Managing Your Energy
I mentioned in my last blog that people often teach time management, which is a good skill to master. Getting good at time blocking, using your calendar effectively and scheduling the most important things you need to get done are all important. The problem is though, if you are exhausted and can barely think, it doesn’t matter how much time you have.
You always have less attention than time so learning prioritization will make a big difference in your work and life. Tackle the most intense tasks while you have the energy to handle them. While this seems obvious, most people don’t do it. They do the easy things, things that are quick to be checked off their list’s so they feel productive. BUT, as Jim Rohn famously said, “don’t mistake movement for achievement.”
So the person is busy. Busy doing what? Are you busy accomplishing your most important tasks or just doing busy work? We are addicted to the dopamine rush from getting likes on our social media posts. The same rush comes from completing some small task. That addiction prevents us from doing more meaningful and impactful work though, and needs to be dealt with.
Key ways to help you manage your energy:
Prioritize the importance of each activity. Do the most important tasks first (MITs remember?) Create this habit.
Eat well. A Ferrari doesn’t run well unless it has high octane fuel. Your body and mind are the same way. You can’t fill your body with sugar, fatty and greasy fast-food and expect to perform at peak levels. It just doesn’t happen. Pay attention to what you eat and how often you eat. Clean up your diet and you will have more energy and vitality!
Exercise. Moving your body is good for you. You have likely heard the expression, “motion creates emotion.” Get moving and you will feel better about yourself. Better fitness translates to better ability to focus and concentrate on mental tasks. Make regular exercise a part of your life.
Have something to look forward to. Everyone experiences burn out, but we can limit this by having things on our schedule to look forward to. Maybe it’s a date night with your significant other. Maybe it’s a trip to someplace you love or want to experience for the first time. Maybe it’s an athletic event, a race or competition. Having things to look forward to helps us deal with the mundane and boring tasks that are required for our careers. I like to schedule something fun in my life EVERY WEEK. I want to have that excitement all the time and this is the best way I have found to do it.
Get good sleep. This should go without saying, but it’s amazing how many people don’t make getting sleep a priority. You have to. Learn how to do this and create a schedule that ensures you are rested and ready to go.