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Daily Nuggets: A For Impact Blog

“Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time”


Today I’m highlighting some of Tom’s thoughts on Energy/Time from the archives

This comes from one of my favorite authors Jim Loehr and is captured on the cover of his book, THE POWER OF FULL ENGAGEMENT. Everybody knows about the RETURN ON INVESTMENT. Very few people understand RETURN ON ENERGY.

Managing your ENERGY includes figuring out when you are most productive (early a.m. for most people) and then doing your most important things at that time.

It’s also about practicing OSCILLATION. Jim Loehr says this OSCILLATION means the constant BALANCE between INTENSE ACTIVITY and RECOVERY. Building RECOVERY time into your day such as exercise or meditation or a walk or even a nap (as W. Clement Stone used to do) provides RECOVERY. You can practice oscillation on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis. (Funny thing. I’m actually dictating this as I’m walking down to feed the horse and the miniature donkeys.)

I wish everyone would grasp this idea as soon as possible. It’s amazing what happens when you focus on your ENERGY LEVEL instead simply allocating time during a 10, 12, 16-hour “day”.

Note: Something to think about. TIME MANAGEMENT is all about lists and priorities and Quadrant II activities vs. Quadrant IV. It doesn’t take into consideration your ENERGY, your ATTITUDE or the INTENSITY in which you function.

Funny thing. TIME management ends up using a lot of TIME, while ENERGY management ends up being about FOCUS and FLOW and takes a heck of a lot less TIME.

P.S. This oscillation, intense activity combined with recovery is tied back to the whole both/and thing. Every elite athlete knows that intense “muscle burn” needs to be offset with ‘muscle rest or recovery’. You don’t work out 10 hours a day every day. World class boxers who are “in training” mix in Road work and Ring work and Rest. (Often taking naps during the day. George Foreman was supposedly really good at this. ?) This concept can be applied to your life and to your business day. Even a few moments to work on pranayama or yoga breathing, meditation, counting to ten or whatever can re-charge your energy system.

Special Note: ROE is a great LIFE principle… and an important BUSINESS and SALES idea. It’s Eduardo Pareto’s 80/20 on steroids. It’s Ivy Lee and Andrew Carnegie writing down the most important things they have to do that day and then doing it (with maximum ENERGY). It’s particularly applicable to WHO you work with, WHERE you work, and WHY you’re working.