Most of us struggle with productivity at work. How to be more productive? Try to manage your energy, not your time. Sometimes, we feel like we are not going to meet our deadlines and when we do, we are not sure how we managed it and we feel exhausted.
To be more productive and less tired focus on your energy not on your time.
Tony Schwartz, the founder of The Energy Project has been working on creating science-based and reliable methods to energize and empower people in their workplace. He worked with big organizations such as Coca-Cola, Google, Facebook and Microsoft to improve the productivity and morale of their employees.
The Energy Project is focusing on employees’ energy, not on the time. They believe there are four types of energy: mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. Focusing on all four energies is the key to success when it comes to keeping energy.
Schwartz wrote an article for Harvard Business Review describing the process of training conducted with Wachovia Bank where he worked with 106 employees at 12 banks in New Jersey. He worked with senior managers and lower-level managers. In the end, those who participated in the program outperformed the control group who did not participate in the training. Their performance was higher by 20% and 68% of the participants reported that learned strategies helped them when dealing with clients and customers. From all those who participated, 71% of them believed that their productivity and performance has increased in their daily work. Addressing energy is crucial for boosting employees’ energy. Still, what did the Energy Project and Schwartz do to make this happen?
The first thing to remember is that everyone has not only 24 hours in a day, but everyone has the same energy for 24 hours. Instead of focusing on how to be productive more in one day, the right approach is realizing where you are spending your energy. Where you are losing your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual energy?
It’s not a surprise that for physical energy you need to exercise, sleep and eat well. Often, all it takes is to see where you are falling short and where you are losing your physical energy? Maybe you are skipping breakfast, not exercising enough or working late into the night. Also, certain habits will help you increase your physical energy such as eating three to four small meals, regular sleep and drinking enough water.
When it comes to mental energy, sometimes it’s hard for some to determine their boundaries. You know that you can’t lift 1000 pounds, so you are not going to try to do that. Still, we will multitask and waste our mental energy. The most effective and productive way is to focus on one task at the time. Multitasking is a great example where you can see that we should be focusing more on our energy, not on time.
Emotional energy is crucial for the attitude that you have towards your work. Even if you are well-rested and focused if you have a bad attitude that will drain your emotional energy and you will be less productive. When stress arises, the important thing is to stay emotionally stable. Go for a short walk, take a few deep breaths and send a positive and encouraging message to someone in your life.
Spiritual energy is something that can’t be easily defined. It’s a feeling that your day-to-day work is in line with the higher purpose or even higher goal that you have in life. That’s why having a vision and long-term goals are important to remain your spiritual energy and to remain real life-work purposes.
Next time when you feel drained and when you feel that you are not going to meet your deadlines, ask yourself where are you spending your energy, not your time.