Top 3 Ways to Eliminate Distractions to Enhance Your Productivity

I think that it is safe to say that our lives are not just busy, but it is filled with distractions.  Or in another words, we are busy because of the distractions.  We want to be as productive as possible, but it is difficult not only because we have a list of to-dos that is a mile long but there is the added distractions that take place at any given time.

Therefore, in order for us to be more productive, we have to find ways to eliminate distractions.  The top 3 common distractions that impacts your productivity are:

1.  Environment:  The place where you work, your workstation or desk as well as the work set up that you have.  Is it conducive for the type of work that you are doing?  Is it organised in the way that will help you with your workflow?  Do you have what you commonly use within reach?  Is your desk setup organised to help you be most productive?  Research has shown that a messy or cluttered environment will distract your mind and impact your concentration. 

2.  People:  Yes, it’s true that you can’t avoid people at the workplace but people can be a great distraction to your productive.  People who interrupt your workflow or thought process or the distractions that they may cause with loud or boisterous chatter.  People who interrupt or disturb you with their ad-hoc request. 

3.  Thoughts:  Finally, there is you.  Yes, you are one of the worse distractions to yourself.  How?  Your thoughts.  Your worries or concerns or the gigantic list of to-dos that are running through your mind.  Your thoughts can create great fear and anxiety especially around the things that you have to do and the concerns around its outcomes.  This will eventually build up a great deal of pressure which will impact your productivity.  Therefore, a mind filled with worries or concerns will distract you from what you need to do.

How do we eliminate these top 3 distractions? 

The top 3 ways to eliminate distractions are:

1.  Visual Boundaries. 

2.  Putting Thoughts to paper.  

3.  Remove tech distractions. 

Let’s break them down.

Set up Boundaries.

In the workplace, it is usually very difficult for you to have the perfect work environment or set up.  You probably don’t have much of choice where your desk is located or what you can do about it.  However, you can control a few things.  You can decide how the layout or setup of your desk would look like, how things are organised or arranged and certainly “decorating” it with what makes it personal and inspiring for you to do your best work.  For example, I am a minimalist at heart and therefore I like my desk environment to be neat, tidy and clean.  I like to see a lot of “white space” if possible.  I will then organise my desk with only the essentials. 

You will need to decide what style or type of workplace you will enjoy working in, after all, that is where you will be spending most of your time.  If you are one of those who are working in a mobile workplace, then you will need to know and decide what works for you.  For most of us who are working both remotely as well as in an office environment, the essential tools that we need every day, will pretty much be the same.  For example, a laptop, paper, pen, mobile phone and a headphone.  At least for me, those are my essentials that I will have with me all the time.  I can work anywhere just with those 5 simple items.

Think about what boundaries you need to set or have set up.  What is working and what is not working?  One of the simplest visual boundaries examples in the workplace is to put on your headphones.  Noise cancelling headphones are great to remove the background noise in the workplace as well as the visual appearance of you having the headphones on will indicate to people that you are focusing on something.  They will most likely think twice before disturbing you.

Thoughts to Paper.

David Allen in his book “Getting Things Done” basically states that the very 1st step of being more productive is to capture our thoughts.  In another words, get everything out of your head and onto any capturing device which could be as simple as on a paper or your favourite note taking application.  As he states, “You must use your mind to get things off your mind.” 

Why is that?  That is essentially because of the “open loop” concept.  When our minds are having thoughts or to-do lists or worries, it creates an open loop which is always pulling your attention which creates distraction if it is not properly managed.  This open loop is what causes us to worry.  We constantly think about the thing that we have not yet action on.  Therefore, the way to eliminate this open loop is to capture those open loop thoughts onto paper or any capture tool that you use.  When you have captured that thought, you can then decide what action you would like to assign it.  You have 3 types of action to then take:

1.  To do the action now if you are able to do.

2.  Set a later time and date to do it.  Schedule it in your calendar.

3.  Not to do because you have not decided that it is not required or necessary for you to.

For you to go through your thoughts in an organised manner, you will need to put them down on paper.  Visually seeing the thought and processing the actions to take will help you to eliminate the distraction that is your mind.  Capturing your thoughts will enable to process and action on them which helps you to close the open loop

It is always good to remember that the brain is not designed as a list or worry holder or storage.  Therefore, capturing your thoughts becomes the key to releasing your mind to perform the functions that it was designed to which in essence is to process, decide and perform. 

