By now, your plan should be coming together nicely. With your DREAM capturing both the starting point and the meaning behind your efforts, FOCUS helping you to mobilise your time and energy towards realising it, STRUCTURE allowing you both the security of knowing the essentials are being taken care of and the space to create bigger things and COURAGE building movement and momentum behind your business, all that remains is being knowing how to make sure you have the energy to deliver your best, wherever you are.
It’s fair to say that this piece of the process will only be relevant to you if you find yourself falling into bed exhausted at the end of the day, or if you’re using the weekend to recover for the week ahead. If that’s not you, you can stop reading here and rest easy in the knowledge all you need do is keep practicing the other 4 steps until they become second nature.
If however, you have days that resemble an energy roller-coaster then please read on. This is the technique I used to repair the reputation of a multi-national, multi-million dollar business and take them from persona non grata to #1 in the country in 18 months. It’s been immeasurably helpful too in allowing me to launch – and grow – my business in a recession.
How you manage your energy matters more than how you manage your time.
If you practice the steps we’ve already covered, when you do create more time in your day you’ll be clearer about how you can spend it in the pursuit of quality activities, be they professional or personal. But having more time isn’t always the answer.
Often, when that extra time does open up, we collapse. Rather than it being an opportunity to do something genuinely nourishing or valuable, it feels like a brief reprieve. We often lack the energy we need to use that time well. Yet everything from the way you manage your business relationships, your ability to respond to challenges with resilience, the creativity of your ideas and the quality of your work relies on you operating from a position of strength.
Have you noticed that when you’re full of energy, you do your best work, answers come easily, you find yourself in flow, things seem less stressful and you finish your day feeling energized? Whereas on those days when you’re tired, you become easily distracted, short tempered, nothing seems to work and you find yourself wishing away the hours until you can wrap up your day. Which would you rather create more of in your business?
We’ve been conditioned to think that if we can manage our time well, success will follow, but the landscape has changed.
“It’s not more time we need – it’s the energy to manage our time well.”
Energy and focus go hand in hand. A tired mind struggles to stay focused on the task. A fresh and energised mind moves swiftly, is more creative and finds solutions quicker.
Where does your energy go?
Research suggests there are 4 main types of energy: physical, mental, emotional and social.
Think back over the past week, was there a day when you started out feeling full of energy but which somehow got derailed and left you anxiously waiting for the end of the day? Cast your mind over the events of the day; did you skip lunch (physical), fall prey to a lot of distractions, emails or long unproductive meetings (mental), experience something particularly stressful (emotional) or spend time in the company of someone you find challenging (social)?
Chances are, one (or more) of your energy reserves were tapped into while you were dealing with something demanding. Where we come unstuck is by getting so busy making sure everything happens that rather than correcting, or even planning for this, it becomes so regular that we come to expect it.
The trick to keeping your energy tanks full.
Knowing where your energy goes is also the first step in knowing how to replenish it.
Take a moment to think about the things that give you a physical boost, it may be a nutritious lunch, sunlight or exercise. Likewise, what stimulates you mentally? What makes you feel challenged and fully engaged? What perks up your mood? Humour, great results from a challenging piece of work, recognition? What social situations fire you up? A great team, conversations with peers or mentors, speaking in front of an audience? It will be different for all of us. The trick is in knowing what works for you.
When you know which activities deplete and which regenerate your energy reserves, you can look ahead to your week and plan to intersperse activities you know will tax you with those you know will recharge you. With practice, this simple – yet profound – technique won’t just keep your feeling energised, it will allow you to manage your workload, life and stress with more grace and calm.
Simple steps to remember as you get comfortable managing your energy reserves
- Be mindful of those activities, environments & people that restore your energy and those that deplete it.
- Proactively plan for and manage your week to balance out energy usage and restoration as much you can to begin finishing your days – and weeks – feeling energised.
Leave a note below to share what helps you to keep your energy levels high and don’t forget to grab your copy of the companion workbook to the series here.