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How to achieve more by working less: reduce brain fog & increase mental clarity

Ready to get more done in less time? Reduce brain fog and increase mental clarity with these 10 strategies for achieving more by working less. These tips and tricks will help you increase focus, get more done, prevent burnout, work fewer hours, and be more productive as an entrepreneur. It is possible to grow your business without working more hours! Time to dig into the 10 strategies for managing your energy & growing your business with ease.


Have you ever stood on top of the world? Ridden the energetic high that made you feel ready to achieve ANYTHING you wanted in your life and business? Where extreme clarity met unconditional confidence and you blew through your biggest goals and quantum leaped your business growth? 

You know the feeling, don’t you?

And I’m sure you’ve also experienced the opposite: a brain fog so dense that you can barely formulate an email response, not to mention think strategically about a new initiative, or lead your team effectively. You’ve felt the frustration of everything taking 3 times as long and only being half as good, making you question whether you’ll ever get your business to the next level.

Related post: How Your Mindset Is Keeping Your Business Stuck

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Welcome, you ambitious entrepreneur, to the human experience.

As a life & business success coach for high level CEOs, I’ve witnessed this rollercoaster of growth / stagnation with so many entrepreneurs. My mission is to support you in creating consistent momentum toward your most important goals so that you can lead thriving businesses and live a fulfilling life.

Related post: Starting A Mindset Routine To Explode Your Business Growth

In this article, I’ll share my unique perspective on

  • The most important aspect of sustainable business growth & why most business owners overlook it
  • The one thing that will eliminate overwhelm, frustration, lack of motivation, and exhaustion in your life & business (and replace it with unrivaled clarity and confidence)
  • A behind the scenes look at my client A’s story: how he reduced brain fog and created clarity
  • Strategies to reduce brain fog & thinking clearly that you can implement in your life and business right away

Why can’t I think clearly? Ie. The most overlooked aspect / missing piece to sustainable business growth

My client A was feeling so frustrated at how often he felt brain fog. For weeks at a time he’d struggle to answer emails, lead meetings, or formulate proposals. Every part of his business felt like pulling teeth — he’d get it done, but it drained him and he was never satisfied with the outcome. It was affecting his progress toward his ambitious business goals and it was leaving him feeling defeated. On his ‘good days’ he’d get more done in a week than he did in a quarter, making up for the slump, and thereby making decent progress overall… But the unpredictability of his brain power and motivation was undeniably sabotaging his success. Which got him wondering, what level of impact and success could he create if he could just replicate those weeks of extreme clarity consistently?

Related post: How to achieve success as an entrepreneur

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We’ve all been there before. Unmotivated, unsure, unfocused. Whether for days, weeks, or months, it’s not an ideal situation to find yourself in, especially as the leader of your business, leading a team toward your ambitious vision for the future.

Related post: 10 Tips To Be More Motivated

You need to be able to think clearly, accomplish your priorities with ease, and see massive momentum in your business… consistently.

The biggest reason most entrepreneurs aren’t seeing the growth they desire is because they’re focusing on the wrong thing: pushing through & doing more instead of stepping back & doing less.

ANA MCRAE

Let me say that again for the people in the back: your business plateaus when you work too much and it quantum leaps when you prioritize your energy first.

How most entrepreneurs run their businesses

Most ambitious CEOs I work with are here to get sh*t done. They got this far by working long days, sneaking work home in the evenings, opening their laptops on the weekends. The hustle and grind mentality of those early entrepreneurship days has stayed with them, creating a never ending feeling that they “don’t have time to lose.” And they’re so passionate about their business and its growth that it doesn’t necessarily feel like work… until it does.

The problem with always working and constantly trying to get “just one more thing” crossed off your list is that sooner, rather than later, you deplete your energy completely.

After a couple of days, you stop looking forward to your work so much.

After a couple of weeks, everything starts to feel like a struggle in your business. 

After a couple of months, you wonder why you’re in this business to begin with, and you question whether it’s what you really want after all.

Related post: Too Many Goals: When To Stop Chasing Goals, How To Do it, And Why You Need To

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Your motivation for your business isn’t waning because of what you’re doing… it’s waning because of how you are doing it.

Sacrificing all of your free time to move your business forward is actually holding your business back…

ANA MCRAE

because you haven’t the physical or mental energy to knock it out of the park.

You’re getting lost in the weeds because focusing on the big goals requires a level of mental clarity you don’t currently have.

And that mental clarity is missing not because there’s anything wrong with you, or you’ve suddenly lost your spark… it’s because you’ve neglected your mental headspace and physical energy in favor of the never ending to do list. That’s not how we reduce brain fog.

Related post: How To Simplify Your To Do List To The Essentials

The one thing that will eliminate overwhelm, frustration, lack of motivation, and exhaustion in your life & business 

The high level CEOs I work with that are quantum leaping their business growth are all really freaking good at one thing:

Intentionally managing both their physical and mental energy so that they can achieve their goals with ease.

