5 Ways To Manage Your Energy Levels
No one doubts that we live in a world that is moving at lightning pace. In fact, the speed of change has never been faster. As a result, the most common theme I keep hearing my clients and colleagues say is "there are not enough hours in the day." How can I get everything done? I need to learn to manage my time better. I need to become more productive.
Yet ironically, none of us can learn to manage time. As a leader, you all have 24 hours in a day – 1,440 minutes. This is a constant, which is never going to change.
What you can do, however, is manage your energy. Energy is the amount of effort we expend into doing something. Approach a task with high levels of energy and you can often get the task completed with super-human speed. Approach the same task with lackluster energy, and it seems to take forever. I’m sure you can all think of a situation where this has happened for you.
So here are my five tips for managing your energy levels so that you can become as productive as possible each and every day, and get more done in less time.
1.Minimise the Number of Decisions You Have To Make Daily
Did you know that we make over 10,000 trivial decisions every day, and that our decision making ability decreases throughout the day ? Therefore the smart thing to do is to focus your energy on the business critical decisions you need to make every day, and minimize the number of inconsequential decisions you make. A simple activity like having a “uniform” for work can stop you wasting time on thinking about what to wear each morning. It’s no surprise that Steve Jobs wore his trademark black turtleneck and jeans, or former US President Barak Obama only wore blue or grey suits.
2. Block and Tackle Your Schedule
To be more effective, make sure you schedule everything in your diary. I mean everything. This means that you don’t have to wake up each morning wondering what to do, that’s already done. You know what time you have meetings, what times you are working on sales and marketing,, etc. Better still cluster similar activities together and plan your week so you have specific days for different tasks. At Entrepreneurs Institute, Monday is the finance day when everyone has to report on their weekly metrics, and Wednesday is a creative day when people work on new projects and ideas.
3. Avoid Task Switching
Nothing wastes more time and energy than multi-tasking. Start one task and stick with it for an allocated time without interruptions. That means no answering the phone, emails, or jumping on social media. A study by Google revealed that when you switch tasks, it takes you 20 minutes to get back to the state you were in before you engaged in the interruption. That is all wasted time, as well as energy, as you seek to get back into the inspired state you were previously in.
4. Focus on Activities That You Enjoy
You naturally have more energy and enthusiasm for a task when you really enjoy it. So set up your team so that you have people available to work on the tasks that you least enjoy, as these will be the ones that deplete your energy. So often you are told to develop your weaknesses, but I really believe that if we can focus on what we love then we will get more done.
5. Eat Good Quality, Healthy Foods
You need to fuel your body with healthy foods if you are to maximise your energy levels. How about starting each day with a healthy green juice, and maybe a brisk walk or some yoga stretches? This will release endorphins that will help boost your momentum for the day.
So the next time you take on a task, think about what the ROEE (return on energy employed) is. Does the task inspire and motivate you, or will it leave you feeling depleted and exhausted? After all, you only have so much energy – so use it wisely.