4 ways to manage your energy better at work
Autumn has really started here in the UK. Less sunlight, more rain and wind. I feel it in my energy levels immediately.
It reminds me again of how important it is, especially in the darker months, to manage my energy in a good way.
Four energy wellsprings
To renew your energy you can focus on 4 energy wellsprings: body, mind, emotion and spirit.
The first wellspring, your physical energy, is the most obvious one.
A healthy diet, exercise and sleep are essential basics.
Did you know that the consequences of chronic sleep deprivation are already noticeable when sleeping one hour less every day? It ensures you to have trouble when concentrating on tasks, remembering things and making rational decisions. What would this mean for your work?
Your mental energy is the energy you get from analytical and thinking tasks. We all have tasks that drain us or lift us. How is it with your mental challenge? Are you bored or maybe mentally tired after a long period of high concentration?
The third one is emotional energy and this is often the result of our connections with other. For example, working in an appreciative environment leads to satisfaction and positive exchange. On the other hand, fear and frustration drain your energy and have a negative impact on your performance.
The final energy wellspring is spirit. This is the energy we get from doing something meaningful. Maybe you have experienced working hard and late on a project, and feeling physically and mentally tired. But you gained the energy to continue because the project had substantial impact for society.
Small rituals every day
To manage your energy in a good way it’s important to recognize that you can’t keep going on at high intensity. You have to reload your energy on time in these four areas of body, mind, emotions and spirit.
And of course, a two-week holiday is great, but if you don’t build in small rituals in your daily life your energy tank will be empty again before you know it.
Therefore, start with identifying what drains you in your work and then think about ways to quickly boost your energy.
Here are some examples:
- Go to bed before 10.30pm and bring a book instead of an Ipad.
- Do lunch walks at least 3 times a week.
- Listen to an upbeat feel good song between energy-draining meetings.
- Craft your job so that it excites you again.
- Have a phone call with a friend when you’re in the car after work.
- Express your appreciation to one person every day. It’s a practice that seems to be as beneficial to the giver as to the receiver.
- Be a mentor for new employees.
- Join a sustainability volunteer group in the company.
So, which energy wellspring will you focus on more this autumn?
 Schwarz, T. & McCarthy C. (2007). Manage your energy, not your time. HBR Oct;85(10):63-6.