Managing Your Energy, by Omagbitse Barrow

Managing Your Energy, by Omagbitse Barrow

One of the areas of personal effectiveness that receives a lot of attention is “time management”. We learn to prioritize, avoid procrastination and use to-do lists and calendars to manage our activities and tasks. If you have experience using all of these time management tools, you may find that sometimes in spite of your best efforts and intentions you still struggle with delivering your tasks on time – this is because although you have enough time, you just do not have the right amount of “energy”. The reason is that the narrow pursuit of managing time is indeed an effort in futility except when carried on alongside the pursuit of managing energy.

Time is a finite commodity, which once exhausted cannot be replenished. Energy on the other hand is infinite, it cannot be destroyed, and is renewable. So rather than just managing time and efficiency, focus on managing energy for overall effectiveness by paying attention to these four domains of energy:

  • Physical Energy: Pay attention to being in the right physical state and shape. Eat healthy; drink enough water; get enough sleep and rest; take short breaks while working long hours; and exercise often.
  • Emotional Energy: Maintain good and cordial family and interpersonal relationships especially with the people you work with. Do not work in toxic environments. Manage conflict effectively and be emotionally intelligent in your interactions with others.
  • Mental Energy: For most of us working in knowledge driven institutions we should pay significant attention to mental alertness. Train your brain by reading, reflecting and challenging yourself to learn new skills.
  • Spiritual Energy: We are all spiritual beings and whether we want to admit it or not – for even those who are atheists, we all have certain beliefs and values. Ensure that your life and conduct are in line with those beliefs and values and invest time in connecting with your spiritual side.

So, rather than just focus too narrowly on managing time, start paying attention to managing your energy across these for domains as well. Once you do, one of the first things you will discover is that you have much more capacity to perform, and it will almost seem like you actually have more time on your hands.

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