Manage your energy, not your time

Photo by Federico Beccari on Unsplash

Time management. Apparently, I’ve written quite a lot about that topic before.

Someone recently shared a concept with me that struck me as quite insightful. Maybe what we really should be focused on is energy management. I think he said he read it in a book (if you’re aware of that book, please share it in the comments).

Kinda like work-life balance, which most people will say really wasn’t a thing before COVID-19, but now that so many of us are working from home, it’s very hard to find any distinction between work and life. Is finding work-life balance really the goal? Or is it OK to ebb and flow between the two, and are we really trying to make sure that we’re not over-working ourselves in lieu of spending time with our family or on things that bring us joy?

Manage your energy, not your time

Time is important. How we manage it is the key to being productive and accomplishing our goals.

I’ve always been a calendar and to-do focused person. The color-coding your calendar advice I’ve given has quite possibly been the most requested content I’ve written. So much so that I included more of it in my next book (pre-order sale coming in my newsletter soon).

Lately, thanks to my friend putting it into my head, I’ve been thinking more about energy management. How am I spending my energy? Is it in the right places? On the right things? Am I energized after doing something or have I lost momentum?

This thinking led me to a recent blog post about embracing the flow. That was really an energy post – when your energy is flowing, roll with it! Lean into it! Take advantage of those times when you’re juices are flowing and you’re really feeling it.

More importantly, when you think about energy management instead of time management, you can start to think about how often your energy is sucked into unhelpful, even toxic, places.

Look, I’m all for keeping up with the news right now. You gotta. But…it is so easy to get lost in the constant barrage of disconcerting content these days (especially these days), looking up an hour later realizing you’ve lost control of the day, and you’re even more worried and depressed than you were before – and who thought that was even possible?

Think about how you’re spending your energy. Is it in places that fuel you, that help your state of mind, that help you accomplish your goals? Or is it in places that keep you down and distract you from what you really want to be doing?

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