Remove Tech Distractions.

Yes, that’s right, remove the technologies that distracts you.  We had always assumed that technology is key in helping us to be more productive.  However, in today’s technology saturated world, technology has become one of the top distractions to our productivity efforts.  We are often distracted when we hear the notification sound coming from our phones or our computers.  Not only from the notification sounds but when we have our phones within hand’s reach, the automatic reaction is to pick up and just scroll through the phone to see what’s up or the latest news.  And before you know it, you have spent 30 mins on the phone scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and emails and the list can go on depending on what applications we have on hand.

It is therefore important as part of creating a distraction free zone, you will need to set aside any technology that distracts you.  For example, put your phone on Do Not Disturb or silent mode, close all applications and notifications on your computer.  Just focus on the one application that you need to use at a time on your computer.  Set a timer on the PC if you are following the Pomodoro Technique for productivity focus time blocks.  Minimise the visual clutter that your eyes must see.  Simple and small things that you can do that will make a big impact on your productivity.

Let me summarise what I have covered.  In order to eliminate distractions, think about setting up boundaries that you will need to set, capturing your thoughts onto a capture tool, in another words, put your thoughts to paper and remove any technology distractions.  Sometimes it is in the small simple acts that we take that can make the big impact.  Try them out and share with others your experience in eliminating distractions.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article.  I hope that you have learned at least one thing that you are able to apply into your everyday life.   As always, please subscribe, follow and share this podcast with your friends.  Take care and step into the everyday with purpose. 

3 Steps to Simplification

We live in a world that is complicated and complex.  It seems like everything that we think or do has multiple layers and decisions are incredibly hard to make because of the multiple implications and complexities involved.  However, is there a way to simplify?  Are we complicating things just because we can or is it because we enjoy the complex and complicated challenges? Are we complicating our lives unnecessarily? Is there a way to simplify our lives by simplifying the way we think and live?

Hence the question, How can we simplify in a world that is dominated with complexities and challenges?

How can we make things simpler so that we are not overwhelmed with what we need to do?  I believe that we all know the challenges with complexities, but what are the benefits of simplification? 

There are 3 key benefits of simplifications and they are focus, eliminating distractions and reducing the waste of resources and effort.

Let’s break each one down.

1.  Focus.  When you are able to cut through the complexities, you will be able to see what is at the heart of any challenge or problem that is to be solved.  This enables you to focus on the core issue and with that will help you to decide how you want to respond to the core issue. Focus allows you the opportunity to allocate the appropriate amount of time, energy and resources to overcome the challenge. Take the Covid-19 vaccine development and availability as an example.  One of the main reasons the various offerings of the vaccine is available in such a short span of time is the 100% focus that every government, pharmaceutical organization, scientist of various areas of specialties that was dedicated to solving the problem. The whole world was literally focused on finding a solution to the problem. That is the benefit of focus. It allows for the total dedication of resources to meet the challenges of the core problem.

2.  Eliminates distractions.  When you simplify, you are then able to eliminate distractions or cut through the noise.  Almost every problem, challenge or issue has a root cause and unless we are able to identify the root cause accurately, you will not be able to solve the problem satisfactory.  If we are distracted by the noise that surrounds a certain problem, the solutions that you come up with will only address the noise but never the root cause which in turn will create a cycle of issues because the root cause was never dealt with.  Think about any attempts that we have made around solving any challenges, especially if a challenge is repeated over time, you know instinctively that you have not addressed the root cause. If an issue comes up over and over again, it is a simple sign that we have not identified the root cause and have not dealt with it satisfactorily.

Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly challenges that are complex and complicated and no one solution is able to fix all the problems.  However, the more you are able to simplify and eliminate distractions, the greater the ability to get to the heart of the problem.

