thank you for stopping by and for your interest in my personal development book sharing with the world why time management is really about energy management!
As a Life and Success Coach, my business and mission is focused solely on empowering you to create a life by design. I specialise in time management and mindset… but not as you know it.
Whilst I advocate the usual time management practices (well, most of them – there are a few famous ones that I don’t actually advocate but I will reveal that later), I teach that time management is really about energy management.
And this is what the book I am currently writing is all about!
I became passionate about time management about a decade ago when I started to recover from a long bout of mental health issues, including depression and an eating disorder. Overcoming this I realised how precious life, and time, is and I made a promise to myself to never waste my time in the future.
I became obsessed with time management and neuroscience, as well as personal development, but I confess, I took this too far and in my desire to maximise time I ended up suffering a burn out.
Now, as a business owner who specialises in time management, I am showing people how to use their energy management to master their time management.
“Where Do You Get Your Energy From?”
Your energy comes from…
Where do you get your energy from? Maybe this is something you know instinctively or worked on before, but you might be like the majority of people who have never really given this much thought.
You have probably had moments of “I’m so tired” at the end of a long workday, or felt invigorated after smashing a spin class, so you know the difference between being energised and not, but have you taken this one step further to really understand your energy and where it comes from?
This is what I want to help you with, because when you start to understand where you get your energy from and how it affects you, you can manage your life and tasks around this, and life becomes so much smoother, you produce better results, and you get to live life in the way that you want.
Remember in the previous chapter I mentioned that you can see energy in two ways – internal or external. Internal energy is about your thoughts, mindset and mood, whereas your external energy is about how invigorated and refreshed you feel, and your vibrancy and vitality.
Well, we can also think of your energy sources in this internal and external way too.
We naturally think that energy comes ‘from’ something but perhaps it can come from within? Perhaps you can create it?
Let me explain…
It was April 2019, when I was at the Tony Robbins “Unleash the Power Within” personal development event at the London ExCel exhibition centre, that I really started to question where my energy came from and how I got this. I had always known that external factors played an important role on my energy, which is why after recovering from the eating disorder and depression I put my health and wellbeing as a priority, and fitness and healthy eating was something I paid more attention too. But maybe there is something more to this? Maybe we can also create our own energy?
Robbins asked the audience where they got their energy from.
Pause for a moment before reading on and think about this – what would you expect to hear from the audience if you were there?
The audience shouted out answers you probably just had in your mind…
“Food” said one eager participant. People nodded. I nodded. As I just said, recovery of the eating disorder made me fascinated about nutrition and seeing ‘food as fuel’. “OK” said Robins, “but have you ever eaten so much that you have felt sleepy afterwards?”
Hmm. Yea, I have definitely done that! Maybe food is not the magic answer. Next try…
“Sleep and rest” shouted someone else. This sounds like a good energy source but was questioned by Robbins (again) who quite righty pointed out that we’ve probably all had an experience where we’ve been on holiday, had a lazy day (perhaps by the pool, a casual saunter around the plaza or a nice lie in) but still felt tired later in the day – the words “I’ve not nothing today but I’m knackered” is definitely something I have uttered before. Science backs this up too, with studies showing that we can actually have too much sleep (which is classed as greater than nine hours) where too much sleep on a regular basis can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Funny enough I was writing this chapter in a 5 hour wait I had in A&E after a couple stiches came loose and I wasn’t sure what to do (not helped by the ‘after care’ hotline I had been given to call was a non-existent number). All I did was sit and wait, and luckily the hospital is a 15 minute walk away so it wasn’t like I had a long commute, however, when I came home I was so tired! Bless my dad who accompanied me for the day trip and his exact words when we came home at about 5pm was “wow I’ve been sitting on my arse all day, but I am shattered”. Point in case. (Also it reveals where I get my swearing nature from!)
Anyway. Back to Robbins. He had a point.
Caffeine. Exercise. Naps. Walks in nature. Perhaps these are the kind of things running through your mind right about where you get your energy from like it was for us in that arena. But energy isn’t as simple as a ‘source’. In fact, we can also be in control of creating our own energy.
I don’t know if this was the main aim or point Robbins was trying to make, but there are two main things from that exercise that I carried forward into my life for the better, and that is:
1. It’s all about balance
2. You create your own energy
Everything in life is about that precarious balance – too much sleep, food, exercise or over stimulating environments isn’t good for you, but neither is it beneficial if it swings the other way and you have too little.
