Daily Press (Sunday)

Expel extra energy


Another step for applying the 85% rule is finding ways to reduce the pressure. Gupta says one effective technique is getting some form of movement or exercise before the event. “Embarrassi­ng as it is, there are a lot of times where you’ll see me off to the side before a meeting doing jumping jacks,” he says. “It burns off a little bit of the intensity.”

If jumping jacks aren’t an option, Gupta suggests putting your hand over your heart and take a few deep breaths. “That can also be a really effective way of dialing it down a little bit,” he says.

Walking into the moment with the right calibratio­n of intensity not only benefits you — it helps your colleagues. “How annoying is it when somebody walks into a moment with extra intensity that is not needed in that situation?” Gupta says. “It not only burns out that person — it has a burnout effect on the people around them as well.”

Fill up your energy tank

In addition to burning off energy, Gupta suggests practicing rhythmic renewal. “Instead of waiting for vacations or long weekends to get periods of rest, high performers take frequent focused breaks every single day,” he says. “The average high performer takes around eight breaks every single day.”

Gupta recommends the “555 model,” which is working for 55 minutes and taking five minutes of rest. “The break can be anything from sipping a cup of coffee to listening to music or meditating,” he says. “Anything, so long as it’s deliberate­ly nonproduct­ive. Each of those five minutes will make the other 55 minutes far more productive, far more creative, far more reflective. You’ll have more energy for yourself and the people around you.”

Rhythmic renewal tends to loosen you up, which also has benefits Gupta says. “Oftentimes, the reason that we feel burned out at the end of the day is because we’ve accumulate­d all the intensity throughout our day,” he says. “If we can create these little moments of rest throughout the day, you start to shake off some of that extra intensity, and you can bring a much calmer state of focus to each moment throughout the day.”

Calibrate and recalibrat­e

The 85% rule is easily testable and scalable, Gupta says. After a presentati­on, meeting or work session, take 60 seconds to reflect.

“Ask yourself, how much intensity did I bring to that moment? Was that level intensity appropriat­e? Or do I want to recalibrat­e in my next moment?” Gupta says.

“If we take 60 seconds or less of reflection after key moments, we will naturally start to recalibrat­e to the right level of intensity.

“The beauty of it is that it can be a constant experiment in your life. Every day is an opportunit­y to test something new. When we do that, we start to save our energy.”

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