Manage your personal energy not just your time
‘Time management’ has almost become a buzz word in modern business. Everybody wants to improve their time management and, it is a very noble pursuit. However, time management is not the only thing that matters in the field of productivity. After all, what is the point in getting a lot more work done if you still do not have the time to enjoy your life. Time management is a popular subject among corporations and business entrepreneurs. But, it sometimes seems that the more we try to manage our time to get everything done that’s expected of us, the less we enjoy our lives. You don’t need to compromise like this; you can get more important work done and spend more time enjoying your life. You just need to manage your personal energy properly.
Why manage your personal energy?
It is easy; to focus on managing your time to get more done and bring more success to your life but if you don’t’ manage your personal energy; you are not going get enjoyment and fulfillment from your personal life. Isn’t that why we work so hard? So that we can live the life we really want to live.
Time management is an excellent tool for planning and organising but if you don’t have the energy to put that plan into action; your planning will have been nothing but wishful thinking. I have coached many people in the area of productivity and I have often discovered that my clients could identify the right work to focus on but they couldn’t get it done. They failed to realise that the difference between average and success is often just a six letter word – Action! You need to take action and the reason why you are not taking the action you need to take may be that you are failing to manage your personal energy properly.
So, remember, you need time management to set your goal, get yourself organised and create effective plans. You need energy management to follow through on those plans and turn your dreams into reality.
While time goes on forever, energy doesn’t. It has to be replenished or it runs out and you lose your capacity to the full extent of your capabilities. Trying to get important work done when you have low energy is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic – you can get something done and keep yourself busy but ultimately, you are still sinking.
If you want to manage your personal energy, it can be as simple as removing the things which drain your energy from your life and introducing more of the things which elevate your energy levels.
Work with your natural rhythms
Most people seem to have a really screwed up idea of what productivity is all about. They think that productivity is about finding more time to do more work. Experts in productivity have debunked that myth a long time ago. Productivity is not about expanding your work day; is about completing as much valuable work as possible during your work day. In fact, someone who is truly committed to productivity might even consider reducing the length of their work day in order to get more done. It sounds counterintuitive but it has been shown to work in many cases and, in Sweden they are moving towards a 6-hour work day.
In fact, working harder and spending more hours at work may actually reduce your productivity. It’s much better to find out what your natural rhythms are and work with those.
Starting to manage your personal energy
Working with your natural rhythms to increase your productivity makes sense because it gives you breaks so that you don’t burn out. The following are some simple strategies which have been shown to increase your personal energy and boost your productivity:
1. Schedule your breaks
This involves breaking your workday up into sections, using regular breaks. This places a limit on the amount of time you will work for in any one sitting. This time limit actually helps to remove distractions and improve your focus because you will want to complete the task you are working on before you take a break.
It has been shown, i.e. Parkinson’s Law, that reducing the amount of time you have for a task will actually lead to you completing the task within the new, reduced time frame i.e. you become more focused, committed and driven to get the task done.
While you are likely to burn more energy during these more intense periods, you will have scheduled your regular breaks which will allow you the recovery time you require.
You work harder to focus on the task at hand when you know there’s going to be a break when the task is completed.
2. Take naps
Experts are finding that short naps (30 minutes or so) during your low-energy times can actually spike your energy level and make you more productive for the rest of the day.
This is not new. Many of the greatest leaders throughout history have taken naps during the middle of their day. They understood that a brief nap leads to better recovery; allowing them to return to their work with more energy and motivation. Even as he governed the United Kingdom during World War II, Winston Churchill insisted on taking his nap in the middle of the day. That should give you an idea of just how beneficial he found that nap to be.
3. Discover your natural rhythms
If you want to manage your personal energy levels, you need to understand how your energy works. Energy is not constant; It ebbs and flows throughout the day. To get the most from your energy, you need to work with the natural rhythms of your body.
Working with your natural rhythms mean that you’re concentrating (important, difficult tasks) when your energy is high and resting (or performing non-important tasks) when the energy level is low.
To learn to manage your personal energy and increase your energy levels, check out Limitless Energy.
When you push yourself to continue working through periods of low energy, the quality of your work deteriorates. You find work less enjoyable and you become easily distracted and bored. You don’t go to work to feel that way. The key to changing this is to learn how your energy works and, working with the natural rhythms of your body. When you learn to manage your personal energy, you will no longer be just a great planner; you will be a successful action taker and achiever.