. You can use my morning routine as an example and adjust it to fit you.
4. Body Language
Excuse me, do you speak body language? Of course you do! Maybe you’re not aware of what you just said.
How on earth do they not teach body language in school? It could be one of the most valuable life skills you could own. Every single day we tell the world how we feel and what we think through our body language.
Need more energy? Skip the coffee, and instead, stand straighter, smile and put some swagger in your step.
Weak Body Language = Weak Energy
Impressive Body Language = Impressive Energy
Here’s how to use your body language to give you energy:
a) Straighten yourself up. Your heals, hips, and head should all be aligned. Pull your shoulders back and open up your chest.
b) Smile. Even when you fake-smile, it lowers stress and anxiety. It’s better than a drug.
c) Head up, Chin up, Open up your body. Have your chin up and your head up because you DESERVE to have your head up. Stand, sit, and walk like you’re worth a shit.
5. Stay In Motion
One of the many things I learned from my mentor on my last project is the concept of staying in motion.
My mentor was always ON, crushing it, getting it done, making it happen, moving with speed and urgency. I couldn’t understand how he had SO MUCH energy, but then it clicked.
Remember Newton’s First Law of Motion: An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion.
You need to move, constantly. My mentor took every opportunity he could to move. He was on the phone walking around, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, meeting you face to face, bouncing around the office with purpose, plotting, and planning. He was staying in motion.
Never would you find him sitting at a desk for too long. And trust me, he had plenty of “desk work” to do.
An object in motion, stays in motion.
Start looking for opportunities to move around. When you sit stationary for several hours, your mind becomes stationary and all your energy disappears.
An object at rest stays at rest.
When you stay in motion throughout the day, you build something very powerful.
You build MOMENTUM.
When you have momentum, you get into flow and action becomes effortless.
I now do my best to stay in motion by connecting one action to the next so I can be the one with the momentum.
Idle time is the killer of energy. Stay busy. Stay in motion. Get that momentum.
6. A Standing Desk
This one thing will not only give you more energy at work, but it will also do wonders for your health, posture, and life-span.
Prominent individuals like Thomas Jefferson and Winston Churchill worked at standing desks every day of their lives.
Most of us don’t even think about sitting because we’ve done it for so long. From an evolutionary perspective, your body may feel it more than you realize.
By standing during the day, we’re able to keep energy levels constant. You’re not getting the 3 o’clock slump, and you avoid the dreaded food coma. As a result, your mind doesn’t drift, your eyes don’t droop, and you can get through your day without experiencing an energy roller coaster.
The Bottom Line: Stand up and walk around more! This is related to staying in motion, you’ll have way more energy.
7. Write Everything Down
Ideas, thoughts, and actions are useless when they live in our heads. We have to bring them into the physical world for them to have value.
Anyone who works with me knows I’m a ferocious note taker. It’s how I Get Things Done.
I talk about this in more detail in What I Learned Managing $100M Worth Of Construction
I don’t go anywhere without my planner and my notepad. I have a giant whiteboard in my office and a giant whiteboard in my home office. I fill both of them up almost everyday.
When you take a pen and put it to paper, you engage your brain. People who are engaged in life, have high energy.
The act of writing helps you clarify your thoughts, remember things better, and reach your goals more surely.
Writing things down also ensures communication is crystal clear between your team, clients, and subordinates. The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
Write it down. Make it happen.
— Kyle Nitchen (@kylenitch) April 2, 2017
8. Understand the Natural Rhythm of Your Body
One thing we should be aware of is something called a circadian rhythm. Basically, this is our bodies natural internal clock that is in sync with the sun and the moon.
“A circadian rhythm is a roughly 24 hour cycle in the physiological processes of living beings, including plants, animals, fungi and cyanobacteria.” – *Science Daily.
According to the research, we’re most alert at 10AM. It might be a good idea to schedule high priority activities/meetings during this time. Or you can block this time out from other people so you can produce your highest quality work. Of course, this all depends on your specific role in the company as well as your schedule. Just something to think about.
It also might be a good idea to exercise in the evenings since that’s when your cardiovascular efficiency and muscular strength is peaked. Not mention your body temperature is the warmest making you less prone to injury.
The Bottom Line: Optimize your energy by taking the circadian rhythm into consideration when planning your days and nights.
9. Eliminate ALL Distractions
If we want to have more energy, focus, stamina and results, we need to eliminate any and all distractions. Can you guess what I’m talking about?
Social media is a blessing and a curse. It’s one of the most powerful tools of all time if you know how to wield it’s power. However, you can either control social media or it can control you.
I have this conversation all the time and I always tell people it’s better to be a producer rather than a consumer. Producing is way more fun and has WAY more benefits. Don’t waste your time all day consuming useless social media content.
Here’s how to eliminate the distractions:
- Make a new commitment. No social media before 8PM.
- Every night before you go to sleep: Log out of Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, Twitter, & anything else that you catch yourself trolling more than you should.
Logging out helps when you have the split jerk reaction to open the app. When you’re faced with the login screen, you’re reminded to exit and bring your focus back to the work.
