“We cannot create time – there are only 24hrs / 7-, but we can create ENERGY for our day to day.”
This principle has made a radical change in the way thousands of managers have begun to rethink how to cope with their Sustained High Performance like any elite athletes would do:
It’s no longer just about spending energy, it’s about knowing how to SPEND and how to RENEW.
If any of these comments resonate with you, please continue reading the post:
“… I can’t take it anymore, I’m always stressed and I don’t reach my objectives…”
“… The day passes and I have the feeling of having done anything, I just don’t find meaning in what I do …”
“… I sleep fatally and I am very tired, trying to do my best, yet I still have so many things pending …”
“… I want to do things for me, but with my busy agenda it is impossible …”
Approximately 20 years ago, an article published in the Harvard Business Review, about the “Corporate Athlete” revolutionized the concept of time energy management.
The insight that triggered it comes, once again, from the world of sports: “For a tennis player who spends energy at each point, taking breaks are mandatory to recover.”
In Sustained High Performance Sports:
- The rule is training regularly and hard, and then compete only on specific occasions. Always with defined seasonal intervals and mandatory breaks; with the goal of consolidating a professional career of approximately 10 – 15 years …
In the compared Sustained High Performance of a Manager:
- There are no opportunities to train-experiment, as the manager is always ¨competing¨. Generally skipping taking breaks and necessary rest; with the goal of consolidating a professional career of approximately 40 years …
What a difference between these two worlds that we compare so much!
Numerous research studies confirm these alarming reflections. Having had the opportunity to learn from the Human Performance Institute, has also giving me some techniques-methodologies, that I will, in my own way, try to synthesize for you.
I encourage you, even for a moment, to forget your “Time Management” and instead focus on “Energy Management”. There are 4 dimensions of energy which you can start your own reflections.
Working with executives and athletes, I usually use “The 4 ENERGY TANKS” as a metaphor. And although they are interconnected, it will help you differentiate them to be able to attend and care for each of them:
PHYSICAL: Provides the essential base of the energy and endurance. It stimulates the recovery of the other dimensions. It is the “QUANTITY” of our energy.
- How am I feeding?
- What do I do to sleep more and better?
- How much and what kind of physical exercise do I do?
- Do I take breaks in my daily journey? … …
EMOTIONAL: Promotes the emotional management and the internal climate, creating our relationships. It is the “QUALITY” of our energy.
- Do I usually prioritize what makes me enjoy in my work and in my personal life?
- Do I stop to reflect on my own daily achievements?
- Do I appreciate, value and recognize the achievements of those around me?
- Am I really present when I share good times with my family, friends, or colleagues? …
MENTAL: Facilitates the focusing on the task to be performed, mindfulness. It is the “FOCUS” of our energy.
- Do I try to do only one thing at a time?
- Am I able to identify what distracts me?
- Do I tend to “put out fires”?
- Do I use breaks just for reflection?
- At what times of the day do I “think” more clearly? … …
SPIRITUAL: The engine of the search for the meaning and purpose of our life. It aligns the values with the mission, being a source of transcendent motivation. It is the “FORCE” of our energy.
- Is there an important gap between what I say is the most important thing in my life, with what I really do?
- Do I make decisions in my day to day influenced by external demands rather than by my values and purpose?
- Do I feel that I am having a positive impact on others? …
So, what can we do now?
You can now reopen your agenda. But this time ask yourself these two questions before filling in any quadrant:
- Does this task that I will schedule FILL or DRAIN my energy?
- What can I do differently to feel that I am taking care of my “energy tanks” in each new quadrant?
I will agree with you that between any theory and reality, exists your high daily demands. And it is here where that PAUSE for you, to CHOOSE-DECIDE and schedule, will surely make a difference in your favor.
SPEND + RENEW = PERFORMANCE
- DEVELOP ROUTINES AND SELF DISCIPLINE THAT BOOST THIS OSCILLATION.
The SCIENCE that explains each of these dimensions will only make sense according to the ABILITY you have to design your unique management of your 4 “tanks” of energy. And fortunately, only you can do it.
Do you manage your time ENERGY?