Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time.
This is one of my favourite philosophies.
Yet while a simple concept, it’s not something that’s always as easy to put into practice.
As a business owner, you have many responsibilities: business growth, marketing and promotion, employees, customer experience, family expectations... (to name a few). With a never-ending list of “to dos” it’s easy to view our days in terms of minutes and hours, rather than on where we will find the best value.
What Does it Mean?
“Manage your energy” means focusing on people, tasks, responsibilities, and actions that:
Feed your soul
Make you feel light (light = right)
Spark your creative flow
Fuel your motivation
(As opposed to things that weigh you down and leave you feeling heavy and exhausted).
I get it, it’s easier said than done (hence why it’s not as easy a concept to put into practice). You’re a business owner, so you are always going to have a large list of responsibilities; and not all of them are going to be “fun and light.”
So what can you do?
Think of your day as a fully-charged battery. The premise being that you have a set amount of “charge” in that battery to use. As your day goes on, you use up your battery (energy) on various things (activities, interactions, responsibilities, etc.) until eventually, you are left with either a limited amount of battery life remaining or none at all.
While you can charge your battery up (through positive activities and interactions), there is no overdraft. If you use up your battery, you’re going to be left feeling weighed down, exhausted, drained, and lacking motivation, so you better hope you used that battery on the things that really mattered or that had to get done.
How to Allocate Your Charge
Now, think of your expense of energy in terms of value. Where are you going to best receive value for the things you need to get done? Where (and with who) can you best allocate your energy?
Create a list of your priorities for the day → remember, not all of these will be work-related. What professional and personal things must get taken care of?
Next, rank those priorities into the following categories:
Nice to dos
Only if there’s time
Now, allot your battery’s charge in order of the categories, ensuring that the most important tasks, people, and responsibilities will be taken care of.
Remember → you need to leave some battery life for the things that always seem to pop up during the day (helping an employee, an unexpected client call, a family emergency, needing a 15-minute break, someone pops into your office for a “quick question” (only to leave an hour later because you two got talking about weekend plans), etc.)
At the end of the day, analyze how you used up your battery.
Where and with what activities (and people) required you to spend more energy than you had allocated (are there interactions or activities that constantly leave you feeling drained)?
Inversely, what interactions and activities had you feeling energized?
What tasks or responsibilities are you constantly sorting into that “Only if there’s time” category? (we are all guilty of having those few tasks that are continuously being pushed back)
How do you feel at the end of the day? (tired, drained, exhausted, accomplished, happy, energized)
Finally, make some changes:
Remove the items that leave you feeling weighed down and drained.
What tasks can you hand off to other people, or remove altogether?
What ideas can be put on pause? (just because something is a “good idea” doesn’t mean it needs to be actioned upon, now or ever)
What people do you need to remove yourself from? (maybe you can't cut them out of your life, but know that you can reduce your interactions or set (personal/professional) boundaries for when you do have to engage with them)
Surround yourself with people that feed your soul.
Fill your days with activities and responsibilities that charge your battery (as best as you can).
Give yourself permission to say "yes" to yourself.
The reality is, not every day is going to be exclusively filled with fun and engaging “things” that will leave you feeling fired up. You’re still a human—you still have responsibilities. Some days are going to be harder, and some lighter.
The goal is to ensure you have more of the latter.
So through all of this, remember: You owe it to yourself to invest your energy wisely. There is a limited number of hours in a day, and there is only so much you can (and should) do—choose carefully where you decide to allocate your energy.
If you have any tips on how you manage your energy, please share them in the comments section below!
Black Fox Marketing
Founder & CMO
Marketing Strategy | Branding | Coaching
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