Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time
One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones were invented to save you time, you just never manage to get everything done. With so much to do in a day, you end up exhausted with only half-finished work.
With the festive season run-around and preparations coupled with year-end fatigue, your energy levels are probably lower than ever.
So how can you keep your energy levels high enough to ensure that you get through the most important tasks for the day?
We’re going to let you in on a little secret that we believe everyone should know and implement in their lives. The key does not lie in time management, it lies in energy management.
We’ve put together a few steps to help you manage your energy and as a result manage your time.
- Try to be a “morning person”
How often have you heard this advice – wake up early so you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice – start early, finish early.
Successful people are very often early risers. The early risers are one step ahead of the crowd: calm, collected, and accomplished when everyone else is rushing and scrambling to get things done.
When you wake up early, you have more time for planning, strategic thinking, and getting organized, and in December you will have a head start on the Christmas shopping. You will find you waste less time being disorganized or making bad decisions.
This technique alone won’t work for everyone, especially if you’re not a typical “morning person”
- Determine your “peak hours”
Energy management begins with identifying your most productive hours in a day. Being in tune with your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.
Not all hours are created equal. Sometimes an hour is enough to blaze through a massive project, and other times all you manage is tiredly sending a couple of unimportant emails.
Motivational speakers, performance coaches, and CEOs advocate finding and leveraging your peak hours of the day as the key to being more productive. Following a schedule that utilizes your most productive work hours will ensure that the important projects receive the energy investments they deserve.
Do some research on ultradian rhythms – 90–120-minute cycles that run within the 24-hour circadian day. It suggests that our day is driven by cycles that affect how alert and productive we are.
At the beginning of the cycle, we experience heightened energy and focus, and at the end, we may feel scatter-brained and fatigued. Is your computer crashing from the million tabs you have open? Likely, you are right in that energy valley.
- Schedule your high-energy hours
Once you have a sense of that high energy time, you can then mould your schedule so that your less important tasks are either scheduled before or after this designated productive time.
Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high-priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus.
If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunchtime as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. Just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar.
There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your personal circumstances.
What is important to remember is that you need to do some research into this and find what works for you.
Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.