How to Manage Your Energy

Have you ever felt like your energy levels are a roller coaster, leaving you depleted by the end of the day? Imagine having the power to control and manage your energy effectively, ensuring you are always at your best. Whether you’re an administrative professional juggling multiple tasks or someone looking to improve their daily productivity, mastering energy management is crucial.

Adapted from the highly acclaimed Star Achievement Series, this blog will guide you through practical steps to harness your energy and thrive in your personal and professional life.

Power Skills: The Foundation of Success

If you’ve followed me long enough, you know how much I emphasize power skills. Power skills are the non-technical abilities crucial for career success. They are unique, transferable, and personal qualities that can help you excel at your job, drive change, and influence others. Sometimes referred to as soft skills, I prefer the term power skills as it underscores their importance. 

Today, I want to focus on one power skill in particular: energy management. The reason I pivoted from training about time management to energy management is simple. Time management is a valued hard skill. It’s the ability to prioritize, organize, focus, and plan. Yet, even when we manage our time well, we end up stressed and exhausted, which impacts our performance. Instead, I teach busy assistants how to manage their schedules and outputs by focusing on their energy management. 

What is Energy Management?

Energy management is more than just a trendy phrase; it’s a fundamental practice for achieving sustained productivity and well-being. It involves understanding your energy patterns, identifying what drains and boosts your energy, and implementing strategies to maintain a balanced and vibrant life.

Energy management is not about finding more time in your day but about using your existing time more effectively by focusing on your energy levels. This approach helps administrative professionals and other busy individuals perform at their peak without burning out.

Here are a few key points to help you do just that.

Practical Strategies for Managing Your Energy

Know Your Circadian Rhythms

Circadian rhythms are the mental, physical, and emotional changes we experience over the course of a day. We all have external factors that impact this, but also an internal biological clock that affects our unique rhythms. There will be times of day when you perform creative and strategic tasks best. Test out some of those times and begin to shift the work you do around them.

Key Points:

  1. Morning Energy Peaks: Most people experience a natural energy peak in the morning. This is an ideal time for high-concentration tasks.

  2. Afternoon Slump: A dip in energy typically occurs in the early afternoon. Use this time for less demanding tasks or short breaks.

  3. Evening Energy Boost: Some individuals experience a second wind in the evening, which can be harnessed for creative activities or planning.

Align your most important and demanding tasks with your peak energy times. For administrative professionals, this could mean scheduling complex projects or meetings in the morning when you are most alert.

Managing Your Output

We only have so much energy in a day, so pay attention to what you are investing your efforts in. The phrase “work smarter, not harder” applies here. Ask yourself, “Is this project taking too much of my time with minimal returns?” Focus your energy on the tasks that are most important and drive the most results.

A perfect example of this principle in action is Apple under the leadership of Steve Jobs. Upon his return to Apple in 1997, Jobs discovered that the company had a bloated product line, with many products not contributing significantly to the company’s bottom line. He realized that 20% of their products were making 80% of their profits.

By applying the 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, Jobs focused on eliminating the less profitable 80% of the product line and concentrated the company’s energy and resources on the top 20% that were driving the most significant results.

This strategic focus on the most impactful products led to the development of iconic innovations like the iMac, iPod, and later the iPhone, which revolutionized the tech industry and drove Apple’s massive success.

Similarly, by prioritizing your most critical tasks and eliminating or delegating less impactful ones, you can maximize your productivity and achieve better results without overextending yourself.

Software Tools and Systems

Part of what we teach in Digital Efficiency for Administrative Excellence is how assistants can maximize their already inundated inboxes, notes, and calendars by using tech tools to their advantage. This is especially crucial nowadays, as the rate at which technology is growing has skyrocketed.

Leveraging modern tools like Microsoft Outlook, Gmail filters, SaneBox, and Spark can help organize and prioritize emails. Calendar apps like Google Calendar and Calendly automate scheduling, while note-taking tools like Evernote and OneNote offer advanced organization features. Project management software such as Trello and Asana, along with automation tools like Zapier, can streamline tasks and reduce manual workload.

