During a day at work, we often find ourselves managing our time in order to be productive. If we spend more time on something, the quicker it gets done. However, time management isn’t the only factor that contributes to a productive day. From my experience, energy also plays a large part.
What is energy?
Energy can be thought of as a resource needed for constant physical or mental activities. Like many other resources, energy is finite, meaning that it will deplete throughout your day.
Keep yourself nourished
At all times, you need to keep yourself fed because food is a direct source of energy. In most work places, we are given an hour for lunch to unwind and nourish our bodies.
But when times are hectic and deadlines are crucial, have you ever felt a sense of guilt when it’s time for lunch? Sometimes you just choose to skip it and dedicate that time to completing your work. The truth is that, in the long run, this type of behavior is not sustainable. You will eventually become tired and frustrated, and eventually lose the will to work.
So make sure you make the best of your break time. Eat, socialize and take your mind off work.
Get enough sleep
While sleeping is the most common way to recharge, some of us neglect it in order to get more done in a day. Sleep plays an important role by allowing your body to go into downtime while it repairs itself. Depriving yourself from quality sleep not only affects your energy but also your health. People with insufficient sleep are at a higher risk for high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes. Also, not getting enough quality sleep also leads to a decrease in attention span and an increase in risk of accidents and injuries.
That being said, too much sleep is also a bad thing. The side-effects are similar to the deprivation of sleep. When you wake up after having a good number of hours of sleep, try to get yourself up slowly and not fall into the trap of napping. Follow a fixed sleeping schedule and stick to it. Doing so will cement your biological clock making you feel sleepy just before your sleep time and getting up naturally after hours of rest.
Master your mood
We’ve all been there. Getting stuck in a traffic jam, having a minor disagreement with a loved one, or even just getting up on the wrong side of the bed. All of these happening before work even begins. Not the best way to start the day, but one that is fairly common time to time. While events and people can bring us down, the final decider of your mood is still your own self.
It’s convenient to get swept up by everything and getting down with all that has happened. You need to be self-aware that you can indeed control how your outlook is, even if it’s for a span of time. When you’re all bummed out, the likelihood of you wanting to do anything has severely plummeted. This kind of negative behavior affects your energy as dealing with these emotions will slowly sap it all away and nothing will get done.
“We’ve all been there. Getting stuck in a traffic jam, having a minor disagreement with a loved one, or even just getting up on the wrong side of the bed.”
What you can do is to always keep in mind that you are the master of your own emotions; your mood. This isn’t as simple as it sounds as each of us have our own thresholds for dealing with stress. Try to think positively and keep solving problems in your mind. Eventually, the tension from all those problems will feel insignificant and you can easily brush it aside.
Quality over quantity
It’s not all just about the amount of time we work though, as quality matters just as much. What it means is that our effectiveness matters even more, and is largely influenced by our energy levels. We need to create opportunities to create more energy throughout the day.
Instead of stacking more things to do in the free-ish slots in your day, it is better to use that time to accomplish what we’ve gone through so far; staying nourished, getting enough sleep and mastering your mood. Always remember that your energy is finite, and that you can only accomplish so many things in a day.
“Always remember that your energy is finite, and that you can only accomplish so many things in a day.”
Prioritize the tasks that are important, that are time-sensitive, that are creating a bottleneck for others. When you have done so, stack the less important items at the end of every day, spread out during the week. By doing so allows us to focus on quality productivity instead of burning more hours trying to complete everything.
The remote side of things
If you’re a reader of our blog (thanks!), then you probably know that the team at Stampede work from various locations around Malaysia and the rest of the world. The act of managing your energy when you don’t have a physical office can be tricky. ‘Our offices’ are always at our fingertips and this means that we can move in and out of work fairly quickly.
While having flexible hours is a great, it also means drawing the line between work and personal time can be a challenge. Sometimes we get called in out of our usual work hours to get certain tasks completed due to time-sensitivity and urgency.
Thankfully this doesn’t happen very often, and the times it does is when there is a major issue, like a website going down. If we worked in a physical office, we’d have to ask one of our developers to drive into the office and problem solve the issue there and then.
We hope this article sheds some light on why you should focus on managing your energy instead of just solely managing your time. If you have something to share with us, or just want to say hi, drop us a comment down below and we’ll be glad to respond.