Energy – both the good and the bad – can dictate how we live our lives. Have you ever consciously thought about how you want to spend your precious energy?
Creative director and performance mastery speaker
I doubt you’d want to show up like a grizzly bear or nervous wreck to a meeting, negotiation, dinner engagement or family gathering. So ask yourself, “What energy state do I want to be in?” then internally experience the emotions you want to have (for example, open, happy or curious). See how this changes your attitude and the energy around you.
Is this familiar?
The herculean daily tasks of researching, creating, attending meetings, managing others, staying on top of your workload, the ever-growing emails and long working hours – not to mention balancing this with your personal and family life – can add excessive stress, and drain the energy of individuals, teams and organisations. These tasks all have a direct impact on our energy that reflects upon our productivity, efficiency and overall performance in all areas of life. We have not been designed as machines, yet we are comparable to rechargeable or renewable batteries, which can run down in energy. The great news is we can totally regenerate our energy by focusing on managing it.
Energy management (EM)
EM starts by looking at the big picture of your life or organisation. From there, the focus moves to chunking them down to your four main capacities – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual – to assess how you want to best use your personal or organisational energy. They will then propose interventions to transform low energy state drainers (such as poor communicators, eating fatty food, not getting enough sleep) to high-energy boosters (exercise, working with regular breaks, making a date with a friend). In this process you are looking to balance and align these four capacities.
The four capacities
The physical capacity is the energetic engine of the whole body which supplies the fuel for your emotional and mental state. The spiritual capacity is driven by motivation and desire of what is most important in our lives, while the physical capacity looks at the quality of nutrition, sleep, hydration, exercise and fun.
The emotional capacity includes booster emotions such as happiness, support and care, while the drainers can be fear, anger and negative criticism. The mental capacity looks at the whole brain engagement, which includes focus, mental preparation, visualisation, positive affirmations and creativity. The spiritual capacity is about asking why – what gives reason or meaning to our lives or our organisation?
The energy that powers your four capacities is regenerative. Ask yourself truthfully, what boosts and drains your energy and how can this assist you to live a balanced and high performing life?
Time management versus energy management
Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, the authors of The Power of Full Engagement, said: “Energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of high performance.” Researchers have spent years focusing on time management, but while this is one valuable answer, it’s not the full picture. Everyone on this planet has the same amount of time – you can regenerate your energy, but you cannot get back lost time. Think about this. All your actions within a certain time period are supported solely by the amount of energy you have.
Stress is energy
Stress, whether good or bad, is energy that can boost or drain depending on how you manage it. Good stress is created by powerful positive energy resources, and becoming aware of these can assist you in performing better in all aspects of life. For example, learning new skills can be stressful, yet rewarding.
Bad stress is negative energy, which creates burnout and unhappiness. When a toxic organisation keeps applying negative attitudes, the stress can force employees to burnout, affecting potential. In these situations, identify and leverage the four capacities for solutions. EM is a process to assist in finding solutions to cope with stressful situations, by consciously understanding what is important to HR, staff and organisations as a whole.
Some energy solutions for high performance include:
• Get between 7-8 hours of sleep, if possible.
• Stay away from too much sugar, fat, greasy food and MSG.
• Exercise a minimum of one hour, three times a week.
• Work in a break at the office every 90-120 minutes.
• Positive affirmations.
• Remember to smile, laugh and tell jokes.
• Support and be a part of supportive team work.
• Be creative and visualise your dreams.
• Focus on the point and the issue at hand.
• Mentally prepare for meetings or negotiations.
• Speak and think positively.
• Discover your values and define a life purpose.
• Ask yourself what motivates and inspires you.
• Meditate and do breathing exercises.
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