So, we hear this all the time. Don’t work harder, work smarter…. Well that sure sounds good. Doesn’t it?
How do we do it?
There is a concept I’ve worked with over the years and hear more about just recently called manage your energy. There was even an article in The Harvard Business Review (October 2007, Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy) about this.
To summarize, Leaders are being required to produce ever higher levels of performance (PEAK PERFORMANCE). The old standard, to work harder and longer inevitably fails though – as individuals drain their own personal batteries dry and have an underdeveloped habit of recharge and self-mastery. We end up with sick, disengaged and burned out teams and those who are in this state are not leading their staff anywhere good.
There are surprisingly simple rituals that help anyone who uses them with discipline and a dash of joyful self-honoring to restore their energy and resilience. To some these rituals will seem so foreign that they may be awkward. So – if that’s you – just try one a day every day for a week – and see how that works for you!
- Take a brief break at specific intervals (every 20-40 or 90 minutes – depending on the activity) and during these breaks serve the most depleted part of you: Your body? (take a power nap or stretch and move, perhaps a healthy snack) Your brain? (meditate by shifting your focus to something utterly relaxing – great uplifting music, a quick dance to a song, the outdoors, beautiful images or smells) Your emotions? (again, an utterly relaxing meditation or a quick chat with a very positive friend).
- Express appreciation to others – just try it! Be authentic – do it often
- Reduce interruptions and zero in on your task with quiet and focus
- Spend more time with the things your love and do best (take an inventory on how you divide your day)
If you find sorting out how to navigate the many layers of managing your energy – brainstorm with a trusted friend or advisor
Good luck! Enjoy the day