We might query why managing energy is needed in addition to managing time. Just as time can be spent on noble pursuits which might not be the best ones, energy can be expended on all sorts of activities without being replenished, meaning that performance is diminished. Burnout is accelerated as people are drained, not by increased time pressures, but by decreased capacity.
Unresolved problems may relate to time pressures, but overwhelming issues such as unhealthy conflict, poor health, and depleted finances contribute to this draining effect. A physiological response to the decreased ability to manage internal tensions and the external factors that create them, can be debilitating.
Experts in energy management suggest the following ideas for replenishment.
1. Focused time on enjoyable pursuits toward the end of the day to enhance relaxation.
2. Earlier bedtimes to maximise sleep effectiveness.
3. Focused attention to ‘sweet spot’ activities and delegation of those which are especially draining.
4. Avoid texts and emails during meetings and similar activities and attend to these in bursts.
5. View conflict through different lenses (e.g. ‘How can I grow?’ or ‘What can I learn?’, etc.).
6. Be appreciative and encouraging.
7. Use more deep abdominal breathing.
8. Eat smaller but more frequent meals.
9. Take regular mini-breaks throughout the day.
10. Pay attention to your core values and eliminate factors that violate them.
11. Pursue high concentration activities without interruption by technology.
12. Maximise healthy diet and cardiovascular exercise and reduce alcohol consumption.
Not rocket science, perhaps, just an intentional realisation of the need to manage energy purposefully to ‘keep our tank full’.