How to Manage Energy: 4 Out Of 10 Are Drained At Work

The inability to manage energy guarantees failure.

Only 56% of employees feel energized at work. (The Energy Project)

5 ways to manage human energy:

#1. Work like a sprinter.

  1. Set a work-timer for 15 to 30 minutes.
  2. Remove distractions. Turn off notifications unless you drive an ambulance. At first, constant distraction makes you feel useful and important. Eventually, a scattered life feels shallow, meaningless, and exhausting.
  3. Put a Do Not Disturb sign on your door. Discuss a ‘closed door’ policy with your office. (Read Deep Work by Cal Newport.)
  4. Stop when the timer goes off.
  5. Take a short break.
  6. Deal with ‘urgent’ issues. Respond to emails, answer calls or questions. Get this done quickly.
  7. Set the timer again.

Joyful hard work – apart from rest – becomes draining overwork.

#2. Go to bed.

The secret to waking up refreshed is going to bed early.

  1. Turn off technology an hour before you go to bed.
  2. Sleep in a dark bedroom.
  3. Shoot for 8 hours of sleep.

(If you have a baby, plan on a couple of years of tail-dragging exhaustion.)

#3. Stop being a control freak.

Controlling is exhausting.

  1. Disappointment becomes frustration. Prolonged anger is draining.
  2. Clarify points of control. Begin with yourself. Sometimes control freaks are avoiding their own responsibilities.

The world will go on when you’re gone.

#4. Follow the fire.

I’ve asked many groups to respond to, “How much of your work could you hate but still love work?” Responses come in at no more than 20%.

  1. Every job includes tasks you don’t like. Focus on the aspects of work you love.
  2. Get ugly work out of the way early. A dripping faucet drains you.

Tip: Notice when other people’s energy goes up. Help them do more of that.

#5. Express gratitude.

Gratitude is positive energy.

Walk around patting people on the back. Try ending your day with this activity.

What sucks the life out of leaders?

How might leaders manager their energy?