Unfortunately, so many ambitious people overlook this aspect to success, because success has been modeled to us as the ability to achieve your goals regardless of the cost; to overextend yourself and sacrifice all areas of your life for the sake of making more money; to prioritize your to do list and responsibilities above and beyond yourself and your energy.

Related post: Why Smart Goals Fail (How To Achieve Your Goals)

And this is where every single entrepreneur that’s plateaued at their current level of success has got it wrong…

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Most people are approaching success completely backwards: believing that when I hit X level in my business, then I’ll be happy, or have the luxury to go on vacation, or spend weekends with my family. Unfortunately, X target keeps moving and you’re still not happy with where you’re at and how you’re living your life.

Related post: How To Live A Happy, Value-Driven Life Of Fulfillment

If you catch yourself falling into the “when, then” trap, become aware of the lies you’re telling yourself, and reframe your thinking:

You don’t create bigger results by doing more. You grow your business by doing less, with more energy.

ANA MCRAE

Energy management is the most overlooked aspect of your business success, and it’s costing you your most important goals.

What is energy management?

Energy management is the practice of making intentional decisions and actions that elevate your physical and mental energy so that you can achieve your biggest goals.

Related post: How To Build Self Discipline To Achieve Goals

There are a number of tools, routines, and practices to manage your energy, which I will share below. Each of these strategies improves your physical or mental energy by some amount, but when you stack them and perform them consistently, you accomplish things that felt impossible before, in a way that feels impossibly easy now.

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My client A recently focused on prioritizing his energy above his to do list and experienced positive results instantly! After applying a few of the energy management strategies we discussed he was able to reduce brain fog, his focus increased, which allowed him to make more momentum in a shorter period of time, which increased his downtime, and by choosing to spend it re-energizing himself with family and hobbies, he continued to create even more massive progress on his priorities the next week. 

“It is remarkable how managing my energy affects my ability to think clearly about things.”

This isn’t something most people believe at face value.

“Work/life balance” is one of those things you know you should probably do, but never seems urgent or important enough to start changing your habits.

Related post: Finding Balance In Life: Achievement vs Enjoyment

It takes experiencing the increased clarity, momentum, and outcomes of energy management for yourself before you truly understand its impact.

So, for those of you who are ready to take not only your productivity, but also your business growth, and happiness with life, to the next level, begin with the following strategies for overcoming brain fog so that you can learn how to think clearly consistently.

Strategies to reduce brain fog & think clearly that you can action right away

If you’re ready to elevate your energy and smash your business goals out of the water with ease, start with some of these energy management strategies to help you get started.

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Clearing your headspace

It’s really freaking hard to achieve your goals if you’ve got limiting beliefs that are holding you back from acting in alignment with your vision. Limiting beliefs that go unchecked result in self sabotage and prevent you from stepping into your full potential. Clearing your headspace of the mental blocks that are keeping you stuck is the first step in elevating your mental energy.

Stream of consciousness journaling

One really great way to clear your head is through stream of consciousness journaling — a fancy term for writing down anything and everything that comes to mind for 2-3 pages. This exercise gets all of your mental clutter out of your head and onto paper, thereby freeing up your thinking power. I love doing this every evening so that I can process the events, challenges, and wins of the day and go to sleep with a clear mind.

Related post: A Quick & Easy Way To Journal For Self Improvement

Fear inventory exercise

Another powerful way of identifying your limiting beliefs is by leveraging the fear inventory — an exercise where you write down your biggest goal (“growing my business to 7 figures”) and list 25-30 things you are afraid of happening in the process (“I am afraid that I won’t be able to handle it, I am afraid that everything will fall apart, I am afraid that I will fail, etc.”). This exercise forces you to dig deep and confront the fears that we so often sweep under the rug (where they build up until we stop moving forward, without consciously understanding why we’re holding back). It allows you to look at them objectively and release them. It is extremely powerful, especially when done regularly during periods that you’re focusing on leveling up in life and business.

Meditation

Meditating is one of my favorite ways for stopping the never-ending thoughts in your head. Taking 10-15 minutes to meditate creates an unrivaled sense of calm and contentment that allows you to think clearly. The long term effects of meditation on your brain patterns is mind blowing, but I’m especially fond of the instant feeling of calm and clarity you get after every meditation practice. It really helps get in the right headspace when you need it most. 

Elevating your headspace

Getting your mind in the game so that you can make big decisions and take focused action is an important part of running a thriving business and growing your business to the next level. Ingraining the following practices into your daily and weekly routines allows you to get your mind in the game so that you can think clearly.

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Gratitude & Goals Journaling

Writing down 10 things you’re grateful for each day allows you to focus on everything that is working well (whereas so often our brains look for the gap and we spend our energy focusing on what’s not working, leaving us feeling frustrated and unmotivated). When you focus on the things you’re grateful for, you start enjoying your life more and operating your business from a better place.

Related post: How To Start A Gratitude Journal

Writing down your goals as if they’ve already happened creates an interesting effect on your brain, allowing it to bypass wasted energy on questioning if it will happen and get straight to work on figuring out how to make it happen. Plus it allows you to build your confidence that your bigger vision is inevitable and start making decisions and taking action from that place – which is really what’s going to help you get to the next level in your business and life.

