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.
- Set a work-timer for 15 to 30 minutes.
- 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.
- Put a Do Not Disturb sign on your door. Discuss a ‘closed door’ policy with your office. (Read Deep Work by Cal Newport.)
- Stop when the timer goes off.
- Take a short break.
- Deal with ‘urgent’ issues. Respond to emails, answer calls or questions. Get this done quickly.
- 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.
- Turn off technology an hour before you go to bed.
- Sleep in a dark bedroom.
- 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.
- Disappointment becomes frustration. Prolonged anger is draining.
- 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%.
- Every job includes tasks you don’t like. Focus on the aspects of work you love.
- 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?
What sucks the life out of leaders? Bombardment without control, from every direction constantly.
How might leaders manage their energy?
Learn to know your limits, find ways to just walk away for periods of time as we have discussed before. Turn the Phone off.
Thanks Tim. Yes. Constant pressure means things need to change. Perhaps enable others to act without you. Learn how to delegate. Establish a process for repeated issues. Have a great day!
You can’t control everything, but you can control something.
…agree with you on the constant bombardment without control from all directions…
Thanks again for a great post!! Really like the analogy of ‘wind sprints’ or interval training, which is always something that worked well for me in a former lifetime… For me, inefficiency and needless process drains energy; this strategy will enable progress towards goals which always seems to generate energy… This post hit the nail on the head for me in so many aspects: ‘follow the fire’ / get more sleep / practice gratitude on a daily basis… and let go, just let it go… Super!!
Thanks Susan. I appreciate you dropping by today. I’m with you a two hour job that takes 4 hours drives me nuts. The other thing I HATE is redoing work.
Here’s to managing energy.
Really enjoy the pragmatism and reality of this one, Dan! Definitely spoke to me and where I am in this job!
Thanks Doc. I read your comment and thought. I we don’t manage our energy, no one else will! Cheers
An interesting post with good tips to remain energized!
The secret of joyful work is liking the tasks that you perform as part of self-commitment. Also, prioritizing work in a day’s schedule is important. You may perform better for the things you don’t like if you have accomplished the other part well. For example, reporting on a daily/weekly basis or attending to complaints becomes a tedious task unless you perform the other part much better. Liked the idea of encouraging others by patting for their good work, a source of positive energy to end the day with satisfaction. Going back home to spend quality time with the family is also essential.
Thanks Dr. Asher. I really like the idea of doing the hard work first or at least putting it on the schedule.
I also thought about looking forward to things as a source of energy. Looking forward to a vacation or finishing a task or dinner with the family all fuel energy.
I think when leaders think they need to have all the answers and have to control everything leads to burn out. Understanding that life happens, people make mistakes, not everything goes as planned, and that its OK to say “I don’t know” leads to a more honest, real, and transparent leadership which also helps those we manage to trust us more, and trust in themselves more, because then delegation comes naturally. Encouragement for them to come up with solutions leads to ownership and excitement.
Thanks Lorena. Lets accept reality. Bad things happen. People have frailties. Sometimes we try hard and fall short. That doesn’t mean we should stop trying. It means we can keep on trying.
Perfectionism sucks the joy out of leadership.
This really spoke to me today — there is only so much energy for the day — maximizing it is key.
Everyday. Thank you for a great post!
Thanks Jan. One of the best things we can do is listen to our energy. Is it going up or sinking? You must notice before you can manage something. Cheers
In software, some use the pomodoro technique (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomodoro_Technique) to maximize the focus and creativeness, and to reduce mistakes.
In a recent experiment we had the breaks used to refresh the mind – walk around the building, look at a distant object, do push ups, etc. . We found it does help our energy throughout the day, and it does help creativity.
Hey Daniel. Thanks for extending the conversation and adding some resources!
To deal with distractions… need to train our brain to focus…
The only way to sustain your energy at workplace is refreshing your mind. I think a nap time should be given to the employees in order to increase the creativity of the employee.