“Energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of high performance.”
– Tony Schwartz, CEO The Energy Project
There’s plenty written about time management. But what about energy management?
After all, you can’t increase the number of hours in your day, but you can manage, expand and better focus your energy.
“If you could wake up tomorrow with significantly more positive, focused energy to invest at work and with your family, how significantly would that change your life for the better?” That’s the question posed by Tony Schwartz, CEO of The Energy Project.
And the answer of course is a big, loud… VERY significantly!
Think about it: More energy = more willpower. More energy = getting to the gym more often. More energy = more quality time with your kids. Getting that promotion. Making more money…being happier…living an extraordinary life.
OK, no argument there. But how does one increase one’s energy? (And I won’t lecture you about proper diet, exercise and sleep, cuz I know you already know about all that.)
Time Management vs Energy Management
Time management and energy management are, of course, closely related. I maintain that the most overlooked aspect of time management is Self Awareness: your ability to know yourself, including your own energy patterns. If you’re not in touch with your energy you can’t manage it, and the best time management practices will be for naught!
And no one has looked more closely at human energy management than consultant Tony Schwartz, who notes that, while a refrigerator or an automobile each have one source of energy, we humans have four sources.
“You can’t make more minutes in the day, but you can increase your energy!” K. Kruse, Forbes
Four Types of Energy Management
The first is Physical Energy, which is influenced by caloric intake, exercise, your general health, sleep, etc. (Again, I know you know all this, but it bears repeating, because it’s so fundamental and too often ignored.)
Then there is Emotional Energy – or the quality of your energy. You can burn energy very quickly when you’re in a negative emotional state. And the more upbeat and hopeful you are, the more energy you will preserve and have at the ready. This is why it is so critically important that we ADHDers don’t beat ourselves up about foul-ups and setbacks — and why we must celebrate our victories, big and small (what I call “score your successes”).
Next there’s Spiritual Energy – which is energy harnessed from something larger than ourselves. Examples of this are our values, our faith or our belief in a given cause or purpose. To tap into this energy source, at the very least, make sure you have your personal values or mission posted in front of you where you work most often. They are powerful fuel — but only if kept front-of-mind (and therefore, in-your-face).
Long-term goals that we’re stoked about also act as emotional/spiritual fuel.
Last, there is Mental Energy – or focused energy. This is of course the one we ADHDers have the most trouble with. But if we can be more aware of the preceding three and keep those sources firing in the positive zone, we will be better able at any given time to sit down and give some clear mental focus to the task at hand. And you’ll help sustain your energy if you don’t multitask or hop between work and social media!! (But you already knew that, too.)
Besides making sure I attend to all these energy sources, there are a range of “power hacks” I use every day to extend my energy and output. I shared those in a recent episode of Crusher™TV and I’ll probably do a blog on them in the future, but do give some thought and action to these important (and impactful) energy types!
P.S. You might like to watch that episode of Crusher™TV where I dig deeper into this topic, including the recipe for my “2X Energy Blueprint.” (You can become a member for a buck and cancel any time ya like.) It’s Episode 65, and you can preview that episode here: