Managing your energy and not your time means understanding that energy is a renewable resource whereas time is finite.
Managing your energy and not your time means understanding that energy is a renewable resource whereas time is finite. How often do you find yourself with a never-ending list of things to do and a limited amount of time to get it done?
I find myself frequently saying “ugh, I don’t have enough time, ever” especially with work and family demands let alone self-care. However, as a mother of an exuberant toddler I have learned that time management doesn’t exactly work for us. Planned activities are at the mercy of not time but rather energy levels for the both of us and when meltdowns are least likely to occur. What I have come to realize is that managing and aligning my energy levels leaves me with the best opportunity for success in whatever activity I am engaging in.
The great point about energy management is that it can be replenished within us through the body, mind, emotions, and spirit.
- Assess your energy levels - take note of your energy levels the moment you wake up until you go to bed. When do you feel most energized? What do you do throughout the day that either drains or replenishes your energy? How long does it take you to fully wake up from sleep? When do you feel most physically awake and cognitively alert? Does your nutrition impact your energy levels?
- Create and maintain rituals to manage your energy - What are some habits that you are doing now that either foster or diminish your energy levels? Try limiting distractions throughout the day that negatively affect your ability to focus (e.g., checking emails, social media, and phone when working on a project). Perhaps avoiding large midday meals can prevent afternoon crashes. Maybe getting up an extra 30 minutes earlier in the morning to go for a walk or meditate will help your body wake up and feel grounded for the day. Set boundaries on when to complete work related tasks. Engaging in passive activities in the evening such as reading for pleasure or creative work can match your waning energy levels. Perhaps try structuring your day so that tasks that require critical thinking and high alertness can match your cognitive energy levels.
- Determine how much is needed to rest and replenish - What helps you feel relaxed? What feeds your emotional and spiritual health? Take note of when you need to rest and for how long. Set reminders throughout the day to nourish all of your energy levels.
Daily rituals for energy care do not have to be complicated or time consuming, just intentional. Managing physical energy provides a solid foundation to function well. Managing energy of the mind creates focus. When emotions are well-balanced and nurtured, the quality of your energy can be improved. And lastly, spiritual energy provides a sense of meaning and purpose.
Ready to Talk?
At CHE Behavioral Services, we are committed to helping those who are struggling from stress, time management, burnout and more. We offer online talk therapy and medication management designed to help people manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Our licensed mental health professionals work with clients to create personalized treatment plans that meet their unique needs and goals.
For more information about talk therapy at CHE, please call 888-515-3834. We are ready to talk and ready to listen.
Written By: Dr. Torna Li is CHE’s Clinical Director of the West. Some of her daily energy management rituals include waking up early to enjoy a cup of tea and sunshine, taking breaks away from the desk throughout the day, and doodling with her toddler’s crayons in the evenings.