By integrating these tools into your daily routine, you can free up your energy for more strategic and high-impact tasks. Do your research, talk to others in the industry, and test out different tech tools to find the right combination that works for you.

Effective use of technology can streamline your workflow, reduce stress, and enhance overall productivity (especially with the strategic use of AI), allowing you to focus your energy on initiatives that drive success.

Prioritize Rest & Breaks

If you do not prioritize rest, you will expend your energy and burn out, unable to perform at your peak levels. Refuel by seeing how you can incorporate breaks throughout your day, recharge in the evenings, or start your day with some quiet moments of journaling. Look for ways you can refuel your soul as well by focusing on your own passions and interests.

Conversely, regular physical activity is one of the most effective ways to boost energy. Simple practices like stretching, walking, or even standing up periodically can keep energy levels high throughout the day and give your mind a much-needed break at certain intervals.

Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, can help manage stress and maintain energy. Taking a few minutes to clear your mind can refresh and refocus your energy.

Why Managing Your Energy Matters

Effectively managing your energy can lead to numerous benefits, including:

Increased Productivity: By aligning tasks with your natural energy peaks, you can accomplish more in less time. Understanding when you are most alert and focused allows you to tackle high-priority tasks during these periods. For example, if you are most productive in the morning, schedule your most demanding tasks for that time. This strategic alignment helps you complete tasks more efficiently and with higher quality, ultimately boosting your overall productivity.

Better Health: Regular breaks and physical activity can improve your overall well-being. Prolonged periods of inactivity and continuous work without breaks can lead to physical strain, mental fatigue, and stress. Incorporating short breaks, stretching, or even a brisk walk into your routine can help rejuvenate your mind and body. Additionally, activities like yoga or meditation can reduce stress levels and improve mental clarity. By taking care of your physical and mental health, you ensure sustained energy levels and reduce the risk of burnout.

Enhanced Job Satisfaction: Feeling in control of your energy can lead to higher job satisfaction and reduced burnout. When you manage your energy effectively, you experience fewer periods of overwhelming stress and fatigue. This sense of control over your workload and energy levels leads to a more positive outlook on your job. You become more engaged, motivated, and satisfied with your work. Furthermore, by avoiding burnout, you maintain a healthier work-life balance, contributing to long-term career satisfaction and success.

Improved Decision-Making: When you manage your energy well, your cognitive functions, such as decision-making, problem-solving, and creativity, are enhanced. High energy levels enable you to think more clearly, process information faster, and make better decisions. This improvement is particularly valuable for administrative professionals who need to handle complex tasks and make quick, informed decisions.

Stronger Relationships: Effective energy management allows you to be more present and engaged in your interactions with colleagues, clients, and supervisors. When you are not exhausted or stressed, you can communicate more effectively, listen actively, and build stronger professional relationships. These positive interactions can lead to a more collaborative and supportive work environment.

Greater Resilience: Managing your energy helps build resilience, enabling you to handle challenges and setbacks more effectively. When your energy levels are balanced, you are better equipped to cope with stress and recover from difficult situations. This resilience is crucial for maintaining long-term productivity and well-being in a demanding work environment.

By integrating energy management practices into your daily routine, you can enjoy these benefits and create a more productive, healthy, and fulfilling work life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Prioritize tasks based on your energy levels, and incorporate short breaks to recharge. Even a five-minute walk can make a big difference.

Quick energy boosters include deep breathing exercises, drinking a glass of water, stretching, or a short walk outside.

Quality sleep is essential for maintaining high energy levels. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night and establish a consistent sleep routine.

If you are an administrative professional, are. you ready to take control of your energy and boost your productivity? Enroll in the Star Achievement Series today and gain access to comprehensive training tailored for administrative professionals.

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