3.  Waste of resources and effort.  We certainly do not want to waste resources and effort, however that is exactly what we are doing if we are not able to simplify.  We waste our effort trying to do more than we should or allocate resources thinly believing that we need to do everything when in fact, we don’t.  The heart of the matter is that we need to be efficient and effective in what we put our resources into.  The simpler we are able to address an issue the more concentrated the effort and resource allocation will be.  For example, if you only had 100 hours to work on a project, you will need to ensure that you are able to scope and allocate the appropriate resources to get the job done in the allocated 100 hours.  The same applies if now you only have 10 hours to do a project.  We tend to believe that if we put in more resources, then we will be able to solve all the problems or achieved a certain outcome.  However, that is not true.  The reality is that we should not be wasting resources and if we all use the appropriate number of resources, we would be able to achieve what we want.

The Parkinsons’ Law basically states that work expands to fill the time that has been allocated.  For example, if I have allocated a day to create content, I will use the whole day to do that.  If I then allocated only 1 hour to create content, then I will certainly be able to create content in that allocated 1 hour.  The difference is how I have used the time allocated to complete the task that was assigned.  I think that we have experienced all this or have observed this in the workplace.  Have you noticed how much time we “waste” at the corridors chatting or completing “filler” work?  Work that is necessary but not essential.  Work that fills up time but does not necessarily delivers impact.

Let’s break down how we can start to simplify.  There are essentially 3 parts to simplification:

1.  Know the Blueprint.

2.  Know the foundation.

3.  Build on it brick by brick.

Let’s start.

Know the Blueprint.

You must start with knowing what it is that you want to build or accomplish.  Without clarity of what it is you are trying to do; you will not be able to simplify.  In fact, you will not be able to be productive.  You might be doing a lot of tasks, but you will soon wonder or discover that it was either a waste of time or meaningless.

If you are trying to figure out what is the blueprint, ask yourself these 3 simple questions:

  1. Why am I doing this?
  2. What do I want to accomplish?
  3. What does success look like for me?

Take the building or construction of a house as an example.  Why do I want to build this house?  What is this house for?  What would make this house a home for me?  Depending on the answers, the blueprint of the house would fit the type of house and the functions that you need your house to fulfill your needs. 

As with all blueprints, it needs to be written down and to be visible.  Write down what it is that you are trying to accomplish with a particular project or campaign.  Keep it visible to remind yourself of the why you are doing what you are doing.

Know the foundation.

Once you have your blueprint in place, you will need to identify the foundation or the corner pieces.  Know your cornerstone.  This step helps you to prioritise your time, resources and gives you a starting point.

Think about how a house is built.  There are many stages and parts that go into making the final product.  The house must be built upon its foundation first and not as an example with its roof.  The foundation of the house is what will keep the house upright and a solid foundation will ensure that it does not collapse.  The simplest and most basic stage is the foundation. 

In the same why, simplification starts with breaking down each task or element to its most basic form.  It is always more exciting to focus on the big or exciting task, however, it is the small and sometimes insignificant task that is most important.  For example, you might not consider the nail as a critical piece of house building.  But imagine what would happen if you did not have nails or you are using substandard materials?

Simplification starts with asking the basic questions that are foundational to what you are planning to do.

Build Upon It brick by brick.

Once you have identified the foundation, the cornerstone, then you are able to build upon it.  You will have the confidence that what you are building is what you want because you have a blueprint and a foundation that you can build upon. 

The final step of simplification is to then build upon the foundation by prioritizing the impact and importance.   A crucial aspect with simplification is to be able to identify the most critical and important task to focus on first.  Remove all the nice to haves, the wants and the icing on the cake.  Focus on the key elements that are necessary and critical.  Most of the time the simple critical elements are not the fun things to do but what can be considered the mundane and boring.  Simplification process will help you to filter down to the crucial pieces and that is what you start on first.  Just like building a house, it would be most exciting to plan for the interior decorations or the smart home systems, but all those would be meaningless if the house is not built on a solid foundation.  The niceties of the house is not going to hold the house up.

