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The Secret to Working Smarter? Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time
Tired of being tired? Learn the secret to working smarter with your personal energy management.
Ever felt like you’ve lost control over your energy levels during the work day? We’ve all been there. When workplace demands rise and the workload seems overwhelming, it’s easy to feel like your personal energy gets depleted as the hours tick on.
At Joychiever, we understand that sometimes sacrificing time to renew your energy isn’t always an option in a high-pressure work environment. The good news is that you don’t have to. There is a way to have the best of both worlds.
Time is a finite resource. Energy doesn’t have to be. Let us teach you how to manage your energy, not your time.
Physical Personal Energy
It’s pretty common for people to consider nutrition, exercise, sleep, and rest as secondary priorities when they’re dealing with busy schedules. When the totem pole of responsibility gets higher and higher, dealing with those basic needs tends to get knocked down below other emerging needs. What we don’t realize is that we need to keep those necessities as our main priorities in order to give ourselves enough personal energy to manage other issues as they arise.
Harvard Business Review has a personal energy management program. This program asks participants to do an energy audit, which consists of 16 questions centering around the body, emotions, mind, and spirit. Most participants get an average of eight to ten of those questions wrong, which highlights where they have personal energy deficiencies. Understanding where your bad habits are affecting your energy is the first step in learning how to control your energy.
Once you’ve identified where your problem areas are, assess the habits that are counterproductive to your overall health. Do you tend to skip breakfast or fail to express appreciation to others? Do you struggle to focus on one thing at a time or spend too little time on tasks that don’t give you a sense of purpose? All of these circumstances may be causing your personal energy to dwindle throughout the day.
Try setting goals and rituals that counteract those habits. Go to sleep and wake up earlier than you normally would. This allows you to feel well rested and possibly get exercise in before work. Instead of skipping breakfast and eating two big meals a day, try eating three balanced meals with snacks to keep you well-fuelled instead of creating energy mountains and valleys.
And, most importantly, remember to take breaks throughout the day. This may seem counterintuitive, but taking breaks has actually proven to improve the efficiency of how you work. More efficiency allows you to manage your energy, not your time.
Quality of Personal Energy:
To take control of your personal energy, you’ll need to assess and address your emotions. Most people work best when they feel positive, but we naturally feel an emotional ebb and flow as the day wears on.
Without some kind of recovery, it can be difficult to maintain a positive attitude as you’re dealing with demands and challenges. This can manifest in irritation, impatience, anxiety, and insecurity. Learning what triggers your negative emotions allows you to take control of your reactions.
One way to reduce those anxious feelings is by doing a simple breathing exercise. Breathing exercises have proven to reduce stress or negative emotions as they rise up. Another way to enrich your positive energy is by expressing appreciation to others. Something as simple as sending a quick email or writing a quick note that denotes gratitude for a person can cause a massive improvement in the quality of your personal energy.
If you’re feeling especially anxious and feel like you need guidance, we can help you. To learn more, check out our blog about reducing your stress.
Focus of Personal Energy:
Sometimes, it feels like multitasking is the only way we can possibly tackle everything we need to get to throughout the workday. Who among us hasn’t checked their emails or answered a quick text inquiry during a meeting?
While this may seem productive in the moment, it’s actually the opposite. Any shift of attention, no matter how big or small, from one task to another adds on to the time needed to complete whatever task you were originally supposed to complete. In other words, checking your Slack messages or taking a phone call while you’re supposed to be focusing on another task only adds on to the time you’ll spend working on the original task. This phenomenon is known as “switching time.” It is much more efficient to block off large sections of time where you can solely focus on one task at a time.
One way to accomplish this is by setting specific times to check your email. For example, check your inbox once in the morning and once in the afternoon, and give yourself time to address all of the emails that arose within those designated timeframes. Outside of those set times, don’t check your inbox every time it gets pinged.
While it is important to not isolate yourself during the workday, sometimes going into an isolated room when you need to be “heads down” for a specific task allows you to get that task done quicker than it normally would. Of course, make sure you’re not isolating yourself too much throughout the day or week.
Fulfilling Personal Energy:
Let’s be honest, there will always be certain tasks you prefer doing over others. People tend to be more productive when they’re working on something they find fulfilling. When you’re doing something you actually like, you’re using positive energy, which contributes to better focus, perseverance, and (you guessed it) efficiency.
To begin a spiritual personal energy journey, clarify your priorities and establish rituals in three categories:
Doing what you do best and enjoy most at work
Do you find yourself getting lots of feedback on projects you don’t truly enjoy completing? Or, do you love doing something that takes a lot of time and focus to complete because it doesn’t come naturally to you? Assess where your strengths lie, and start utilizing those strengths in your daily habits.
Consciously allocating time and energy to areas of your life that you deem most important
This is easier said than done. We often say that something is important to us, but our actions don’t always reflect that. Quality time with loved ones, for example, is something that people often sacrifice for the sake of their professional responsibilities. Try setting aside a specific time or schedule in which you dedicate yourself to whatever it is you deem fulfilling.
Living your core values in your daily behaviors
It’s pretty easy to say that you value certain ideals over others. Timeliness and generosity, for example, tend to go a long way. Sometimes, we’re living life at such a fast pace that we focus on the lack of these qualities in other people and forget to uphold those qualities ourselves. Try to be intentional about your personal behavior and values living day-to-day.
Personal renewal is a vital part of any workplace, and it should be supported by both the worker and the employer. Without it, you may find yourself experiencing burnout. Finding ways to optimize your spiritual personal energy levels will leave you feeling enriched rather than depleted.
How do you manage energy instead of time?
- With careful planning and deliberate energy-saving strategies, you can learn how to control your energy without sacrificing any of your time.
How do you effectively manage energy?
- Check where your energy deficiencies are, identify the root of those problems, and establish routines that alleviate the negative effects on your personal energy.
Why do you need to manage your time and energy wisely?
- Not everyone has the luxury of flexibility when it comes to time management. However, we can control our energy. Learning how to balance the two ensures that you won’t experience burnout.
By focusing on the body, emotions, mind, and spirit, you can start to take control of your personal energy management. To learn more about how to effectively manage your work and workplace, reach out to us at Joychiever.
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