Time Management is Passé; Manage Your Energy to Achieve Success
I have time on my hand. I have planned my time to a T. I know at least a day in advance my to-do-list for any given day. I give myself enough time for each activity, which means I am not harsh on myself. I think I have identified all the pieces in the performance puzzle. However, I always find myself falling short of the desired outcome – either I am way behind my schedule or even if I manage to finish on time , I am not happy with the quality of the outcome.
Did you ever feel like me?
This happens due to the lack of energy. You may have tones of time on your hand but if you lack energy, you will end up disengaged in your work and life.
It is energy, not time, that is the fundamental currency of high performance. Time is a finite resource and same 24 hours are available to all of us.
In their book “The Power of Full Engagement “, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz have suggested a newer way of looking at the whole performance matrix.
|Old Paradigm||New Paradigm|
|Manage time||Manage energy|
|Avoid stress||Seek stress|
|Life is a marathon||Life is a series of sprints|
|Downtime is wasted time||Downtime is productive time|
|Rewards fuel performance||Purpose fuels performance|
|Self-discipline rules||Rituals rules|
|The power of positive thinking||The power of full engagement|
Your level of performance lies in skillful management of your energy. This in turn leads to improved health, wealth and happiness and that is what we refer to as success, isn’t it?
The “energy” in question here are of three types:
- Physical energy
- Emotional energy
- Mental energy
How to Manage Physical Energy?
Physical energy is the fundamental fuel in our life. These are derived from what we eat and drink. Try to make these your daily ritual:
- Go to bed early and wake up early
- Go to sleep and wake up consistently at same time
- Eat five to six small meals daily
- Do not skip your breakfast
- Eat a balanced, healthy diet
- Minimize the intake of simple sugars
- Drink 5 to 3 liters of water daily
- Take break every 90 minutes during work
- Get some physical activity daily
How to Manage Emotional Energy?
Emotional and physical energy capacity is inextricably linked. When the physical energy reserve depletes, we move into negative energy state. This inevitably leads us to a state of diminished emotional energy. Let’s see some of the ways we can manage emotional energy.
- Access pleasant and positive emotions:
We can have this from the experience of enjoyment, challenges, adventures and newer opportunities. Any activity that is enjoyable and fulfilling serves as a source of emotional renewal and recovery.
- Avoid negative emotions:
Try to stay away from all the negative emotions like hatred, dislike, jealousy toward others. Remember: You are living your own life and no one is responsible than you are for whatever state you are in currently.
How to Manage Mental Energy?
We need and use mental capacity to organize our lives and focus our attention on the things that are important to us. This capacity is intertwined with the physical and emotional energy capacity. If we are drained physically or emotionally, it is facile to expect a great mental capacity. So you know where to look for if you need to have a great mental acumen. Assuming that you have physical and emotional part taken care of, what should you do?
- Stay away from things that disturb your mental peace
- Keep yourself physically fit
- Enrich your mind
- If there is a problem that is bugging you, discuss with family or friends or take help of a professional
Have fun: No matter whether or not you think you need a break, schedule fun or relaxation activities in advance and stick to them.
Always give yourself double the break you think you need. I know how this goes, “Sure, I’ll take a break — I’ll give myself a whole hour off!” Not good enough. Whatever the break you think you need, double it. You are most likely underestimating the toll that all of your hard work is taking on your body and mind — even if you’re having fun.
Enlist the support of family or friends. If you schedule a get together with family or friends, you’ll have no excuse but to unplug. They can be great accountability buddies for taking the breaks you need.
The Spiritual Angle
All the three types of energy that we discussed above are reflection of our physical capacity. They are available to us most of the time. However, how we spend our energy is largely a spiritual issue. The force that causes us to act in all dimensions of our lives is the spiritual energy.
The “spiritual” here is not defined in “religious” term rather in simple and elemental terms: connection to our own set of values and to a purpose beyond our narrow self-interest.
What are your thoughts? How do you manage your energy?
Please leave your opinion in the discussion tread below.
To your continued success.