Also, do not have your phone on you during meetings. Every meeting has a purpose. If it doesn’t then there shouldn’t be a meeting.
If your meeting has a purpose, you don’t need a phone on you. Notifications, emails, and the internet will only distract you and take away from your presence in the meeting.
Less Distraction = More Momentum = More Energy.
During meetings, I choose to set my phone in a near by room, in my backpack, or in an empty chair next to me. I only have my phone on me if I need to reference something related to the discussion.
10. High Intensity Training
The High Energy Employee knows the value in developing both a strong mind and a strong body. This is how he/she endures long hours for long periods of time.
Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lung health improve, you have more energy to tackle life.
A typical work day for me starts between 6-7AM and goes to about 6PM. At 6PM I stop what I’m doing and head to the gym to meet my coach for a 6-7PM high intensity session.
I’ve been working out in the evenings for years. It’s by far my favorite time to workout. Why?
For one, If you look at the Circadian rhythm of the body, it’s the best time frame for athletic performance.
For two, evening workouts also give me that chance to reload and relax my mind because I almost always go back to the office for another 3-4 hours.
The foundation of my training is CrossFit & Olympic Lifting. However, you don’t have to do CrossFit to experience these benefits. All you have to ensure is that you bring intensity into your exercise a few times per week.
Intensity is the one variable you can control. If you want to look better, feel better, sleep better, shred fat, be happier, make more money, INTENSITY will get you there. Intensity breeds results.
Whether it’s CrossFit, body building, yoga, olympic lifting, or marathon running, it does not matter. What matters is that it’s challenging and intense.
11. Escape the 9-5 Mentality
When I left college and started collecting experiences in the real world, I had become obsessed with answering a simple question: Why do some people end up loving what they do, while so many others fail at this goal?
All you hear on the internet and social media is entrepreneur this, entrepreneur that, follow your passion, do what you love, and so on. For the average person, like myself, it was impossible to make sense of that. It sounds warm and fuzzy but it’s not very practical.
The 9-5 mindset is extremely limiting. The 9-5 belief promotes clocking in and clocking out. Doing the bare minimum and going home. How can you have high energy when you’re in mental prison?
Here are my thoughts:
Don’t follow your passion; rather, let the passion follow you in your quest to become So Good They Can’t Ignore You.
What does this mean? It means to focus your energy on acquiring skills.
In order to create compelling careers we need to adopt a “craftsman mindset” over the “passion mindset” that is suggested by the mainstream.
“The first is the craftsman mindset, which focuses on what you can offer the world. The second is the passion mindset, which instead focuses on what the world can offer you.” – Cal Newport
The craftsman mindset is much more practical. Since applying it, I’ve been able to tap into energy that wasn’t there before.
12. Stay Hydrated
The majority of people live their life dehydrated. The body is about 60% water, give or take.
I believe you should be drinking 100 – 120 oz of water per day and closer to 120 oz on training days.
If we don’t stay hydrated throughout the day, our energy levels and brain function can start to suffer.
Here are some other benefits of drinking plenty of water throughout the day:
- Fluid Balance
- Calorie Control
- Muscle Fuel
- Clearer Skin
- Kidney Function
- Productivity Boost
- Fatigue Buster
- Pain Prevention
- Keeps things flowing (internally)
- Sickness Fighter
- Brain Booster
13. Prepare Your Meals
Meal prepping every Sunday night has hands down been the habit with the biggest ROI.
Time is the most valuable resource we have. Time is the only resource we don’t get back, so let’s not squander it.
Time is the first and foremost reason why I prepare my meals. Even ahead of looking and feeling good.
When you prepare your meals for the week you spend less ENERGY on figuring out what to eat, where to eat, and if it’s what you should be eating or not. You spend more ENERGY on the things that matter; like producing quality work, getting more done, connecting with people, and improving everyday.
On top of that, the body can produce more energy when you eat clean, green, and lean.
Big heavy meals drag you down and require a lot energy to digest.
14. Surround Yourself With Other High Energy Individuals
Make sure to keep an eye out for individuals who are goal-oriented, optimistic, enthusiastic, and who have an overall positive mental outlook.
First, BE one of these individuals yourself. Second, find others. This won’t be as hard as you might think because like-attracts-like. It’s the universal Law of Attraction.
When you find these people, roll up on them. Go out of out of your way to bring them and keep them in your circle.
We become who we associate ourselves with so let’s build a winning network.
Your Network = Your Net Worth
Don’t Allow Anything Or Anyone To Steal Your Energy!
Energy means nothing if you don’t have tasks and projects to do.
Stay busy, stay on the move, and keep moving forward! Don’t allow yourself to get bored. Boredom is the killer of energy.
Plan your work. Plan your life. Set Goals. Dream big. Create a bucket list. Work on the bucket list. Have a direction. Be somebody who is going somewhere.
Define what success is for you and fight every single day until you own it.
That’s how you become. . . .
A HIGH ENERGY EMPLOYEE.
Now let’s get out there and lead by example.
– Kyle Nitchen
Comments, Questions or Suggestions…
I’d love to hear from you so please leave a comment below, ask a question or let me know what you think…