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In today’s digital era our pace is rushed and relentless. We’re wired up and connected at all times, and in the same moment, we’re melting down and crashing hard. Time management is no longer a viable solution. How can we keep our energy to endure high performance at work as well as maintain our health, happiness, and overall life balance?
In my coaching sessions, one of the comments I hear most is “I’m tired.” Trust me; I get it. The market is moving fast, and there isn’t much time to get all of the items on our lists done, let alone time to rest. At the same time, taking time to rest and recover is critical to success.
In the book The Power of Full Engagement, authors Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz discuss the concept of managing our energy and not our time. This is quite a different concept for most of us. Many of us believe that time doesn’t change and we can’t control it. Our response and the energy we put into our time is what we can control.
Balancing stress and recovery is critical in all facets of life. When we expend energy, we draw down our reservoir. When we recover energy, we fill it back up. Too much energy expenditure without recovery leads to burnout and breakdown. Too much recovery without use or sufficient stress leads to atrophy and weakness.
There needs to be balance between the two: equal work and recovery. Here are some tips to help you manage your energy:
1. Take a time-out each day. Are you asking, “How and when?” This doesn’t have to be a long break—even just twenty to thirty minutes to step away from the phone and computer. You can open a window and breath in the air, listen to music, call a friend for a fun talk. Just step away and shut your mind down. The world will not fall apart in twenty minutes.
2. Eat better. It’s true. Eating less fast food and a more balanced diet will give you better energy to face the day. If you’re on the run, put a cooler in your car with some fruit, water, and snacks to allow you to grab a quick refuel when you need it.
3. Work with the “right” people. You don’t need to work with everyone. Take time to make sure you are choosing to work with the right people— those you can help, who want your help, and who value you. Nothing can drain a battery faster than working with the wrong client.
4. Give yourself a break. No one is perfect. Neither is life. You can have the best-laid plans for the day, and they can change in an instant. That’s okay. Try your best. If you get off track, just breathe and get back on the routine as quickly as you can. At the end of the day, review and reflect on your daily activities. If you did your best, celebrate! It isn’t about being perfect; it’s about doing the best with what you have.
5. Ask for help. I know this is hard for many—me included. This is a busy and crazy world, and we need to support each other. We can’t be in two places at once, and it isn’t fair to ourselves, our families, or our clients to try to be. If you need help, ask for it. Find a friend, mentor, or guide.
I know all of this seems like common sense, and it’s easy to sit here and give advice. So I’ll tell you from my heart that I’m working hard to live these tips. It isn’t easy, but every day I get up, get focused, and commit to doing my best. I no longer punish myself if I don’t get it all done. I just do my best.
Give it your all, and take time to celebrate you. You work hard; give yourself some grace.
This article was adapted from Clara Capano’s new guidebook Find Your Focus: 52 Weeks of Clara-ty, now available on Amazon and other major booksellers. For more information on Clara Capano and her work, please visithttp://clara-ty.com
Photo credit: Louis Moncouyoux