Energy Management is a concept that was explained in detail in a 2007 HBR article, titled “Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time” The framework provided lends useful insights into the idea behind managing day-to-day energy to ensure employees are engaged and productive, and find their work fulfilling.
The overall concept of energy management includes 4 aspects of energy:
- Physical Energy
- Emotional Energy
- Mental Energy
- Spiritual Energy
Following is a list of recommendations for each of these aspects.
If you feel a lack of physical energy, please ensure:
- You’re eating right. Nutrition forms a big part of our overall health and physical fitness will lead to mental, emotional, and spiritual fitness. Simplify your meals – don’t mix chicken with meat, or pulses with fish. Try and consume proteins, carbs, or fats from a single source at a time. Have lots of water during the day and always drink a glass of water before your meal. Don’t consumer water for at least half and hour after your meal.
- You exercise often. The minimum is 3 times a week for 40 minutes each. Brisk walking is a good exercise at the basic level. Take the stairs as much as you can. Park your car away from the buildings and utilize that opportunity to stack some steps for each day.
- To get a minimum of 7 hours of un-interrupted sleep every day.
- To take regular breaks during intense work days. Walk around for 10 minutes after an hour of focused work.
If you feel emotionally exhausted:
- Pause during the day and take a mental break regularly. Think of something other than work. Read a novel, play a game, call a friend.
- Appreciate those around you. Making people feel good about themselves will lead you to feel better as well.
- Change the stories you tell yourself. Shift your linguistic patterns. If you discover that a big part of your conversation is about the negatives in life, consciously start talking about the good things. Your brain will believe what you say and it will de-stress you.
If mental energy is an area of concern:
- Avoid multi-tasking. Our brains can only focus on one thing at a time. Multi-tasking is mentally draining and leads to a drop in productivity.
- Get rid of interruptions. When you’re in a meeting or require focused time, switch off interruptions. Put your phone on silent. Try scheduling a ‘phone-check’ and ‘email-check’ after every hour, this will enable you to gather momentum for work.
- Try changing your work space. A change in location leads to a mental revitalization.
For spiritual rejuvenation:
- Take time out of your busy schedules and revisit your big picture plan. Know your values and your vision for life to ensure you are on the right track. A misalignment between vision, values and reality often leads to high stress situations.
- Clarify your priorities in life. Remind yourself of what is important in life often. Live each day to ensure you’re prioritizing your activities appropriately.
- Keep a ‘switch off’ time at home. It is a good idea to switch off your communication devices for 2 hours once you’re home. Say between 8-10pm you will be present with your family, completely.