Recent studies have suggested that productivity is better tied to our energy level vs. time. Why? The more energy you have, the better your concentration and output will be. Just like time, energy is limited. The difference is that your energy level will vary within a day. You might work best early in the morning or later in the evening based on your energy levels. Therefore depending on what your energy peaks and valleys are, you can schedule work accordingly.
Due to the differences in our energy level, how we maximise productivty during the day will be different. For example, I do my most “mind/mental” work in the morning and by lunch time that’s pretty much it for my brains and so I schedule more physical activities in the afternoon and then it ramps up again in the evening when I am most creative. Therefore recognising my energy flow, I will schedule activities that align with it. It will make work much easier and more fun.
Think about what is yours. Reflect back on when you get your most productive work done. Are you an early bird or a night owl? Understanding where you are is important so that you will know when to schedule the hardest work vs. the more mundane activities.
There are 5 common energy fuels that will help you boast your energy when you need that extra lift.
- Passion: Where your passion is, that is where your focus is and that is where your energy will be. When you feel like you are losing interest, switch and do something that you enjoy. You will find that you will perk up and be recharge again. Think about what you are passionate about in the work that you are doing. Think beyond the work but the impact it will make. Reflect about what makes the work enjoyable. Once your passion meter has lighted up, you will find that you can go at it again.
- Purpose: work that aligns with our values will always give us the energy boast that we need when the going gets tough. Take a minute or so to remind yourself, why you are doing what you are doing.
- Support structure: We a need a community or support structure to help us, encourage us, guide us and sometimes to challenge us. If you need a good laugh, go find the friend that will make you laugh. If you need to get some good advice, go seek out a wise friend. If you need inspiration, go and talk to someone who will inspire you. Of course now you can just google it too. Personally I enjoy watching TED talks.
- Growth stimulators: Create a change or decide to learn something new. Learning something new is exciting and thus a great energy giver. Remember the time when you picked up a new hobby or learned something new, how did you feel? There are situations when we might need to “divert” our attention to something else in order for our minds to subconsciously figure out a solution. Learning something new or refocusing on something else and then getting back to the problem might give you a different perspective to solve a long-standing issue.
- Hope: The key to continuous flow of energy is when we have hope. Hope is a belief that something is going to happen usually for the better. Hope is an optimistic perspective of your progress and situation. When you are working on something tough, the hope that it will bring you the desired outcome will drive you to complete it.
Identify your energy fuels. Once you know what they are, use them when you need to. Besides caffeine, exercise is a great energy pick me up. Find yours and take advantage to fuel your energy level. We all need that inner boast of energy once or twice a day.