The number of hours we have in a day may be fixed, but the quality of energy available to us isn’t. To be a consistently high performer, you have to be able to manage your energy, not just your time.
And contrary to what we may have been told or hope, no human is able to be 100% productive 100% of the time. It’s a myth.
We’ve all tried to manage our productivity, utilizing endless to-do lists, obsessively prioritizing tasks and meticulously scheduling activities. But it’s far too easy to get derailed and change focus, or completely lose direction.
When you focus on managing your energy, you bring your best performance to the game and in turn, are able to achieve tremendous results.
But how do you “manage your energy”? Start with these tips.
Find your Strengths and Utilize them
When you utilize your strengths, you are at your highest vibration. You are present and focused and radiate energy to others around you as well.
Figure out when you are most present. When things come easy. Times when the work and creativity are flowing and results are happening. Look for patterns and then build on those strengths. Make sure they’re utilized and worked into your life on a daily basis. You’ll find that your performance boosts you and those around you.
We hear people preach about this all the time but how many of us actually have the guts to live it? Being authentic means to stop doing the stuff that doesn’t fit with you. That includes trying to be someone you aren’t to impress others or to fit into a mold.
Ways to be authentic:
- Know what drains you. Take steps to avoid those tasks, conversations and events. Don’t agree to get involved in things you know you won’t enjoy and don’t care about. It is nothing short of exhausting.
- Know what lights you up. Asess when you feel most energetic. When you feel the flow and find time passing quickly without you noticing. Build those activities into your day.
- Stop fighting against your strengths and start utilizing them. You unleash remarkable energy when you shine. Trying to be good at things that don’t interest you is painful!
Interval Chunk Your Workload
Science has found that elite performers tend to work in focused time intervals followed by recovery periods.
Follow a similar system for yourself. Structure your workload into 25 – 90minute chunks. Follow each activity with something that renews or refreshes you. Get active and walk around. Switch gears focusing on a small task to take your mind off your current project. Taking multiple short breaks helps you gain more energy and stay productive.
Use your Peak Hours
Peak hours are core to energy management. Determining your most productive hours in the day can go a long way to helping you accomplish big projects.
Don’t know what your peak hours are? Monitor yourself for a week. List the times you’re in flow and able to crank out the most work with less effort. Take note of how you feel from hour to hour throughout the day. You’ll eventually find a pattern. Give some consideration as well to what you are most drawn to and at what time of the day. For example, do you prefer dealing with meetings first thing in the morning? Or do you find that scenario distasteful? Figure out when you most enjoy doing your tasks and keep your workflow consistent with that schedule.
Keep High Energy Time Sacred
Work with your high-energy time frames. Mold your schedule so you can work on other less critical tasks before or after your peak time so you can keep those high-energy hours for your top priority tasks.
And don’t second guess yourself if your peak times are different than others. There’s no right or wrong way of using your energy to be productive. If 5:00 am is when you’re at your most creative, by all means, carve that time out for yourself. Accept what works for you.
To be your most productive self you need to understand your energy. Otherwise, you’ll just end up exhausted chasing down your to-do list and rarely getting anything completed.