Monday, December 05, 2016

Managing Your Energy, Rather Than Your Time

…I look after myself. I watch what I eat. I exercise regularly. I reflect a lot and have developed keen self-awareness and even though I’m always contactable, I make time for myself and I make sure to use up all of my annual leave...

Time management is certainly important, but we all have the same number of hours in the day as the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama etc. In a lot of cases, the state of our bodies and minds in relation to how productive we are and how well we progress comes down not to how much time we have, but how we use our time.

In months gone by I would begin my days at 7am, knowing I had an hour and a half before settling down to my workload for the day. In those 90 minutes, I’d scroll through social media, catch up with the news around the world, check my e-mails, have breakfast and scroll through social media again. After a time, I noticed that I felt listless when I’d sit down to work. Upon reflection, I realized that I was using up a lot of mental strength first thing in the morning on trivial activities and tasks that could wait. By the time I reached my desk, I had to motivate myself to get through the day’s work. Time wasn't the problem. I could complete everything I wanted to achieve in the day (work, exercise, meditation, reading) but I was lacking in energy and so struggled more than I should have. So I resolved to use my time in the morning more productively. Now, I use the 90 minutes each morning to exercise and meditate for 30 minutes and then I’ll usually read or watch something inspirational to help set me up for the day. By investing in myself during the free time I have, I feel much more energized and am certainly much more engaged in what I do and more productive because of it. It’s all about prioritizing and shaping your day to make the most of the time you have. The best way to cultivate this habit is to ask yourself this question before you do anything – am I about to add value to myself or others or is what I’m about to do a waste of time?

Of course, not everything has to be achieving goals – there should be time to rest and relax and do whatever you enjoy. But by reducing the amount of mindless activities and replacing them with activities that requires you to invest in yourself or others, you’ll be amazed at how much energy you cultivate – and how productive you become in the process.

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