Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time
One is unlimited. The other isn't.
From 2019 to 2020, I was working at a travel tech company. (Hint: the name starts with an A and ends, also, with an A.) I was working in Learning & Development, a field I've dabbled in and out of since graduating.
I learned many things there, about both the job and myself and how I relate to the world. But, by far, the most shocking revelation (to me) was this:
Time management (pardon my French) sucks.
For someone who is used to managing her daily schedule down to the last second, the discovery that time management isn't the golden key to limitless productivity was, to say the least, disruptive.
Instead of time, I learned, the key is to manage energy. Our physical energy, mental energy, and probably most importantly, emotional energy.
We have a finite amount of time in a day—there's nothing we can do about that. But we can have unlimited energy. Energy can be replenished through food, sleep, five minutes resting on the couch, taking a deep breath or two, joking with a colleague. The techniques are endless.
More importantly, no matter how well you manage your time, the time you allocate will not matter one bit if you don't have the energy to spend that time well. Imagine spending an hour on a task when you're tired at the end of the day versus twenty minutes in the morning after you've had your morning coffee. Which do you think would produce better results?
It's a no brainer. But it's puzzling how so many of us (my past self included) focus on time management, often to the point of obsession, as the key to unlocking our secret potential.
So try this. From today. No, from this minute, check your energy level before you take on a new task. And if your energy level isn't quite there, do something about that first.
Don't try and finish that report at 1am in the morning, bleary-eyed and fed up with it all. Don't sit down and write that important email to the boss when your mind is confused and scattered.
Just don't. And see where that takes ya.
Until next Friday… Stay cool, stay safe, stay thoughtful,