When you’re working over 60 hours a week and trying to balance a personal life, social life, and a healthy life, your days can get really crazy.
It’s hard to manage your inbox, meetings and deadlines efficiently let alone stay motivated and energized to make it through the day.
It becomes a juggling act of “What should I give up today?” in order to cram everything into your hectic schedule.
Rather than make sacrifices, try focusing on energy levels first.
In the book, The Power of Full Engagement, authors Schwartz and Loehr suggest managing time isn’t nearly as important as managing how you invest your energy.
Specifically, it is important to understand how you spend your energy throughout the day because every one of our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors has an energy consequence.
Left unattended or ignored, you may soon find you are completely out of gas.
Here are three strategies to help manage your energy and navigate lower “highs” and higher “lows” throughout the day.
1. Knock Out MITs First
Bite the bullet and line up your MITs. MIT stands for Most Important Thing.
You know exactly what they are but often procrastinate about getting them done. Procrastinating means you’re thinking about it – which means you are consuming energy thinking about why you are dragging your feet.
So get your MITs done first thing and free up the mental energy and space that could be channeled into something more deserving.
For me, working out makes my MIT list (that’s not the problem). What consumes my mental energy is deciding on an AM or PM workout.
Although mornings are challenging to get out of bed, I find with a little effort it’s over and done in a jiffy.
However, if I decide to put it off until the end of the day, I spend a lot of mental energy coming up with excuses like “I’m tired”, “I don’t feel like it” – “Traffic is bad” “The gym is too busy” …you get the picture!
Save the mental energy and get your MITs done first thing!
2. Stop “Angry” Working
You know what we’re talking about. Angry work is the death of energy. You know when you are working on a task and you are just plain angry and frustrated.
Subconsciously, the negativity you’re carrying is draining your emotional tank – and the bottom line is…the only person mad about the situation is you!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you sit at your desk with a cheesy grin on your face all day – that would be unrealistic – but I am suggesting you embrace the task you’re working on and shift from negative to neutral energy – the work has to be done anyway, right?
3. Build in wiggle-room
While the calendar has become one of the most common time management tools – not every day goes perfectly as planned, so allow some wiggle-room in your schedule between tasks as much as possible to provide flexibility when things change.
Like literally, I’m talking about moving (wiggling) your body to release built-up stress and tension.
Sure you can be all prim and proper and go for a walk, or you can also pull up your favorite playlist, pop in some earbuds and bust a move, LOL!
Dancing is joyful. It not only gives the mind a rest, it releases tension and shifts your energy upwards at a moment’s notice.
Try one, two, or all three of these strategies to make better use of your energy throughout the day.
Remember: You only have 86,400 seconds (I like to think of them as units of energy) in the day.
Use them wisely to manage your energy and master your rhythm.