You need to take control of that balance. Learn to create your own energy and be in control of how your energy is created. To make this happen you need to adjust how you see things which is why I am advocating approaching life with ‘energy management’ rather than clock management to help you with your time and get the most from life.
Your Thoughts Create Your Energy
A powerful way to take control of to take control of our energy management is your thoughts. Why, because our bodies react accordingly to how we think.
Think about this scenario. You wake up at 5am, it’s cold and dark, and you’re getting ready for a job you don’t particularly like. You over did it on the weekend with the socialising or one too many
Netflix episodes which meant going to bed later, so it’s Monday morning and you’re thinking “I am so tired”. How do you go about the rest of your day? You probably have to drag yourself through the morning to make it to work on time. The energy isn’t there. There certainly isn’t any excitement, right?
Ok, so now picture this…
It’s still cold and dark outside, and you’re still getting up at 5am. But this time, it’s not for a day of stressful meetings at work. This time it is for an exciting holiday for a week away with friends. Whoop. Tiredness? What tiredness? Let’s get to the airport asap and bring on the Bloody Mary’s at breakfast (because airports don’t have a time zone FYI so it is always perfectly acceptable to have an alcoholic beverage at breakfast!)
Same time of day, same lack of sleep probably but it has a completely different vibe doesn’t it!
This is something Wayne Dyer touches on his book “Happiness is The Way” in chapter 3 about expectations. He says “it’s how expectations work. When the alarm goes off, whatever you’ve had in mind will decide what your day is going to be like… so, get that expectation of being tired out of your mind completely, and don’t think that way unless you have to go maybe three or four days without sleep”.
I am not saying you can just think your way to energy and forgo sleep (it was that kind of thinking that contributed to my burn out!) but my teaching point here is that you have more control on your energy than you realise, so whilst we are going to look at energy drainers and fillers later in this book, I also want you to realise the potential you have in your mind to dictate whether you feel energised or not.
Perhaps on a Friday morning at work you don’t just think “It’s been a long week, so I am shattered” just because that is the default and autopilot, but you take a moment to assess how you really feel and perhaps even decide how you want to feel. Just because it’s a Friday doesn’t mean you have to be tired even if everyone else is saying it.
Or perhaps the next time you’re feeling that mid-afternoon slump hit you, before you neck a coffee or reach for a cookie for a sugary pick-me-up, you shift your thinking and attention, and look within to generate your own energy rather than from an external ‘source’ of energy to fix you.
Let me iterate these important points before we move on to the “how” and the energy drainers and fillers.
I am NOT suggesting you simply just need to ‘think your way out of tiredness’ or that if you’re feeling run down that you just “man up” and crack on. Let my burn out be an important lesson to you! I am a huge advocate of learning to unwind, rest, recharge the batteries and take some time to down tools. However, I do want you to question what energy is, where you get it from and how you could generate it yourself as you start to move away from “clock management” to energy management.
Your Energy Drainers and Fillers
Working to your energy is not about never getting tired ever again, you probably will. Let’s be honest, life is sometimes chaotic and actaully the body is meant to get tired and sleep. Energy management is about working with your energy rather than against it so you can accomplish more (and probably in less time and with more productivity and less procrastination). It is about tuning in to your body so you are not fighting through the energy slumps which causes more energy drain later, and you know the difference between making an excuse and it really being a time for rest.
So, let’s turn our attention to our energy drainers and fillers.
I wish I could just give you a list of the things that are either going to drain your energy or fill you up but luckily we are all beautifully individual so it really is quite personal. Hopefully this won’t take much investigation (but if it does, please take the time to actually work this out – you’ll thank me later you did) as you probably already instinctively know.
Let’s take a quick reflection now… What things fill you with energy, and what ones leave you feeling drained? It might be activities and tasks, but likewise it might be people, or certain types of exercise (like yoga might invigorate you but too many HIIT workouts are going to leave you pooped). Maybe cooking it your therapeutic downtime but for others it might be a recipe for high blood pressure.
I’ll go first. For me, my energy drainers are admin tasks (like sending off complaints, boring paperwork, application forms or for money back) and business accounting or anything to do with finances. The things that fill me with excitement and energy are working with my clients on coaching calls, delivering talks, content creation, and planning out projects and my programmes. These things make me buzzzzzz!
Ok, over to you. What’s on your list of energy drainers and fillers? Please take a few minutes now to jot this down, eve if it is just a few of each to get going.
Thank you taking the time to read this chapter. The book is a (long) work in progress, so please do share your ideas, thoughts and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
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