Recently a friend commented "oh you weren't at the seminar on Saturday, I guess you were busy." I explained to my friend that I actually did have the time but not the energy. Two days earlier I had returned from traveling for work and I knew I had an intense week ahead. In order to restore and reserve my energy I had chosen not to attend the seminar.
Much is written about managing time, boundaries on time, the big rocks etc. Many of these resources are important and very helpful. But managing energy is a concept that has only come to my attention in the last few years. For all of us energy is one of our biggest assets. Managing our energy is just as important as managing our time. Wayne Cordeiro writes "How and where I invest my energy may be the most important decision I will make on any given day."
A helpful exercise for me has been to determine what the most strategic use of my energy could be. Determining the three key areas of where to put my energy has helped guide the daily use of my work time. How easy it is to squander our energy stores on email and useless activities.
Not everything in our day takes an equal amount of energy and for all of us our energy is higher at certain times of the day than others. And depending on how we are wired, certain activities drain us and other things energize us. Working out what this means for us personally helps us to schedule our day and our energy accordingly. Important meetings, presentations or vital work should be scheduled when our energy is highest. Less draining and straight forward tasks can be scheduled when our energy is the lowest. Allowing yourself to refuel after a time of intense energy output is also important. This whole area is one that I am still learning in, but I find it incredibly helpful to consider as I plan my week.
We all have the same amount of time, but our energy is limited and finite (and as we get older often ebbing), but we all have the choice of being intentional about how we use the energy we have available.
Questions to Ponder: What drains and energizes you? What are the key priorities on your energy?