Harness the power of personal energy management at work
If you speak to any productivity expert, business coach, wellness coach, mentor or advisor about how to get more done and feel more energized, you will usually be told that the secret is time management. In other words, you need to think about how you’re going to fit all the things you need to do into your day in an efficient manner so that you have time.
And they’re not wrong. This is absolutely an important aspect of getting things done and it shouldn’t be underestimated. That being said, one of the common themes that I have learned from working with, being mentored by and learning from the great teachers in personal and professional development is that energy management is at least equally important, and possibly even more so than time management.
What is Energy Management?
Many people seem operate from the position of if they can ‘fit it in’ then they can do it. As long as you can find a free slot in your diary, then there’s no reason not to commit to that additional undertaking. This might sound reasonable but the reality is that there’s only a finite number of things you can do in a day. Even when you have the necessary time available.
The problem is that we require mental and physical energy to function and if you’ve just spent all day doing lots of important tasks and dealing with lots of people, then you simply won’t have the necessary energy to devote to other tasks and in particular, the energy to do the things that are most important to you. It’s all very well to accept all those additional tasks but do you really have the capacity to be able to do them to the best of your ability?
This is often the reason that many of us end up procrastinating or just lying on the couch watching bad TV in the evening. There’s basically a limit to how much we can do.
How to Start Harnessing Your Energy
To start harnessing your energy, the first step is to recognise that this is a finite resource that you do in fact need to manage. From here, you can consider how much you normally manage to fit into a day and then use this as a baseline to try and ascertain at what times you are at your highest level of energy, mentally and/or physically, depending on the tasks you want to accomplish and when you usually start to run out. Learn where your limits are and avoid taking on more than that in a single day.
Likewise, if you do need to fit a lot in, then find ways to ‘top up’ your energy levels throughout the day. That means perhaps taking regular breaks to move, breathe, meditate, recharge and eating energizing foods that will give you a boost.
Adapted from the Australasian Sustainable Wellness Academy’s Accredited Diploma of Wellness Leadership Program – The framework, tool kit and mentoring for managers and leaders to effectively integrate wellness into lives and workplaces.