When I work with my clients on time management, I stress that it’s not all about time; it’s about energy too.
I like to use the analogy that we only have so many energy credits to use in a day; using them wisely to get things done is essential. How does it work?
First, let’s understand how we get our energy credits. At the most basic level, energy credits are by getting a good night’s sleep, maintaining healthy nutrition and hydration regimens, reducing stress whenever possible, exercising regularly, and reducing alcohol consumption.
Now, let’s say you start your day with 100 energy credits. How should you most effectively use them?
- Limit your tasks: Using simple math, if you put 20 tasks on your list, each task will only get five energy credits. As a general rule, that may not be enough to make significant progress on each task. Conversely, if you have five tasks on your plate, each task will get 20 energy credits. That may be enough to complete the task or at least make significant progress.
- Start with something simple: Starting your day with a win will give you a shot of adrenaline that will help propel you to the next and next task.
- Do the hard stuff during your superpower hour: Most of us have a good idea of when we are the most effective—plan to work on your most challenging or least desirable task during your superpower hour. You will need more energy and resilience to do the hard stuff.
- Take breaks: No matter how inviting the task may be, our brains still need rest. Make sure to step away from the project now and again to ensure you don’t encounter brain fatigue.
- Avoid distractions: Our brains are trying to make sense of all the senses it takes in. Whenever possible, do your work in a secluded space and with a clean workspace. If seclusion isn’t in the cards, wear headphones or any distraction-limiting device.
Remember, good time management isn’t only about time; energy is equally important.
What can you do to balance your time and energy to be more productive?
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