Visioning

Picturing yourself at the point in the future where you’ve achieved all of your big goals, soaking in the feeling of your business at the next level and what that means for your life, really spending time picturing it as if it were happening now allows you to get excited about where you’re going so that you have the energy to take the kind of action that will move you forward, and the confidence to make decisions from that place.

Getting Outside

You can also elevate your headspace by getting out for a long walk, hike, run, bike ride, etc. Giving yourself time to move your body in nature allows you to get a fresh perspective and create breakthroughs you hadn’t come to before. This works so well for me, and for so many of my clients, who make it a non negotiable to walk for 1-2 hours a day so that they can reduce brain fog, think clearly, strategize, solve problems, and create big visions.

Related post: 5 Strategies For Better Time Management

Making Time for Hobbies / White Space in your Calendar

Finally, indulging in your hobbies and having one to two full days a week where you don’t do anything related to your business is one of the best ways to increase your energy. When you feel more connected to your family, to your friends, to yourself, you show up to work with a different energy and you’re able to create bigger and better results.

Optimizing your headspace

A clear headspace is great to have, but it won’t tie into your business growth unless you leverage it intentionally.

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Timeblock Your Week

Plan your week to reflect the key drivers/priorities of your vision for the next 1-3 years. Get specific on what you need to accomplish and time block exactly when you’ll be doing it. Leverage the pomodoro technique to keep your focus and energy high throughout the day. Make sure you’re using your most productive hours of the day on your most strategic work (once and for all, stop checking email first thing in the morning, and leave at least a half day a week where you don’t take any calls/meetings).

When you build the discipline of structuring your week to move your key priorities forward, you no longer need to rely on motivation to grow your business. And when you’re clear on exactly what you need to do and when you need to do it, you’re no longer consuming headspace trying to remember all the things, or avoiding sitting down at your desk because you’re not quite sure what to work on when you get there. This one is a real game changer.

Managing your physical energy

Challenging your body physically for 30 minutes a day, getting enough sleep on a consistent schedule, fueling your body with nutritious foods, and drinking enough water are a few best practices for increasing your physical energy. These are the foundations of good health, but sometimes they get overlooked when you’re on a roll and skip lunch, or work too late to workout. Making these aspects of your physical health non-negotiable is so important in having the kind of sustainable energy that allows you to scale your business to the next level.

Related post: 17 Ways To Change Your Life

Hacking high performance

Energy management is different for everyone — which is why you have to get clear on what gives you energy, and what takes your energy. Once you’re clear on your “energy in and energy out” activities, it becomes so much easier to balance out your days and sustain high levels of energy. 

For example, if I know that client calls require a lot of my mental energy, I’ll be sure to prioritize long hikes, reading, and meditating to get my energy back up afterward. I certainly wouldn’t be adding other ‘energy out’ activities like redesigning my website to my list because that would drain me, and I’d be on the downward spiral to burnout if I continued to make those decisions. I certainly wouldn’t be able to reduce brain fog.

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The most important thing you can do for your business growth is get really clear on how your days look and feel when everything is going really well. Create your own ‘high performance manual’ by identifying the kinds of things you make time for, and how you structure your week, when things are going exceptionally well. 

Related post: The Ultimate Guide To Setting Goals and Acheieving Personal Growth

I know I function at my best when I start my day with journaling, yoga, and reading; when I work 3-4 hours in the morning and then go for a 60-90 min hike; when I avoid screens before bedtime and read a book instead; when I have daily quality time with my family and go on big adventures on the weekends; when I make it out mountain biking, dancing, kayaking, rock climbing, at least twice a week. This is how I reduce brain fog.

This is me at my best — knowing this allows me to create boundaries around my work, so that when I am working, I am always productive and focused, getting more done in less time.

This is how I am able to run a 6 figure business working 15 hours a week, and it’s possible for you to hit your next level of business by working less too. Book a time to chat with me about how I can support you in this.

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As entrepreneurs, the power of thinking clearly in your business is so important. Which is why your success depends on your ability to manage your energy.

Your mental & physical energy is your most valuable resource. Luckily, it’s a renewable resource, and all you have to do to create more of it is apply the tips and tricks for overcoming brain fog and thinking clearly that work best for you, consistently in your daily and weekly routines.

When you have more mental clarity and physical energy, you’re able to smash your life and business goals out of the park.

ANA MCRAE

This is such a big part of the work I do with my VIP 1:1 coaching clients: supporting them in hitting their biggest business goals with more ease while creating fulfilling lives that they love. If you’re ready to elevate into your next level of personal and business growth, book a time to chat and let’s explore how 1:1 coaching can support you with clarifying your vision/goals, overcoming the limiting beliefs & self sabotaging patterns of behavior keeping you stuck at status quo, and executing on the key drivers of your business growth so that you can get your business to the next level, and a live the life you dream of.

I’d love to know, so comment below, what is your favorite way of managing your energy as a high level CEO?


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