Most of us are always feeling like we don’t have the time for everything that needs to be done and the things that we want to do. When we do get the “free time” to do the things we want; we find that we don’t have the energy to do them anymore. We end up trying to get some rest instead.
Time vs Energy
Time and energy are both resources that we utilize in our daily lives. Most of us are not aware that they are different. Time is a finite source. We all have the same 24 hours to spend per day. It’s up to us how we spend it. Energy is not fixed. It comes and goes and how it fluctuates throughout the day is different for each individual.
For example, some people are more active in the morning while others prefer to do deep work in the afternoon or even deep into the night. How many of us have categorized ourselves as “morning persons” or “night owls”?
Your Energy Factors
Understanding the different energies that we have at our disposal will also help us get clearer on how our energy works and how we can manage them.
We have different energy centers. For our daily needs, our main energy factors can be categorized as follows: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.
This is the most fundamental energy resource that we have. It is affected by our sleep, what we eat, our water intake and what we do for exercise. If you don’t feel like getting up from bed when you wake up; then your day is already starting out really bad.
A basic factor in our physical health is our breath. If we don’t know how to breath properly, then we won’t be able to use our physical energy efficiently. So take the time to slow down and breath deeply to allow your body to relax. Regular exercise also helps us to breath deeper and increase our physical energy.
Make sure to drink lots of water and eat properly throughout the day. Eating properly means avoiding junkfood and instead focusing on foods that can provide you with optimum nutrition. Don’t let yourself go hungry but don’t get too full from eating either so you don’t end up sleepy.
How we feel throughout the day can greatly affect our productivity and the quality of our work. Our emotional energy can affect our own personal forecast for our whole day or our whole week. Just like with our physical body, we also need to regulate our emotional energy and take time to refuel it.
We all know that negative energy can make us feel down and stressed out so we end up unproductive. However, avoiding negative experiences and hiding from toxic people is not a good long-term strategy. Instead, acknowledging these situations is the first step to finding a solution.
How do you refuel from emotionally draining situations? Just go back to doing the things that you enjoy or the things that are deeply relaxing for you. For example, put on some upbeat music and just move your body if you love dancing. Or take the time to read a few pages of your favorite book to relax.
Our mental energy can deeply affect our concentration during work. If we don’t have enough mental energy; it will be hard for us to focus on the details of our work. It will also be hard to see how our work can contribute to the big picture; because we might not even be able to imagine the significance of it.
With low mental energy, our inner dialogue can also turn negative instead of optimistic. We will find it hard to focus on a conversation with a friend in the din of a cafeteria for example, when at other times, this response is almost automatic.
To refuel mentally, we need to manage what we consume mentally as well. Your choices will depend on the type of innate intelligence you have. What type of music and books do you consume? What topics do you browse on social media? What topics do you and your friends mostly talk about? Hopefully, they are all topics that help you motivate yourself to do better and give you a more optimistic view of the world. If you end up with more frustration and self-doubt from these experiences; then it’s time to rethink your choices.
Our spiritual energy has a lot to do with fulfilling our sense of purpose and our values. If our actions don’t align with our deepest core values and don’t align with our personal interest or life purpose; then we will find ourselves lacking the energy to do our work.
Just like all the other factors, we also need to replenish our spiritual energy. We can do this by setting aside “alone time” for some reflection where we can further explore our values and purpose. This can be done through meditation, yoga, reading a good book, sound therapy and other things that can help you calm down and find your inner peace.
We can also replenish our spiritual energy by reaching to others and offering our time or assistance in some way. Spending time with our loved ones is also a fulfilling spiritual experience.
Managing Your Energy
It is important to learn your own energy patterns on a daily basis. This will allow you to identify what time of day you are most energetic and when you are in low battery mode. Keep track of your energy fluctuations in a journal. This way, you can finally figure out if you truly are a morning person or a night owl.
Once you do this, you can also schedule your activities according to your patterns. This might not be easy to do in an office setting but you can start to make small tweaks to your schedule first. Your goal is to be more productive than ever so that you won’t have any issues with your own work schedule.
As you may have noticed, each factor is interconnected, and external experiences impact our overall well-being. Nurturing relationships, social interactions, work-life balance, and financial stability are essential aspects to consider in maintaining optimal energy levels. By managing our energy effectively, we can enhance productivity, pursue our passions, and lead more fulfilling lives.