Let’s summarise: 

The ability to simplify will help you to focus on the crucial and critical, the foundational building blocks and enhances your productivity because you are now focusing your time on the critical with a clear view on what it is you want to accomplish in order to create impact and long-term sustainability.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article.  I hope that you have learned at least one thing that you are able to apply into your everyday life.  Let’s be purposeful in our journey to live out the best version of you and of your life.  As always, please subscribe, follow and share this blog with your friends.  Take care and step into the everyday with purpose. 

You can also check out lisalamcoach podcast here.

Top 3 Critical Success Factors for Successful Productive Habits

What are habits? In its most basic form, it is based on the Law of Hypnotic Rhythm.  It essentially states that when a thought or physical movement repeated over a period of time it forms into a habit or an organised rhythm which makes it permanent. Therefore routines that you perform on a regular basis over time will become a habit. It is automatic, very little effort required from your us and it is just a natural part of us. One of the simplest example of a habit is what you do first thing in the morning. Without much thought you will go about your day doing pretty much the same thing at pretty much the same time and in a particular order of how you would do them.

Habits are beneficial because:

  • You don’t have to think about it, worry about it or work at it.
  • It establishes stability and defines your comfort zone.
  • It is a safe structure that protects and keeps your safe and secure.
  • It saves you time and increases your competencies or skills as you perform the same function repeatedly.

What are productivity habits? In a nutshell, routines that help you to save time, get more done in less time and focused sessions for you to do your best work.

What are the critical success factors for successful productivity habits?

Key elements of all productivity habits are:  Mindset, Discipline and Sustainability.

Let’s break down the 3 critical success factors for successful productivity habits:

  1. Mindset.
  2. Routines.
  3. Discipline.

Mindset.

Yes, everything starts with your mindset.  To create or change a habit, you will need to have a mindset that is open to creating or changing a habit.  You must not only want to create a new habit but must also believe that you are able to.

I have said several times, I will say it again, the direction of our life is determined by our strongest thoughts.  Your mindset determines the direction of your life and the success of the path that you take.  No one who is successful has a mindset of failure.  Successful people have a learner or growth mindset.  If you want to create or change a habit but have a mindset that is opposed to doing it, then it is a certain that you will not be successful in creating or changing your habit.

Questions to change your mindset:

  • Why am I doing what I am doing?
  • What triggers me to keep the motivation and excitement to keep to a habit or routine?
  • What can I do to make this easier or simpler?  Am I complicating this task?
  • What can I do to have some fun or to make this task enjoyable?

Simple questions that will give you the answers to establish the right mindset.  Once you have the right mindset, then we can move to the next step which is to establish routines.

Routines.

Routines are what will help you create habits.  A habit is made up of 3 components, a trigger, an action and a response.  Routines help you to set up all 3 components.  For example, I had wanted to learn to brush my teeth with my non-dominant hand because I read this book that suggested that if you do that at the start of the day, it will help the mind to learn better or something to that effect.  Anyway, the trigger to brush my teeth with my non-dominant hand starts with how I position where the toothbrush was placed.  It is usually on the right side of the basin and I thought that if I placed it on the left side, that might help trigger a different action because now I would have to pick up the toothbrush with my left hand and with that different action, to create a new response which was to brush my teeth with my left hand since the toothbrush was already on my left hand.  Brilliant, isn’t it?  I am sure you are dying to know if I have successfully learned how to brush my teeth with my left hand and the answer is yes, albeit not as fast or as graceful as with my right hand but I know that over time it will be efficient enough. 

Routines are fundamental and starting point of creating any habits.  Routines are designed for you to do a certain task repeatedly, in the same order until you have mastered it.  You have mastered it when it becomes a habit.

You would have heard or read about routines whether morning or evening of successful people.  Some people have strange wake up times like 2am and a very regimented schedule where they follow while others are more reasonable like 6am start to a day.  No matter what the wake up time and what they do during that routine, the element is still the same.  There is a trigger, action and response and the cycle repeats.

The key is to establish a routine that you are able to maintain and repeat over a period of at least 63 days.  That’s right 21 days is not enough to create habit which basically answers the question as to why you have not developed a habit after just 21 days.

