Are you skilled in energy management?
Keeping it balanced as a leader can be difficult – it can feel like you are being pulled every which way between work and family as well as physical, spiritual and mental health. It can be difficult to know which things to put your energy into on any given day and letting the ball drop in any of the areas can be frustrating and upsetting with lasting consequences.
Many organisations put the skill of time management up on a pedestal – and rightly so! Having the ability to effectively manage your time is important in all areas of life – we only have so many hours in a day, after all.
“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.
This is the crucial point, however; we only have 24 hours in a day. Our time is set out for us, none of us are able to add another hour onto the day, no matter how hard we might try. We only have a finite amount of hours in which to get everything we need to get done, done. We do, however, have varying energy levels and there are ways we can both reduce our energy levels and boost them.
Staying on top of healthy habits
We all know someone who seems to be a powerhouse – they never stop and they never seem to be exhausted by everything they’re taking on. As simple as it sounds, you can guarantee those balls of energy are being diligent in the way they treat their body; eating right, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep at night and resting your mind during the day (e.g, eating your lunch away from your desk) are all ways you can set yourself up for a day full of maximum energy levels.
Find out those things that suck both time and energy away from you and fix them. For example, many managers find themselves answering emails constantly. It’s easy to get carried away by answering emails immediately when they come through but it can also be draining. Instead, set yourself two or three times in a day to check in on your inbox. Spend 20-30 minutes only answering emails and focusing on that task. The rest of your time through the day is then free to focus your energy on other important tasks.
Going with the flow
We’ve all heard the old adage “Life is a marathon, not a sprint” at least once in our lives. It rings true, even as you tackle each day but it is important to recognise that we all have natural ups and downs in our energy levels during the day – they even have a name: ultradian rhythms. For many people, it’s around 3pm – for others, maybe it’s 11am! Spend a week analysing your productivity and emotions throughout each day and figure out where your ‘low points’ are. Identifying these times will make it far easier to go with the flow rather than fight against your energy levels.
There will be times when energy sprints are needed; deadlines can loom and urgent tasks do happen in the life of a workplace but it’s important to balance those energy bursts with time to rest your mind and replenish.
Learning how to manage energy effectively is not just a skill that leaders need to be well-versed in – all team members would be more productive if they analysed the things that suck their energy away and adjusted their behaviours, in the workplace and out of it, to maximise their energy levels. It’s your job, as a leader, to model this approach.
Are you ready to start managing your energy more effectively? People Make the Difference can help. To find out more, visit www.pmtd.com.au or call us on 0412 333 415. Try our online leadership training videos – $99 for complete access. Great value if you’re committed to growing your leadership potential.