Lots of people talk about time management as a key for success. An extension to this is to manage your energy levels effectively – that is – your energy management.
I know that at certain times of the day, my energy level is different to others and I match the activities that I undertake with that (as much as I can). I know that some times are good for working on the business, other times are good for working in the business … if you follow.
To manage your energy is to manage your performance
What then are some key tips about how we can manage our energy levels. Certainly, there are things in our business and personal activities that are in our control, so perhaps focusing on a few of these may help us.
Prioritize rest can improve your energy management
Make sure to get enough sleep. Research shows that getting enough sleep is essential for physical, intellectual, and emotional health.
Sleep can help with concentration, memory, and problem-solving ability. It can also help reduce stress and anxiety, and improve mood. Sleep can help strengthen the immune system by allowing the body to repair and restore itself. Not getting enough sleep can lead to fatigue, irritability, poor decision-making, and an increased risk of injury and illness.
Prioritizing rest means ensuring that you get 7-8 hours of sleep per night. It also means trying to avoid working late into the night and to create a nightly routine that helps you unwind and get ready for sleep. Additionally, it means avoiding caffeine and other stimulants in the late afternoon and evening, and avoiding electronics for at least an hour or two before bed
Exercise can help reduce stress, increase energy, and improve focus. It can also increase your overall health and well-being.
Try to exercise at least 3 days per week for 30 minutes at a time. If you don’t have the time or energy to commit to that much exercise, aim for 10 minutes of activity at least 5 days per week.
Eating a nutritious diet can provide sustained energy throughout the day. I had a long conversation with my PT about ensuring my energy levels didnt drop too low between meals. Nuts and berries were a useful mid morning snack that enabled me to stay ontop of my energy management.
This is especially important if you have a desk job or spend a lot of time sitting.
Eating healthy can help reduce stress and improve focus, while also preventing health problems that may result from poor nutrition. Eating healthy can be difficult, especially if you don’t know how to cook or are too busy to prepare your own meals.
If you need help eating more healthfully, talk to a dietitian or nutritionist.
Take regular breaks
It’s easy for our minds and bodies to get fatigued when we sit all day long. Taking frequent breaks throughout the day can help prevent fatigue and improve productivity by giving your mind a chance to rest from work-related tasks. Taking breaks can also give your body a chance to move and stretch, which can improve circulation and reduce muscle tension. A few ways to take breaks throughout the day are:
- Standing up when talking on the phone or reading email
- Taking walks around the office building during lunch break
- Taking a 5-10 minute nap after lunch
- Taking part in group activities such as walking meetings or team lunches
- Taking a quick walk around the block during breaks
- Exercising or taking a yoga class after work
Stress can drain our energy and focus. Take steps to manage it, such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.
- Deep breathing: Breathe in through your nose, hold for two seconds, then breathe out through your mouth. Repeat this process several times throughout the day.
- Meditation: Try taking 10 minutes every morning to sit quietly and focus on your breath.
Schedule time for yourself
Make sure to schedule time for yourself to do something that helps you relax and unwind. It’s important to give yourself some time to relax and unwind after a long day of work. This can help you feel refreshed and ready for the next day.
Make time for hobbies
Hobbies can be a great way to help you relax and recharge your batteries. I like to think of this as a way of adding back into your energy management equation.
- Try something new: Pick up a new hobby that you’ve always wanted to try.
- Get creative: Crafts like knitting, sewing, or drawing can be a great way to relax and reduce stress.
I remember just after I set up Wheresmylunch, that I had a conversation with a young entrepreneur. He went one step further and did a month of the new hobby, skill or change before moving onto the next. Something that I have to admire and could provide a real ‘rest’ away from work.