The keys to energy management are managing your physical, mental, and emotional energy. On the physical side, the three big keys are eating, sleeping, and working out. On the mental side, it’s about avoiding task overload and doing activities that are challenging enough to keep you engaged, but not so tough that they overwhelm you. On the energy side, this is about finding your motivation, following your passions, and playing to your strengths. It’s about spending more time with people and things that catalyze you and less time with things that drain you. Here are some solutions at a glance for energy management:
How to set boundaries
Setting boundaries is one of the most effective ways to keep your energy strong. You can set boundaries using time, such as setting a minimum or a maximum amount of time you will spend on something. You can also set boundaries based on emotional energy, which you can do by limiting the time you spend on something. You can also set boundaries by using quantity. You can set a minimum or maximum quantity and use that as your gauge. If you’re finding yourself drained, change your limits.
How to deal with resistance
Reduce friction. Hack away at the little friction that slows you down or gets in the way of your recurring activities. Create glide paths for your common activities. Have a compelling “Why” to keep you going when times get tough or you need to find your motivation. Think about resistance as making you stronger. If resistance is counter-productive, then find ways to eliminate it or go around. Find a way to ride the wave versus swim upstream.
How to find your passion
Pay attention to where you naturally feel drawn to or where you want to spend your free time. Ask yourself, “Would I do it for free?” Be brutally honest: do you really enjoy something, or do you enjoy it because you think you’re supposed to or because other people enjoy it? Pay attention to whether your current skill or ability limits your passion.
How to improve your energy
Spend more time in your strengths. Spend less time in things that make you weak. Know your limits. For example, eat before you get hungry. Take breaks before you hit your mental fatigue. Add activities that catalyze you to your weekly schedule. For example, you can meet with a friend who tends to inspires you.
How to maintain your energy for the long haul
Find your compelling purpose that you can use to inspire action. Learn your limits for mental, emotional, or physical fatigue. Find rituals that renew you, such as favorite ways to take breaks or optimal bed times. Spend more times in strengths and less time in weaknesses. Spend more time with people that lift you up, than people who bring you down.
How to use your energy effectively
As a general pattern, consolidate things that make you weak and do them first, when you’re at your strongest (“worst things first”).
How to find your strengths
As you spend your time, pay attention to what makes you feel strong and which activities you feel naturally drawn to.
How to play to your strengths
Rather than focus on improving your weaknesses, focus on improving your strengths. Find ways to spend more time in activities that play to your strengths. At work, find ways to use your strengths to deliver value. On your team, find ways to use your strengths to contribute and fill key gaps. While you should play to your strengths, be sure to limit liabilities or weaknesses that get in the way of your best results.