Manage your time. Do more with less. If you can manage your time well, you’ll be more productive in all areas of life. The flaw in this thinking is that time is finite. You can manage time all you want and continually push yourself to get more done. This tires your brain, drains your spirit, and disengages your soul. The key is not to simply manage your time, but also manage your energy.
Unlike time, energy is restorable. When you manage your energy well, you’ll have more for your priorities. If you don’t manage your energy, you can’t manage your time. You can think about and schedule all the things you need to do, but if you don’t have the energy to do them, they won’t be accomplished appropriately. With so many things competing for your attention daily, it’s important to manage your energy before you manage your time.
The Three Pillars of Energy Management
Keeping your energy in check means giving attention to your brain, spirit, and soul. Think of it like a three-legged stool. Remove one leg, and the stool topples over. The same is true for your energy.
To replenish your energy, implement the following into your daily life.
Stimulate Your Brain
. The human brain likes control and certainty, and it’s very good at predicting the next thing that is likely to happen based on the information it has. That’s why you often feel better when you perceive you have control over a situation and stressed if you think you have none. Additionally, the brain is programmed to fear. This is a good because the fear is what has allowed humans to evolve. The drawback to this fear is that the brain will take three pieces of information and make a story out of it—usually a negative one. This becomes reality until you get another piece of data. Talk about an energy drain!
To replenish your brain’s energy, do the following
Awaken Your Spirit.
- Your brain is part of your body; it needs the right food for optimum health. Eat three nutritious meals a day, exercise, and drink plenty of water.
- Reconstruct your stories. Stop the story and seek out the missing pieces of information. For example, if you get an email from your boss telling you not to take part in a task you volunteered for, without explanation, you would likely think your boss doesn’t believe you’re capable of the task. In reality, your boss may need you for another task, may think the task is not challenging enough for you, or may not need any assistance on the task any longer. But you’ll never know until you ask.
- Analyze what helps and hurts your thinking ability. Do 200 emails staring at you in the morning make you exhausted before you even start the day? If so, don’t do that task first. Do the most important things when you’re at your best, as those tasks will actually energize you so you can handle the stressful tasks later.
- Give yourself two hours a day for focused attention on a key project—the earlier the better. No multi-tasking! Your brain is rested after your sleep, so this is the key time for focused attention and productivity.
The human spirit yearns to soar. The spirit enjoys lofty goals and challenging tasks. How spirited someone is often relates to how purposeful they are. It’s common that when people lose their purpose in life, they feel deflated or depressed. An energized spirit is what catapults you out of the mundane and into an exciting, new endeavor.
To replenish your spirit’s energy, do the following
Feed Your Soul
- Do one thing every day that makes your spirit soar. Whether it’s reading poetry or listening to music, if your spirit is fed by that, do it.
- Think about what you want to do in your life. Dream big!
- Read things that stretch your mind. Unleash the power of your spirit by exposing your mind to new things—take time each day to think and concentrate. Your spirit can’t gain energy to tackle big goals unless it has some quiet time to prepare.
. The human soul likes ritual. It enjoys the simple things in life, beauty, and nature. The soul is what connects you to life.
To replenish your soul’s energy, do the following
- Plan what you want tomorrow to be like before you go to bed. This allows your subconscious to work on your challenges and big decisions while you sleep.
- Take time for enchantment. Your soul loves beauty and wants a connection with the earth.
- Experience the present fully. Focus on the things around you. Be mindful of your surroundings and activities rather than trying to multi-task. Really engage in life in the moment.
- Build rituals for yourself. Something as simple as eating dinner at the same time every day is a ritual. Your soul and your brain crave ritual and gain energy from it.
By focusing on these three areas of your life you’ll gain the much needed energy to tackle life. With your energy replenished, time will no longer be an issue. You’ll feel ready to handle anything that comes your way with ease. So make it a habit to stimulate your brain, awaken your spirit, and feed your soul.
Jean Kelley, Industrial Sociologist and founder of Jean Kelley Leadership Consulting, has personally interviewed over 20,000 people. She is the author of “Get A Job; Keep A Job” and “Dear Jean: What They Don’t Teach You at the Water Cooler.” Jean has positioned herself as America’s workplace coach. For more information, please visit www.jeankelley.com.