“Time is a finite source. Energy is a different story,”
- Harvard Business Review
I was out for a dinner the other night when I noticed a couple on a date- both of them on their phones. Have you ever wanted someone's time really bad? Maybe, you just wanted to spend some quality time with your partner or you wanted to connect with someone you look up to. What if you finally arranged to meet them and they are there, but not really there. You know what I mean?
Does this not make you think that you were not looking for their time; you were actually looking for their attention or involvement. You wanted them to be present.
They say that time is the most expensive currency and you can't buy it. Many of us find it very hard to manage time. Even when we schedule our time, it's so hard to stick to it.The phone rings with a work emergency or the baby starts crying. Life happens.
First of all, you must know that you are not alone. It happens to the best of us.
What we need here is a shift in perspective. We don't need to be working all the time to have the best results. When we are looking for people to spend time with us, we are seeking their energy and not time. For ourselves, we have to choose to give our energy to the things that matter the most. In other words, we must learn to manage our energy and not time. You can be with someone for 60 minutes and feel drained at the end of the meeting or you can choose to spend 20 minutes but feel fulfilled at the end of it.
Setting Intention is key in managing your energy. Writing down your goals can also help you set intention. It is something that Stephen Covey in his famous book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People stated as his habit #2: begin with the end in mind. This simple addition to your work routine can gift you clarity about expectations and help you channelize your energy towards your desired direction.
Observe your pattern for a week and based on your findings, start eliminating activities or people that are monopolizing your energy.
In the longer scheme of things, pausing is always better than being unproductive. Schedule to unfocus in order to focus.
Let go of guilt and judgement. Investing the energy into yourself can dramatically increase your productivity and help you #crushit.
Make the most of the time and get the most out of the time. Put the phone away, clear the distraction. Stop reacting to distractions. It will feel like deprivation at first but, it will become a habit eventually.
Self-Reflect: Awareness is key to growth and there is incredible value in becoming aware of our spending patterns. No, I am not talking about the dollar bills but your energy. Have you ever noticed what drains you and what sustains you? Observe your pattern for a week and based on your findings, start eliminating activities or people that are monopolizing your energy and schedule concrete blocks of time for people and activities that increase your energy and vitality.
Take regular breaks: In the longer scheme of things, pausing is always better than being unproductive. Schedule to unfocus in order to focus. Gabby Bernstein stands by this rule. In her recent video, she has asked her readers to, “slow down to speed up.”
In 2014, the social networking company The Draugiem Group used a time-tracking productivity app to study what habits set their most productive employees apart. The key to their productivity was that for every 52 minutes of focused work, they took a 17-minute break.A simple way of doing it will be setting a timer for 52 minutes as you sit to work an plan a rewarding break such as making a tea (hydrate yourself) or water your plants (connect with nature) or just move your body (stretch out).
Embrace Downtime: Indulge in what makes you feel happy. Self-care is self-service. Ever heard of the saying you can’t pour from an empty cup? Figure out what rejuvenates you! Sprinkle self-care throughout the day. It can be small things like putting on your favourite song, or diffusing your favourite essential oil blend, taking a 10 min bath instead of a 5 minute shower, candles, books or just staying in & watching Netflix in lieu of going out for a drink. Let go of guilt and judgement. Investing the energy into yourself can dramatically increase your productivity and help you #crushit.
Commit: If you are choosing to invest your resources into something, be all in. Make the most of the time and get the most out of the time. Put the phone away, clear the distraction. Stop reacting to distractions. It will feel like deprivation at first but, it will become a habit eventually.
Last but not the least, learn to say no. You will be surprised how far you will go once you start respecting your own boundaries.
She is our in-house rebel chasing digital trends in Marketing & Communications. She sculpts new ideas into vessels of empowerment.