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