Questions to get you started on creating a routine:

  • what is your work style?
  • what is your current routine or habit that is working, what is not working, what needs to change?
  • When are you most productive?
  • What are some examples or enhances that you would need to learn?
  • When does your work feel like a flow and not one where you have to dragged yourself to do it?

These set of questions will help you know how you can start creating a routine that reflects you, the way you work, the best time for you to do the work or task at hand and for you to find the best ways to be the most productivity.

Discipline.

Discipline is the critical superpower that will enable to do it.  In order to execute on the routine, you will require not just the routines but the discipline to start and carry it through until completion. Discipline is what will enable to you do that. Without discipline, it is fairly safe to say that your best intentions will not receive its desired outcome.

I know that in today’s world, discipline is not a very popular word as it implies that effort, pain and discomfort is somehow involved.  For the most part, it is true.  For you to create or change any habit, will be uncomfortable, sometimes inconvenient and painful but if you believe that the benefits of the new habit that you want to create outweighs the downside, then you will need discipline to help you get over the line.

Discipline in itself can be argued as a habit because like a habit, it takes time to grow and with practice it does grow stronger. 

Let’s summarise:

Productivity Habits requires the right mindset which is based on 3 simple questions:  1. Why am I doing this?  2.  What can I do to make this easier or simpler?  3.  What can I do to make this take enjoyable or to have some fun doing it?

The second part is the routine that will create the habit.  Think about what the triggers, actions and rewards that I would need to put in place in order to consistently execute the routine.

The final element is the acknowledgement for discipline, the magic source that will allow the routines to be sustainable especially when the going gets tough.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article.  I hope that you have learned at least one thing that you are able to apply into your everyday life.   As always, please subscribe, follow and share this blog with your friends.  Take care and step into the everyday with purpose. 

Productivity is Meaningless without Impact

Productivity is getting as much as possible done within the confines of limited resources, name time.  Impact on the other hand is about the work that produces results that are exponential or invaluable or precious that without your involvement would not bring the same significance.

The real goal is to be productive in the things that are impactful.

For example, compare a person working in the office that has a calendar full of tasks, meetings to attend and projects to complete vs. a stay-at-home mother, who would you perceive as more productive and impactful?  The person working in the office might be more productive based on the number of tasks and activities that are completed but the stay-at-home mother with just as many tasks to perform would be more impactful in the life of the child.

Impact is measured very differently from productivity measurements.  Impact is usually intangible in its outcome which is therefore impossible to track or measured in the traditional sense.  It is not a checklist to be ticked.  It is usually where we struggle to define and therefore have difficulty in attaching a value to. 

Productivity measurements are easier to measure and therefore it is what we gravitate towards because the outcome is immediate, short-term and usually tangible.  For example, productivity measures would look like, how many items can a manufacturing plant produce in a minute, an hour, a day and so on. This will then be translated to how many units can a single worker produce in a minute, an hour, a day and so on.  While this form of measuring productivity is accepted and used especially in a manufacturing environment, would it still be applicable in a knowledge-based environment?

The trap that we all fall into is to measure our productivity like the manufacturing or production environment.  How many pages can you type?  How many projects or campaigns are you able to execute?  What are the sales or revenues that is generated?  How many scans or reports can you produce in a day?  How many tasks can you complete in a day?

The challenge is to differentiate what is productive from what is of impact and to achieve real success is to be productive in the impactful priorities.

How can we be productive in the impactful?

First, we need to know what impact is or what is impactful for you.  You will need to define your impact score.  It could be the most important project or work that you have.  It could be in investing time in your relationships e.g., with your children.  It could be investing in an area that is critical for your long-term success. 

Second, once you have defined your impact, then you will need to prioritise what goes into contributing to that impactful area.  Prioritising is a great skill to have and master.  Most people find it difficult to prioritise.  The simplest way I have discovered is to implement the 10-10-10 model by Suzy Welch.  This model essentially asks 3 simple questions:

  1. what is the consequence or outcome if I did this or not in the next 10 minutes?
  2. what is the consequence or outcome if I did this or not in the next 10 months?
  3. what is the consequence or outcome if I did this or not in the next 10 years?

