The best use of our time is to focus on things we can control, like energy, versus something that we can't control, like time.
The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou
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According to conventional wisdom, time management is the foundation of productivity. You manage your time by setting goals for when you want to finish a specific task and planning your day. However, in an article titled, "Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time," Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy reveal that the best productivity system is the one that relies on stamina.
Time Management Vs. Energy Management
Managing your time by setting a list of things to do can be constricting and inflexible. If you don't do the items within the set times, you feel like the world's biggest failure. On the other hand, energy gives you the element of choice and is flexible.
Time is a finite thing; there is a limited number of hours daily, which we can't control. Meanwhile, energy can systematically increase and regularly renew, which we can control.
Time management makes you stop distraction cold turkey, like endlessly scrolling through Instagram, while energy management teaches you to be mindful about the timing of these distractions. If we can spend most of our time doing work that energizes us and we know when to do specific types of work throughout the day depending on our energy levels, magic will happen.
This practice helps us to:
-Identify activities that give us energy and drain our energy.
-Understand our fluctuating energy levels and the seasonality of life.
-Choose what to focus on and when to do it.
-Replenish our energy and take better care of ourselves.
Also read: SECRETS FOR HAVING HIGH-PERFORMING TEAMS
Withing the energy audit, the first and most important thing is to identify which activities give us energy and which ones drain our energy. With, this we can make a trusty graph. Throughout the day, we need to ask ourselves how we feel, and from 1 to 10, how are our energy levels.
The second part is understanding that energy levels fluctuate and that there are seasonalities in our lives. It's crucial to bear in mind that different seasons demand different outputs (making stuff, exhaling) and inputs (self-caring and nourishing yourself, inhaling).
The third thing is choice. Locus of control, choosing to do something when you want to do them or knowing when is the right time to do certain things. When we realize we have choices, a part of our brain lights up, called the striatum, and it's responsible for motivation or lack of motivation when we're faced with a task.
Studies have shown that when individuals believe they are in control, they tend to work harder, push themselves more, be more confident, and overcome setbacks faster. Knowing you have control over the events of your life as opposed to external factors beyond your control is very important.
Within the element of choice, as it pertains to energy management, there's also prioritizing and knowing what's most important to you. By acknowledging your energy levels throughout the day, you'll be able to be more productive and feel a greater sense of well-being.