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How to manage your energy

The key to success at work and in life is not so much about managing time, but rather, managing energy. It isn’t just starting strong, it’s staying strong.

To preserve energy and use it wisely – just as with any other valuable resource – you need a good amount of self-regulation and strategy to keep you on track. Otherwise, it’s easy to underdo it, overdo it, or not do it at all.

Time and energy management coach Elizabeth Grace Saunders says there are four steps to accomplishing more, with less effort. Here they are:

Set upper and lower boundaries. Think about how much and how little you want to do towards a goal each day or each week. This allows you to make progress, but also provides wiggle room so you don’t get discouraged or burnt out. For example, if you’re writing a book you may determine you want to write no less than 30 minutes per day, and no more than 3 hours (to avoid burnout.)

Understand your tendencies. Are you high drive, low drive, or fluctuating drive? Meaning do you do a task all at once, gradually over time, or a mix between the two. However you like to work, you need to keep an eye on it because you need to be able to recover from it the next day. Pace yourself.

Build in rest and recovery. Force yourself to stop when you become too tired or exhausted so you can recharge and begin fresh the next day.

Give yourself breathing room. Sometimes back to back meetings are necessary, but also block off large amounts of time for thinking and projects. Don’t just leave blank space on your calendar, actually block it off and don’t let others schedule meetings with you at that time.

Life is not a sprint, it’s a journey. A journey that requires endurance, planning, discipline and staying power.

And managing your energy – not just your time – is the key to more productivity, effectiveness, and happiness in the long run.

Have a great week.

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