In another words, what is the impact of an action in the short, medium and long term. 

Depending on how you answer the questions, you will know what NOT to do as well as what to persevere in doing because the impact can be felt over a longer period of time.

How would you apply it?

Take an example, if you do not breathe in the next 10 minutes, what is the consequence?  Well, honestly you wouldn’t last 10 minutes, so the answer is you would have to prioritise breathing as a very critical function to perform. 

Another example, what would happen if you do not eat in the next 10 minutes?  Next 10 months?  Next 10 years? Well, nothing if it’s just for the 10 minutes.  It is not critical to your survival.  However, if you do not eat for the next 10 months, that might be a problem.  So in the immediate or short term, the impact is not significant but if prolonged it would be impactful.

In the workplace or when you are making decisions, you would apply the same concept.  If you did not make this decision in the next 10 minutes, what would happen?  In the next 10 months and in the next 10 years?

You will realise that when you take a long-term view or the 10-year view, the majority of our decisions are not significant or impactful.  However, there are only between 8 to 10 decisions that you will ever make in your life that is impactful from a long-term perspective such as, what will you study in college or university?  Who will you marry?  How you will parent, teach and guide your child?  What do you believe in?  What do you invest your life in?

This technique can also be used to help to put things into perspective.  Not everything is urgent, not everything is do or die and certainly not everything is of great importance.  It will help you to not over-catastrophize everything.

Let me summarise:

  1. Be productive in the impactful.
  2. Impact is defined by you.
  3. Techniques such as 10-10-10 can help you to prioritise and uncover what is impactful for you.

Impact is a result of consistent, intentional and discipline approach to a long-term outcome.  To last the long-term journey, you will need to prioritise and to be determined to stay the course by being productive in the everyday in the things that leads to the impact that you want.

Remember, it’s not the number of things that you are able to get through the day, but rather, it is getting the most impactful things completed in the most productive manner.

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Thank you for taking the time to read this article.  I hope that you have learned at least one thing that you are able to apply into your everyday life.   As always, please subscribe, follow and share this blog with your friends.  Take care and step into the everyday with purpose. 

Energy and Not Just Time Management for Productivity

What is the difference between time and energy management?

Time management focuses on how you utilise time.  Time is a finite resource and therefore one of the most precious resources that we have.  Due to its finite nature, it can either be used well or wasted, just as easily, because as the saying goes, time waits for no man.  Once it gone, its gone.  As I have grown older, this is becoming more evident every day.  One of the least exciting things about getting old is that time is not on your side.  In fact, neither is gravity 😊 

You manage time by scheduling it during the course of the day.  You allocate time to get work done.  You can allocate it for meetings, discussions, writing proposals, analysing data and the list goes on.  You allocate time for not just work but also all the other things that you want to get done during the course of the day.  It could be to exercise, catch up with friends, time with your family and the list of activities can seem endless.  No matter how long the list, time is of course the same for all of us.  No more and no less.

What is energy management?

Energy management focuses on when is the best time during the day that you are at your best energy level to perform specific types of work.  Energy unlike time is a variable and potentially infinite resource.  It is variable because you are able to deplete or drain it but you are also able to recharge it or power it up again.  This in turn gives you a potentially infinite resource to manage and utilise.  Energy management involves knowing what your energy level is through the day.  Just like the circadian rhythm, our energy flow during the day will vary between productive and rest periods.  Knowing what and when your energy peaks and ebbs is crucial in deciding what type of work is more productively and efficiently fits.

Your productivity level is dependent not just on the time but more so on your energy level as it is your energy level that will determine the outcome or output.  Time is just a function that you block out to get work done.  To get the work done, it is your energy that allows for work to be performed.

There are different workstyles and broadly some categories for example, the generic term of morning or night person.  A morning person will be the one that is up early the morning, works best in the morning and is what the work world expects.  A night person is alive and most productivity in the evening, finds it difficult to get up and going in the morning.

