Energy = Productivity: Leave Time Management Behind and Start Managing your Energy
In today's fast-paced world, we're all constantly trying to find ways to be more productive and strike a better work-life balance, especially when working remotely. While the conventional approach leans towards managing time, I've come to embrace the emerging perspective that managing energy holds equal, if not greater, importance.
As much as I'd love to stick to a perfectly organized Google Calendar with every task slotted in at specific times, I also have come to recognize that life happens, and our energy levels aren't always in sync with our schedules. So, instead of rigidly sticking to a plan all the time, I've learned to adapt to my energy levels and motivation throughout the day, while still getting ahead of my workload. Rather, I've learned to prioritize predicting, managing, and adapting to the ebbs and flows in my energy levels and motivation throughout the day, allowing me to maintain a high level of productivity.
In this blog post, I'll explore the concept of managing energy and why it holds significant value for remote consultants striving to be productive.
Understanding Energy Management:
For me, managing energy involves recognizing and optimizing the different dimensions of my energy levels throughout the day. Instead of solely focusing on allocating time to specific tasks, managing energy emphasizes the quality and efficiency of the time spent on those tasks.
Energy vs. Time:
While time management remains crucial, it doesn't account for the natural fluctuations in our energy levels. Even with the most effective time management techniques, if my energy is lacking, productivity suffers. That's why I believe that managing energy is equally important, if not more so. By understanding and managing my energy levels, I can align my work with periods of peak energy and focus, allowing me to accomplish tasks more efficiently and effectively.
Leveraging Energy Management as a Consultant Working Remotely:
Recognizing Peak Energy Times: Understanding when I feel most energized and focused helps me allocate my high-priority tasks to those periods. As someone who is motivated by more creative tasks, I have more energy and motivation to tackle those tasks first, while leaving monotonous or repetitive tasks for times when my energy is naturally lower.
Tailoring Monotonous Tasks to Lower Energy Periods: Recognizing that monotonous or repetitive tasks require less mental stimulation, I dedicate time during periods when my energy naturally dips to getting these tasks done, maybe with a podcast going on in the background. By strategically allocating these tasks to lower energy periods, I ensure that my valuable peak energy times are reserved for more thought-provoking and creative tasks, which I approach with greater motivation and enthusiasm.
Incorporating Breaks: Constantly working without breaks can deplete my energy reservoir. I make it a point to take regular short breaks to recharge and rejuvenate. This practice not only improves my overall productivity but also prevents burnout.
Managing Distractions: Remote work can present various distractions. Efficient energy management involves minimizing or eliminating distractions to maintain focus and energy throughout the workday. By creating a conducive work environment and establishing boundaries, I can optimize my energy levels and productivity.
Paralleling Tasks: As a digital marketing consultant, I frequently juggle multiple projects or contracts with shared goals or objectives. When I'm brimming with inspiration and energy, I proactively merge parallel or similar tasks across different projects that align with this category. This approach allows me to simultaneously tackle aligned tasks across different contracts like revamping website layouts or crafting logos for upcoming events, maximizing efficiency and productivity.
As a remote consultant, I've come to realize that managing energy is an essential component of productivity. While time management remains valuable, acknowledging the dynamic nature of my energy levels and harnessing them to optimize performance is key. By understanding my energy patterns, leveraging peak energy times for tasks I enjoy, taking breaks to recharge, and managing distractions, I can unlock my full potential and achieve optimal productivity. So, instead of fixating solely on managing time, let's shift our focus towards managing energy and reap the benefits it brings to our professional lives.