So we know now that energy management is the way to go to increase our productivity and personal effectiveness. There is a step by step approach we can adopt to see positive changes happen. So it’s not an immediate event but an ongoing commitment that will lead to a permanent change of habits. With energy management we want to develop a new way of living – a new lifestyle. Soon we’ll learn to tune-in and respond to the natural prompts that we receive from our body and implementing energy-renewing rituals will become an automatic response. A positive automatic response to the signals we are sent by our body. Practice helps us learn to listen to the natural rhythm of body and mind.
So far we have established the importance of physical and emotional energy renewing rituals. On any usual, average day there are plenty of opportunities to introduce new ways of recharging physical or emotional energy. Thankfully, they’re not huge tasks or activities. It’s not the length of time we spend performing them but the value we place on them that matters. This is in congruence with the value we place on ourselves and our natural resources.
Out of the 4 types of energy, Mental is the one we want to learn about now.
Have you ever found yourself distracted by (sometimes highly recommended) multitasking? How did it work for you? Research shows that multitasking only creates an impression of getting more things done at the same time. Our brain works much more effectively if our attention is focused on one task at a time for up to 120 min. This is because it takes time for our brain to enter a full state of concentration on one thing only. Trying to complete more tasks or responding to relentless interruptions only extends the time needed to go through and manage them.
Audit – What would be a result of a mental energy audit in your life? How well can you focus on one task at a time? Do you use an email notification SOUND? Do you pick up your phone EVERY time it rings? Is your door ALWAYS open? Can you afford that? Can you afford to lose mental energy every time one of these distractions get in the way of your productive work?
Rituals – Once you have the results of your audit right in front of you, then you have clarity. You know what the common distractions are in your life, and you can start working towards solutions.
First step is to place value on your precious attention. Once you begin respecting your own valuable mental resources, you become much more selective with what you focus on. Attendees of our personal effectiveness workshops created a long list of many mental energy renewing rituals that you can use:
- All available prioritizing strategies
- Planning and lists
- Delegating and asking for help
- Saying “No” to others and “Yes” to yourself
- Stephen Covey’s time matrix
- Being proactive rather than reactive
- Going for a walk to encourage creative thinking (right hemisphere)
- Puzzles or Sudoku
- Talking to other creative people to get their ideas
- Identifying tasks at hand to think of the best approach to complete them
- Brainstorming and getting other people involved
It looks like it’s all about asking yourself:
What is the best use of my mental energy now?
What is the best way to activate my mental resources now?
… And then go do it!
Rewards – this month we encourage you to invest in your Energy Management. Now you are familiar with the first 3 types: Physical, Emotional and Mental Wellbeing. Have you remembered to reward yourself for the progress you are making? There are levels of success achieved every time you implement one strategy. Make one small change every day to renew your energy with conscious effort and the awareness that it requires. Even if you catch yourself following “the usual” patterns, this extra sense of alertness deserves positive recognition. Next time you will know what and how to do it better. Find ways to celebrate your levels of success. Guess what: it can only help renew your energies. You win every time 🙂
The last energy we want to make room for is the Energy of Meaning and Purpose – our Spiritual energy. Next week we’ll see how we can work to achieve a sense of deeper fulfillment in our life.
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