Running a business is exhausting.

For some of us this means putting in our time at the 9-to-5 and then coming home to spend the rest of the night working on our affiliate businesses. Others it’s half-and-half. And for some the affiliate lifestyle is what they do day in and day out.

When you’re putting in 60 – 80 hours each week you can bet your butt you’re going to feel tired out.

The first thing you’re likely to reach for every morning is a cup of Joe or some kind of energy drink to get you alert and ready for the day. By lunch time you’re feeling the crash so down goes another caffeinated beverage. You’re back home, you want to relax, but you know there’s much to be done so down goes a drink again.

Over time you’re going to rely on this stuff. You’ll become dependent. You’ll get agitated, easily, if you haven’t had your coffee or energy drink. You can’t focus on your work without it.

I know this because I’ve been there. At the high point of my caffeine consumption I was downing nearly three pots of coffee each day. That is definitely not good for you, that’s for sure.

But the pressure is still there even if you start to cut back.

There is much work to be done. You need the energy else your projects begin to slip.

I want to share a handful of ways to keep up that energy when you’re working where you’re not relying on caffeine all the time. Here are my suggestions. Give them a try and see if you can cut back:

  • Keep a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake at the same time each day. This will teach your body how long it needs to be up and it will give you enough restful sleep to take on the day.
  • Exercise more. Going for a brisk walk, a short jog, lifting some weights, riding a bike, or really any form of exercise is going to get your blood flowing. You hear about how runners get a “high” after a long running session. It’s real. You will feel invigorated to keep going when your body feels in good shape. You’ll also find it easier to fall asleep at night which means less restless turning and worrying about whether you’re working hard enough.
  • Drink water, lots of it. Water is essential (I don’t have to tell you that) but it’s likely you’re not getting enough of it throughout the day. That’s why they recommend 8 full glasses. Your body needs to stay hydrated. If anything make sure that after you wake up in the morning chug down a big glass of water because you’ve got to remember that your body just went 8 or so hours without any fluids.
  • Eat healthier, too. What goes inside makes all the difference. If you’re eating nothing but heavy, greasy food you’ll feel heavy and greasy. Try to eat healthier, leaner meals. Eat smaller portions for the main breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but also try to include at least two snacks throughout the day so your body and mind are always fueled.
  • Listen to music. Background music can help you concentrate. I’d say to stay away from music with lyrics because it might be distracting but to each their own. Music that’s upbeat such as bebop jazz or house music can definitely get your energy flowing especially if you work to the beat. Put on those headphones, get in the zone, and jam to the music and work.
  • Take naps. We like to push ourselves throughout the entirety of the day until we’re exhausted at night but really we’re already tired by the time the afternoon hits. This means our entire afternoon is generally us running on low fuel. Just take a nap even for an hour. A short nap can get you charged for the remainder of the day and won’t throw off your sleep schedule.
  • Get more natural light. All the florescent light you take in from the office isn’t doing much good because it throws off your body’s internal clock. You need to get natural sunlight because this helps produce melatonin (and other chemicals to make you feel happy). Whenever you’ve got some downtime step outside for your break rather than sitting in.
  • Work around high-octane people. High energy people are going to get you hyped, too. If you’re in an office environment try to buddy up with these people because they’re the ones that are really rockin’ it with their work. They have the energy because they have passion. When you’re feeling low and see them still chugging along it’ll give you the boost you need to finish out the day.
  • Stop slouching. Sit straight up. All that slouching in your chair is compressing your spine and cutting off circulation to your body. By sitting up (or slightly leaning back) you’re not putting this stress on your body so you’re body doesn’t have to try as hard. Plus it’ll build good muscles.
  • Play mind games. Take a break from time to time but spend it playing games that challenge your mind like crossword puzzles or something fast paced like a first person shooter. These games will keep your mind sharp or boost your adrenaline which will carry over once you’re going back into your work.

Coffee, apparently, will kick in after about 15 minutes after consumption and only really give you energy for the next hour or two (depending on the person). Over time you build up a tolerance so you need more and more.

It’ll be rough the first week you cut back on the black brew (or sugary drinks) but believe me – it really makes a difference. You don’t just feel wired to do work for a few hours (plus the ups and downs). You feel a constant flow of energy and drive. That’s what you want if you want to keep your energy up throughout the day.