Quiz: How Well Do You Manage Your Energy?

When the seemingly relentless demands at work and burdens of a busy life take their toll on work performance, we tend to think that managing our time better will improve the situation. If we can just work faster, multitask more efficiently, things will be better, we think, as we buy the latest time management gadget or software.

However, as Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, authors of The Power of Full Engagement, explain, it is the skillful management of energy, not time, that most significantly affects high performance. Too often, we squander this valuable resource through energy-taxing habits—physical, emotional, mental and spiritual habits. Take this Self-Quiz to see how well you are managing your energy.

  1. I rely on sugary or carbohydrate-rich snacks for bursts of energy when I need an energetic pick-me-up.
  2. Life is an endless marathon to be endured; you just have to keep on running.
  3. I tend to do what feels immediately pressing and easier to accomplish rather than make intentional choices about how I spend my time and what matters most.
  4. I hate routines; they’re too much like being stuck in a rut. I prefer to be loose and spontaneous.
  5. I’m so busy I rarely have time to reflect on what I value most deeply.
  6. I seem to be stuck in overdrive; I feel like I’ve lost the ability to shift to any other gear.
  7. I work out (cardiovascular and weight training) irregularly, if at all.
  8. I regularly get less than six hours of sleep.
  9. I rarely take breaks; that way, I can get more done.
  10. When I take the time to notice, my breathing seems shallow; I seem to go a long time without taking a deep breath.
  11. Anxiety, frustration and overwhelm seem ever-present for me.
  12. When I’m under pressure, I easily become harsh or defensive with others.
  13. Personal relationships are not something I devote a lot of energy to. If they don’t work, I move on.
  14. I smoke and/or drink; to be honest, doing so really helps lower my anxiety level.
  15. It’s been a long time since I’ve done something purely because it was enjoyable or felt good.
  16. Downtime is wasted time.

If you answered “true” to more than just a few of these statements, you’re probably not performing—or feeling—as well as you could be. If you would like to explore how to live in a way that enhances your energy, not depletes it, don’t hesitate to call.

 

Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications

 

Self-Quiz: Are You “Too Busy”?

Time is the great equalizer. Everybody gets the same amount: 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour. We can’t save time or accumulate or rearrange it. We can’t turn it off or on. It can’t be replaced.

But these days, it seems as if the lament of not having enough time has become a national anthem. Everywhere people find themselves constantly in a rush, over-booked and over-scheduled with no time off. Life is accompanied by the ongoing stress of not enough time. And sometimes doing too much and being too busy can be a way of numbing feelings or disguising depression or anger.

Though it may not always seem so, how we fill our time and how we spend it is our choice. Answer the following questions to discover if you’re caught up in the “too-busy” cycle.

  1. I constantly find myself doing “urgent” things and trying to catch up.
  2. I allow myself to drift into obligations when I don’t know how much time or energy they’ll require.
  3. I find myself running from when I get up in the morning until I go to bed at night. I’m always tired and never feel like I accomplished enough.
  4. I seldom schedule a day off for myself, and when I do, I tend to fill it with activities.
  5. I don’t make time for “self-care” activities: physical exercise, nurturing or “pampering” myself, cultural stimulation, spiritual well-being, learning something new, playing, or simply doing nothing.
  6. I seldom have time to do the things I love.
  7. My work and project areas are cluttered with “I’ll look at this later” stacks and “to-do” piles.
  8. I often miscalculate how long certain activities will take.
  9. I often miss deadlines or work long hours to meet a deadline.
  10. I respond to interruptions such as phone calls, faxes, email, beepers and pagers, and allow them to take me off track.
  11. I try to keep things in my head rather than making lists. If I do make a daily “to-do” list, it’s impossible to complete in a day.
  12. I tend to move from one urgent thing to the next, rather than working toward specific goals and objectives.
  13. I find myself constantly wishing I had more time or projecting an imaginary future when I have more time, making comments such as “as soon as…” or “next year…”
  14. I spend time running errands and rushing because I didn’t plan well enough.
  15. I spend time doing things I could pay someone else to do.
  16. I often do things because I “should,” or continue to do things that no longer fit who I am.
  17. Other people complain that my schedule doesn’t allow enough time for them.

Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications