We've all heard of productivity and time management, right? How about energy management? No matter how cleverly you've managed your time, you're not going to be able to be productive at all times— you're a human after all. That's why energy management can be more important than time management. Here are a few ways to manage energy
Schedule for energy
Our energy levels vary just like the intensity and mental power required for different tasks. Before you schedule around energy, rate your tasks from draining to energizing. Generally, we have the most energy in the morning once we wake up which gives us space to effectively do creative or other exhausting tasks. We have a period of neutral energy till, after lunch, it's around 3/4 PM for me! During the neutral period get all of the other tasks done.
When the low energy period hits, try to take a break ( in the open) or do a task you love. For me, I like to write these blogs that's why I'm writing them at 3— it restores my energy!
Again until your day happens to come to an end you have normal energy levels to get other tasks done! I just used a general model of energy but this will greatly vary for everyone— I noticed how I felt at what times for a week to get a hold of my BPT ( biological prime time) If you're a massive nerd like me you could even make a spreadsheet to record your energy levels. Once you know your energy and time correlations, set boundaries around tasks like only 1 strategy meeting a day.
Sidenote: Willpower is tied with your energy— you may not want to do that thing but when you've just woken up you have the mental strength to take on that problem no matter how much you don't want to! This is why I suggest not 'easing into your day' but diving in headfirst. This itself has another benefit of increased energy once you get that thing done first thing in the morning you know there is nothing harder than that the rest of the day!
Breaks can be nice!
Taking 3 breaks; 2 short and 1 long in an 8 hour work period can maintain your energy! A short break of 15 minutes in the mid-morning and afternoon along with a longer break of 30 minutes around lunch.
Why do you work better after breaks? I don't know the scientific reason but here's what I know; Working for extended periods of time can get boring unless you're enjoying what you do. Breaks elevate happiness level allowing you to get back to your tasks with restored energy!
That raises the question, what makes you happy? According to Laura Vanderkam in the Forge, we are happy when engaging in physical, social, or spiritual activities. Spiritual could be praying or meditating to just listening to uplifting music! Activities of these categories can be scheduled into your assigned breaks regularly to keep you up and running 💪 Read more of her blog on breaks here.
In all honesty, I still manage time more because of the size of workload that comes with building Pinglr 😥 but after learning my energy and time correlations I have scheduled around those, improving happiness and the quality of the work itself.
Even if you don't work around the clock, I suggest you analyze your energy levels— it's been a gamechanger for me!
Hope you enjoyed this!