Managing your energy is more powerful than managing your time

Understanding how to manage your energy will help you be more productive and efficient with your time, while still having enough energy for the things that really matter.

At the beginning of the year, I made a vow to stop bringing home the “leftover” bits of me. Instead I wanted to bring home the “best bits of me”. This has meant that instead of managing my time this year, I am managing my energy!

Manage your energy, not your time

If you’re anything like the rest of the population, you’re probably highly focused on managing your time. And rightly so. Time management is important. It’s how we ensure we’re home in time to help with homework, or have dinner with the family. It’s how we make sure we balance our work life and our personal life.

But, time management doesn’t take into account how you feel when you get home. If you manage to make it home for dinner every night, but you’re in a perpetually bad or distracted mood, is it really worth it? This is where energy management comes in. 

Energy management is like a petrol tank – if you run out, you’re stuck. Time management is like a stopwatch – it can be restarted. So managing your energy so it becomes a sustainable part of your life is absolutely vital, even more so than time management.

Energy management in the workplace

Energy management is also an important element in the workplace. According to a study conducted by The Energy Project and the Harvard Business Review of nearly 20,000 employees worldwide, employees are more productive and satisfied when their energy needs are met. In fact, researchers found that ‘the better people’s needs are met, the more healthy, happy, engaged, productive and loyal they become.’

Other research shows that people who are more energetic are more productive, creative and influential (positively) on others. And when there’s high energy across an organisation then the organisation as a whole is also positively impacted.

These findings suggest learning how to manage energy has a direct impact on workers’ productivity and performance and because of that, it is becoming increasingly important in the modern workplace.. In fact, energy management is such a key factor in achieving workplace success, that it’s more important than time management in terms of achieving optimal productivity.

Why managing your personal energy management matters

As business owners and consultants we have to manage both our personal lives and our businesses and practices. But we’ve all found ourselves so busy working in our businesses and focused so much on giving everyone else (clients, suppliers, advisors, employees) the very best of us, that we leave nothing in the tank for those that really matter. Our friends, our partners, our kids, our parents, those that mean the most to us, are just getting whatever we have left. (And often that’s not much!) 

But just because it happens to a lot of us, doesn’t mean we should sit back and allow it to continue. If we do, we could face some serious consequences. 

Consequences of not managing your personal energy

When you don’t manage your energy, you may experience several consequences, including:

  1. Burnout: If you constantly expend more energy than you can replenish, you may experience burnout. This can manifest as physical exhaustion, emotional depletion and a sense of cynicism or detachment from your work or relationships.
  1. Reduced productivity: When you’re low on energy, you may find it difficult to focus, concentrate and get things done. This can lead to reduced productivity, missed deadlines and increased stress.
  1. Poor physical health: Lack of energy can also impact your physical health. When you don’t take care of your body through exercise, proper nutrition and rest, you may be more prone to illness, injury and chronic health conditions.
  1. Strained relationships: If you are constantly low on energy, you may find it difficult to engage with others and maintain healthy relationships. This can lead to strained interactions with colleagues, friends, and family members.
  1. Reduced quality of life: Ultimately, if you don’t manage your energy, you may find that your overall quality of life suffers. You may feel unfulfilled, stressed and unhappy, and may struggle to find meaning and purpose in your daily activities.

How to manage your energy 

Energy management is the practice of managing and optimising your physical, mental and emotional energy levels to improve your overall productivity and well-being. If we can learn to use our energy more effectively, we can get more done in less time and with less stress.

7 Tips for effective energy management 

So, how can you manage your energy so that you bring your best home? Here are seven tips for effective energy management:

  1. Prioritise your most important tasks: By focusing on your most important tasks first, you can conserve your energy for the work that really matters. Make a list of your top priorities each day and tackle them early on. I keep the list to three things (yes! only three!) each day.
  1. Take breaks: It’s important to take regular breaks throughout the day to recharge your energy levels. This could involve taking a short walk outside, doing some stretching exercises or simply taking a few deep breaths.
  1. Stay hydrated: Dehydration can lead to fatigue and decreased energy levels, so it’s important to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  1. Get enough sleep: Getting enough sleep is essential for maintaining high energy levels. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night. I cannot stress this enough!
  1. Exercise regularly: Exercise is a great way to boost your energy levels and improve your overall health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
  1. Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness practices such as meditation or deep breathing can help you manage stress and maintain high levels of energy throughout the day.
  1. Naps: Need I say more? Naps are amazing for giving you a bit of energy to get you through the day. And they’ll help you  have enough energy for the most important people in your life.

By incorporating these practices into your daily routine, you can learn how to manage your energy and achieve greater productivity and well-being. 

Next steps 

What about you? What will you do next? Here are a couple of questions that you may want to ponder:

  1. What strategies do I use to ensure I get the most out of my energy? 
  1. How do I prioritise tasks to ensure I’m using my energy most effectively?
  1. What signs do I look for to indicate I need to take a break and recharge?

Wanna chat about how to manage your energy? Hit me up, and let’s jump on a call. Let’s help you get clear on what you need to do. And let’s see if you need a cheerleader to help you nail this year. I would love to help you in any way I can!

Looking for something else?

Emma also has a podcast.