Time management is one thing.
But we all know people who put in lots of hours and get few results. In fact, sometimes we are those people. A twelve hour day can produce less when I’m dragging than a six hour day might when I have energy and enthusiasm for a task. In fact, I’m coming off a season where I’ve invested a lot of time in a way that’s challenged my energy. That’s hardly optimal. I’ve heard a few leaders speak on bringing your energy to a task and it’s really got me thinking.
What if we started thinking about our work and life less in terms of time management and more in terms of energy management?
If life is a stewardship, one of the best things I can steward is my energy. Bringing energy to a task is bringing an alert mind and full heart. It’s bringing optimism and drive rather than indifference or exhaustion.
If I really think of stewarding my energy as much as stewarding my time it would mean:
I need to make sure I show up to key tasks (writing, meetings, family and administration) with energy, rested, alert and ready to bring my best.
I would value down time, because off time actually refuels your energy.
I would pay more attention to what fuels me (rest, exercise, reading, friends, family, working on it, not just in it) so that my tank is fuller.
I would be more willing to walk away when I wasn’t bringing my best instead of putting in three more unproductive hours and wasting everyone’s time.
I would be more disciplined with down time because I would realize it allows me to bring my best to work, family and relationships.
Oh – and energy is something that can really help you make an impact. We all get the same amount of time each day, but energy varies from person to person. When we show up with more, we make a bigger difference.
What if you started to manage your energy rather than your time? What difference would that make?