The strength and vitality that develops our capacity for doing work is called energy. Energy is a needed resource for enhancing a leader’s performance and efficacy. Energy is essential to performance wellbeing.
We invest much of it into our work and lifestyle each day. Although we generally talk about managing our time, the competing demands we face today require managing our energy to properly use the time we have.
Considering the polls that demonstrate the effect of balancing the competing demands on the workforce, 21% of employees reported feeling burned out very often while 76% of employees experience burnout at least sometimes, according to Gallup.
Gallup concludes that it’s not just the number of hours you work; it’s how you’re managed and how you experience work during those hours. So the question is do you need more time or more energy?
First, let’s understand from where your energy is derived. Energy is a basic human need. You need energy for your mind, body, emotions and spirit. How well you fuel your body with nutrition, exercise, rest and sleep covers your physical energy.
As you learn how to counter distractions such as multitasking and develop intentional focus, you are positioned to sharpen mental energy. Then by developing psychological flexibility, you enhance the quality of your emotional energy and subsequent performance.
Spiritual energy is cultivated through a sense of meaning and purpose, and at best when your activities and actions align with your core values or what matters most.
Clearly we can see no one energy source is sufficient on its own if you want to function at your best. These sources are interrelated and have a great influence and dependency one another.
Managing Energy, Not Time.
Because executive burnout can trigger a downward spiral of performances of both employees and the organization while influencing an your family life, let’s explore a counterpoint perspective to managing time and learn the simplicity of managing energy instead.
Here’s what conscious leaders ought to know about energy management.
- Track your energy levels. Create a log and track your energy levels throughout an entire day. Note what you are doing at hourly intervals from 7 am until 10 pm using the following scale for measuring your energy levels: 1-2: very low; 3-4: low; 5-6: neutral; 7-8: high; 9-10: very high.
- Evaluate your energy level patterns. At what times was your energy high? At what times was your energy low? What patterns can you observe about the activities associated with high energy? What patterns can you observe about the activities linked to low energy?
- Replenish your energy resources. Energy can be managed physically by building endurance and fitness; mentally by cultivating focus and attention; emotionally by cultivating excitement and connection; and spiritually by cultivating presence. Observing what you are doing when your energy is high during your day can help you to come up with possible energy-boosting actions when at your lowest.
Understand that human energy is like a battery. Because it depletes over time, it needs to be recharged regularly. Awareness is key to performance wellbeing and is also key to managing your changing energy levels throughout the day. This enables you to become healthier, maintain vigor, vitality and perform effectively in your personal and professional life.