The past year has been jam packed with challenges and change. If you are like many people you have learned about your ability to adapt and to innovate under pressure. Even with that, you likely suspect there are many challenges and more change ahead. How do you continue to squeeze continual high productivity and creativity into your day in what has become the COVID-19 marathon? Where do you find the energy?
With those questions in mind, consider this: imagine how your days, and the outcome of your work, might change if you offered yourself the freedom to consider the management of your energy at least on equal footing, if not more, than time management? Sure, there can be expectations to have the busiest schedule. There are bragging rights to going the longest without a vacation. There is an undeniable pressure that has come from this long pandemic and the stressors it has placed on you, your loved ones, and your organization.
Alternatively, there is considerable research that energy management leads to higher productivity, creativity and positive influence on others. This energy feeds positive organizational outcomes. (Look to this scholarly article, “Energy Management of People in Organizations”, from the Journal of Business and Psychology if you would like to read more.) Perhaps a focus on maintaining and increasing energy, rather than filling your time, can be your new how to do more with less in 2021!
Consider these exercises:
- Reflect or journal on the portions of your job and personal life that energize you and drain you. How can you re-arrange your schedule to maintain or improve your energy throughout your day?
- Do an energy inventory with your peers. Are there portions of your work that can be shifted with others to balance your team’s energy? Your energy suck may well be another colleague’s energy powerhouse. At the very least, identifying those items that take more personal energy can be an opportunity for your colleagues to encourage and support you and one another.
- Reflect or journal about the responsibilities you are carrying that belong to God. Intentionally enter into prayer with God as you journey to release them. Where is God leading you and providing you opportunity to use your skills and resources? Focus there. Consider sharing these with an accountability partner.
- Ask yourself, whom do you need to forgive, including yourself? Offer grace and mercy to yourself and others while practicing healthy boundaries. Sometimes this isn’t so easy. Keep doing it. Holding a grudge takes a lot of energy.
- What team building exercises can you implement in 2021? These can be as simple as reading a leadership development book together or more complex activities like a team DiSC profile and discussion. A team that knows, accepts, and supports one another is a great energy builder.
One of the nice things about energy management is that there are many aspects of it that don’t take your time. Practice energy management this year and shift your focus to get more out of the time you give.