Energy management dictates that you do the most suitable type of work depending on when your energy level is at its best for that specific type of work.  For most of us, our work revolves around a set category of work namely:

1.  Thinking type work.  These include analytical or problem-solving which decisions needs to be made based on analysis of the information at hand, brainstorming ideas and so on.

2.  Physical work.  This includes the physically moving about, creating something with your hands, exerting physical strength and so on.

3.  Creative work.  This includes painting, creating designs, artistic work and so on.

Therefore perform work that is best suited to your energy levels. For example, the tough or complex work should be performed when your energy level is at its high point. You will find that when your energy level is high, you will be able to give difficult task the focus and attention that it requires. When your energy level is low, it is extremely difficult to concentrate and give the very same task the proper attention that it needs. The output or outcome will be impacts as a result.

Depending on the type of work, the energy levels will correspond.  For example, if your energy level is low you are not going to be good any type of work because mentally, creatively and physically you are tired.  To get work done, will be a hard uphill battle.  So what do we do when we are felling sluggish, we reach out for the widely use “drug” called caffeine to give us that jolt of energy that we need to get our energy level up and then we are able to do some work.

However, no matter how effective caffeine may be, there is more to energy management than just take a stimulant.  Caffeine is certainly part of the arsenal that we use, some more than others.

What are the energy management techniques?

  1. Know your energy level cycle throughout the day.  We all have productive and rest intervals during the course of the day.  For example, a morning person will usually be most focused and mentally charged to get going in the morning or first half of the day.  Therefore for this type of person, it is the best time to do “thinking” type work.
  2. Know your energy buckets.  Be aware of your energy buckets.  When you break down the energy levels that we have, it can be roughly broken down to 4 buckets namely physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.  These 4 energy buckets enables you to not only perform or do what you have to do but also gives you the ability to perform certain functions more effectively and productively when you are able to managed them appropriately.
  3. Know your energy powerbanks and vampires.  Be aware of what drains your energy and what recharges or energises you.  Just like any device that is run on battery, if you do not plug it into the power source, the device will not be able to run once the battery runs out.  The same goes for you.  If you are overdrawing one of more of the 4 energy buckets, you will run dry.  This is the most common reason for burned out.
  4. Charge throughout the day.  Schedule time during the day to charge or energise the energy buckets.  It does not require anything special just a set time to quickly power-up.  For example, during lunch, listen to music or read a book or go for a walk.  Any activity that suits your energy bucket and that is able to charge it up.

What works for you?

In order to know what works for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Am I a morning or evening person?
  2. What part of the day am I most energised to do “thinking” or “creative” work?
  3. What time of the day do I get the most work done and what type of work?
  4. What type of activities drains my mental or emotional energy?
  5. What type of activities energises me?
  6. How can I avoid or minimise activities that drains me?
  7. How can I get to do more activities that energises me?
  8. What can I do to include more activities that energises me?

Let’s also be realistic that there is no role or work that will give you 100% enjoy 100% of the time.  We have parts of our role that we don’t enjoy as much and aspects of our roles that drains us.  For example, I find meetings to be one of the most draining activities I have to do. However, it has to be done and there is no one that I can delegate it to.  Recognising that and then it is not to avoid what drains you, but it is to then find activities that is able to recharge you to balance it out.  For example, I love to analyse numbers, yes as strange as that may sound, I love looking at numbers and it recharges me mentally.  One of my secret is to have meetings that have to do with analysing numbers, so instead of having meetings that just drains me, this is a great meeting that energises me😊 Ok, I am just kidding. But I think you know what I am saying.

In summary, time management is one part of the productivity equation. Energy management plays a much bigger role in our productivity that we realise. In fact, I would suggest that energy management should play a much bigger part when you think and plan your day and how you are able to schedule the appropriate type of work during the day.

Check out the lisalamcoach podcast as another option to consume my content.

Thank you for taking the time to read to my article.  I hope that you have learned at least one thing that you are able to apply into your everyday life.   As always, please subscribe, follow and share this artcile with your friends.  Take care and step into the everyday with purpose.