Personal Energy Management

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Personal Energy Management
Wilma van Velde, Coach, Netherlands, Member
I just read an interesting Dutch article on a concept somewhat related to time management: personal energy management. Here's a brief translation...

Like everyone else, you have periods in which you feel really good and that you are having a good time and that you are productive. On the other hand, you also have periods that you feel hungry, thirsty or tired, and you seem to be unable to get anything done and have no inspiration. And finally there are periods when you need to rest.

The amount of energy you have is limited. So manage your energy properly. In particular, consider at what time of the day you have the most energy. For example, it could be that in the morning you are able to concentrate better, have more inspiration and are more productive and effective.

If that is the case for you, you should move certain important tasks to the morning. You can decide to focus on the most important project or on writing an important article in the morning and spend the afternoon on routine tasks like perhaps checking and answering your emails or performing other operational stuff. That is where a connection with time management exists.

Personal energy management also means that you sleep well. For most people 8 hours is a minimum so that you are recharged the next day. View yourself as a big rechargeable battery… At night when you're done with your work, you have to recharge your battery, in order to be fresh the next day. Do not believe that by working 60+ hours per week, you'll get a lot more done.
Instead, consider how much you can actually do in the approximately 40 working hours (it doesn't matter how many hours you work precisely). The point is that you will be a lot more productive in the hours that you do you work if you recharge on time!

After you worked for 1-2 hours, you probably depleted your energy and you become a lot less productive. You could be thirsty and/or hungry and feel a bit tired.
Then take a 15-30 minute break to take a walk in the garden or perhaps do some exercise. You have to recharge yourself completely in order to be able to continue your work for another period of 1-2 hours.
Too many people make the mistake of working for 3 or 4 or 5 hours without any interruption.
Source: Blog at (in Dutch)

Discipline and Power of Withdrawal
srinivas, Lecturer, India, Member
The best thing that can happen during a break after 90 min of work is to have a MEDITATION for 20 minutes. One can become rejuvenated and work efficiency will go up by withdrawing oneself from the current scenario and by looking within.
For that like-minded people need to be there and such discipline needs to be followed with vigor. To enable that we have also developed a web application, but to my surprise there are no takers for that application so far.

Personal Energy Management
Graham Williams, Management Consultant, South Africa, Premium Member
A good discussion topic Wilma. Time and energy management are inextricably linked - like the double helix strands of a DNA molecule. Optimising our energy spend in the broadest of terms means 4 things:
  1. Understand our natural clocks and times of varied energy levels;
  2. Be constantly aware of the tyranny of the urgent and prioritise and steer energy on the basis of seriousness, direction and speed of the issue as well as realistic urgency.
  3. Manage negative energy and stress differently to positive energy/ stress.
  4. ‘Sharpen the axe', recharge appropriately (retreat, catnap, resting in the moment - Google 'Yoga Nidra') and ensure the 'sharpening' applies to the whole person: physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual.

Personal Energy Management
Ramadimetja Eva Ramalepe, Business Consultant, South Africa, Member
Thank you to all that have contributed to this topic. I am currently in a state of burnout.
Funny enough I am aware that I have been working too hard for too long and my body and mind just shut off.
Now I do take two hour recharge sleeps every Saturday and Sundays when my schedule allows. And I have come to accept the reality that I need to manage my time effectively. The latter I mean develop self discipline in committing to my schedule and taking breaks when due.
Thank you for the easy to understand explanation of personal energy management. The best I have heard so far.

Personal Energy Management Ignored in Time Matrix
Graham Williams, Management Consultant, South Africa, Premium Member
@Ramadimetja Eva Ramalepe: If you contact me through my personal page, I will gladly send you an assessment/ followed by beneficial actions based on a proven hardiness to adversity/ change/ stress model. Look after yourself!
The Eisenhower urgent/important time matrix was further developed by NASA, and ended up as a 3-factor prioritisation aid: importance/urgency/volatility. The latter (volatility) is a reading of whether if left alone for now the situation would grow, diminish, worsen, etc.
But that stil ignores the energy management side of things. A whole range of things come into play e.g. poor attention to eating and to exercise habits is energy depleting, poor workplace relationships also impact on energy (physical, social, psychological), scheduling two back to back energy-draining meetings without pause space doesn't make common sense; where procrastination is a problem in getting things done on time, the constraints may be technical, social, physical, psychological ... There are too many glib, easy remedies to what is quite a complex, personal challenge ...

Considering the Criticality of a Task
Yzack, Consultant, Morocco, Member
@Graham Williams: I like your point 2. Most time is lost due to bad management of priorities, lack of / bad difference between real emergencies and false ones. Many people don't take into consideration the criticality of a task when defining emergencies. As a result, they consider urgent whatever is good to do today.
The best question to ask oneself is: what will happen if this task doesn't get done today?

Physical Exercise as a Habit
Maria Montero, Coach, Venezuela, Member
A very useful point you have brought about Wilma, thanks.
In my experience, physical exercise as a habit gives more energy and better discipline to use time effectively. Sometimes we need to assign a fixed time to the many activities we need to accomplish, and avoid getting stuck is just one. Physical activity is fundamental to discipline the mind into doing that.
I do Yoga every single day, and I also meditate, both have been great tools for managing my energy and using time effectively.

Wellbeing Management
Maurice Hogarth, Consultant, United Kingdom, Premium Member
PEM seems to be based in understanding your biorhythms (are you a ‘lark or an ‘owl’?) and matching these (in so far as is practical) with your work domain and founding this in an approach to physical and mental wellbeing.
We cannot “manage” time. We can manage the work that we do in the time available. (While ensuring a balanced life across our work, home and social domains). Across these we should also balance our other ‘wellbeing’ domains: mental (including spiritual) and physical health; which relate to our energy production and utilisation.
Physical health: e.g. eating (taking time: for the necessary energy) and activity (for health & fitness)
Mental health: i.e. stimulating and relaxing the mind (solving puzzles; reading, meditating &c.)
So; balance time and energy for home (with sleep) social and work activities and establish routines for physical and mental health activities on a foundation of healthy eating. Accept, plan, organise, implement action to develop new habits.

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