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Time is finite, your energy can expand

With rising demand at work, endless opportunities for entrepreneurs, playing multiple roles in life throughout the day, one thing that everyone aspires for is MORE TIME. With unlimited time at our disposal we feel, we can get everything done and be ahead of our To-Do list.

Unlimited time maybe the answer but it will never be the logical one. While time is finite, your energy is not. Managing your energy and expanding it, could potentially help you conquer your task more effectively, in less time and in-fact may help you buy back some time. So the hack to having more time, being more productive lies in your energy management.

Energy comes from – Body, Mind, Emotions & Spirit. In each, energy can be systematically expanded and regularly renewed by establishing specific rituals—behaviors that are intentionally practiced and precisely scheduled, with the goal of making them unconscious and automatic as quickly as possible. Don’t just invest in developing skills, knowledge, and competence. Pay attention to your capacity – your energy. Individuals need to recognize the costs of energy-depleting behaviors and then take responsibility for changing them.

The Body: Physical Energy

Inadequate nutrition, exercise, sleep, and rest diminish people’s basic energy levels, as well as their ability to manage their emotions and focus their attention. Few rituals that could help you regain the lost vitality and physical energy.

  • Eating smaller but frequent meals could help some and eating 2 big meal with no snacks could help others. Listen to your body and follow it.
  • Reduce your alcohol intake. It will help you to sleep better and have more energy the following day.
  • Take frequent breaks during your day to renew your energy.
  • Listen to music during your break.
  • Exercise. Walking is underrated. You can go for a walk with your family or a good audiobook could be your companion.

The Emotions: Feeling Energy

When people are able to take more control of their emotions, they can improve the quality of their energy, regardless of the external pressures they’re facing. To do this, they first must become more aware of how they feel at various points during the day and of the impact these emotions have on their effectiveness. Most people realize that they tend to perform best when they’re feeling positive energy. What they find surprising is that they’re not able to perform well or to lead effectively when they’re feeling any other way.

Unfortunately, without intermittent recovery, we’re not physiologically capable of sustaining highly positive emotions for long periods. Confronted with relentless demands and unexpected challenges, people tend to slip into negative emotions—the fight-or-flight mode—often multiple times in a day. They become irritable and impatient, or anxious and insecure. Such states of mind drain people’s energy and cause friction in their relationships. Fight-or-flight emotions also make it impossible to think clearly, logically, and reflectively. How to have a feel good mind?

  • Gratitude – When you catch yourself slipping into negative frame of mind, pause and think of few things, people, occasions in your life that you are thankful for. It will immediately change your state of mind.
  • Appreciate others, send a hello or thank you text to someone from your contact list. Engage in a short conversation to bring your day back under your control. Music is a good mood booster as well.
  • Surround yourself with people who are uplifting and encouraging. Spend time with those that challenge you but aren’t toxic.
  • When feeling stressed or low, pay attention to the story you are telling yourself about the situation. Change it to a positive one.
  • 3 Lenses to view every situation with:
    • Others Lens: Every person has someone they look up to – their role mode When dealing with tough situations, ask yourself – what would my role model do? It instantaneously makes you think objectively and takes the emotion out of the decision making process.
    • Long Lens: Good question to ask yourself – No matter the outcome of this, will i be thinking about it 5 years from now? If not, time to move on.
    • Wide Lens: No matter the outcome, can i learn something from this situation.

The Mind: Focus Energy

Your mind likes something to focus on. It does not like constant switching of focus. Multitasking may seem as a necessity in the face of all the demands you juggle, but it actually undermines productivity. Distractions are costly: A temporary shift in attention from one task to another—stopping to answer an e-mail or take a phone call, for instance—increases the amount of time necessary to finish the primary task by as much as 25%, a phenomenon known as “switching time.” It’s far more efficient to fully focus for 90 to 120 minutes, take a true break, and then fully focus on the next activity. How to have sound mental energy:

  • Get good sleep. Reduce alcohol intake. Exercise and walk a lot.
  • Focussed effort for 45 – 90 – 120 minutes and then take a proper break
  • Once you pick a task, finish it. Clicked on an email, now either respond to it, forward it or archive it. Don’t leave it lingering in your inbox, it will end up lingering in your mind and your neurons are firing away that energy.

The Human Spirit: Energy of Meaning and Purpose People tap into the energy of the human spirit when their everyday work and activities are consistent with what they value most and with what gives them a sense of meaning and purpose. If the work they’re doing really matters to them, they typically feel more positive energy, focus better, and demonstrate greater perseverance. How to stay in touch with yourself?

  • Have a vision statement for that encompasses your values, focus, desires and improvements you want to make. Read it daily.
  • Reflect back each day & see if you are doing what makes you come alive.
  • Reconnect with yourself by being silent at least 10mins twice a day.

Invest in yourself in all dimensions of your lives to help build and sustain your value. Individuals who do so, bring in their multidimensional energy wholeheartedly to task they undertake every day. When your energy grows, your productivity &your results grows and you buy back time to get ahead in life.

Source: Harvard Business Review

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