Work stress. No one needs any more than they already have. In fact, you could likely use a little less on any given day.
But managing stress isn’t easy. Sometimes it takes a new approach to managing other areas of our lives to improve our stress levels at work. By other areas, I mean energy and time. These are resources we cannot replenish on demand or buy more of at the store.
What is energy management?
Do you notice that when you are well-prepared for an important meeting, your stress level is far lower than when you are fumbling around at the last minute? How about your stress level when you perform high-level tasks at different times of day?
Stress is a side effect of poor energy management. The better you are at managing your energy, the less stress you will experience.
Unfortunately, poor energy management is common and leads to a host of negative outcomes, both personal and professional:
- Lower productivity
- Loss of profitability
- Poor workplace culture
to name a few!
Left unchecked, poor energy management can severely injure your personal health and professional longevity. So, I devised two techniques that improve energy management within 30 days.
Energy Mapping Technique
Energy and time management go hand in hand—they have a symbiotic relationship. When energy is protected, you experience higher productivity and lower stress.
I encourage all business leaders to Energy Map. This exercise takes 10 minutes and recognizes your energy cycles and when you enjoy doing certain types of tasks. Here is a sample of the map.
The benefits of this strategy are invaluable. With an energy map in place, you:
- Maximize your output
- Minimize “extra energy input” needed to perform hard tasks at low-energy times
- Reduce being overwhelmed
- Prevent burnout
- Feel satisfied and accomplished
- Easily share with team members, who can hold you accountable to using your energy and time wisely
Once done, you can focus on performing the roles that you do well and choosing the best times of day to fulfill them.
Protecting Time Technique
Do you know what your work schedule will look like on any given day or week? Or how many hours are dedicated to taking new client calls versus working on the business? If not, you are selling yourself and your hourglass short. How do you achieve a healthy balance of working on these 4 elements below?
The first step is to know how many awake hours you want to spend on the business. Then you want to visualize how many business hours should be dedicated to each area of the business. See the Time Allocation visual example below.
This visualization creates awareness, predictability, and keeps you from skipping over one item in favor of another that is equally as (or more) important. You get to all the tasks that need to be accomplished while not being overwhelmed.
The third step is to embed your energy and time allocation blocks into an online scheduling system to truly protect your time. Ideally you should implement a scheduling software with times that you are willing and able to meet and that match your Energy Map and Time Allocation time blocks.
Protecting time creates energy and space for creativity and success. It also produces these business boosting benefits:
- Creates a predictable schedule for you and your team to communicate
- Ensures you are dedicating enough time to each of your roles
- Accelerates the business development process
- Eliminates time-wasting email volleys
- Improves the client experience
- Saves staff time scheduling on your behalf
Becoming a Master Energy Manager
This isn’t ancient Greece and not all roads lead to Rome. The exercises are simple, yet unique in their approach and take a little time to mentally shift your mindset. And as your business grows, you’ll need to make adjustments to your schedule to find the right balance or adjust when external circumstances conflict with your original plan.
Luckily, I have built out a virtual course of 4 micro-lessons (5 minutes or less) that provide templates, share the technique and benefits, and more. You will experience a sizeable return in your business and productivity once you tackle the Time and Energy Management Course here.
Just remember, you aren’t in this alone – we all battle with energy and time management.
As always, health and sanity to you!