I wish I had more hours in the day!
How many times have we heard that said? We, ourselves may have said it, or at least thought it multiple times a day. Many of you are highly motivated, driven people. Many of you are in leadership of some capacity, or hold jobs with a lot of responsibility. Many of you are mothers where time is no longer your own.
Whoever you are and wherever you are at, I know this topic is deeply useful to you.
Managing our time and managing our energy is probably one of the most valuable lessons we could possibly learn. Time is our most valuable resource. The one thing that we will never ever get back. Energy, however, is renewable. Something that we can learn to optimise and maximise to get the most out of our time.
I listened to a podcast this morning which was the best advice I have heard so far on this topic. It was by Craig Groeschel who speaks to millions of leaders every year, is a best-selling author of multiple books, and the Senior Pastor of Life Church which has dozens of locations throughout the United States. He is a compelling voice on leadership, discipline, and stewardship.
The Podcast was on The Art of Energy Management.
Craig’s capacity to lead, write, and generate new content is second to none. And he achieves this together as well as having a big family of six children. He truly models a lifestyle where he manages his time and optimises his energy in the most inspiring way.
‘There are too many things to do, and too little time.’
Sound like something you think or say? You are not alone. Craig, however, teaches that most people think that time is the issue, however he comes at it from a different angle. He says, what if we were to take the focus of time management for a moment and put it on energy management! Revelatory right?
The Art of Energy Management
Time is finite. We only have 24 hours in a day. However, energy is a renewable resource. So while we can never ever create more time, we can definitely create more energy.
For example if we nourish our bodies with the right food, exercise, and get enough sleep every night we renew our energy levels.
If however, we eat rubbish, burn the candle at both ends, we deplete our energy stores and our bodies capacity .
More than this, there are things in our lives, which will restore, and replenish our energy. This will be unique to each person. There are things that will increase my energy levels and restore me, that will have the opposite affect for you. And things that restore and replenish your energy levels, that would drain the energy out of me faster than leaving the headlights on an old car battery.
Living to optimise your energy levels is an art!
How do we live to optimise our energy levels?
Craig Grochel advices to experiment. He says:
“To try different things to create the optimal environment and rhythms to create the optimum environment and schedule for your peak production and fulfillment.”
Stay with me: This gets excellent.
You will be better at some things at certain times than others.
For example, you might be a morning person (yes I am) and is when you do your best work, and get your most creative ideas in the morning.
Alternatively you may get your creative juices flowing at 4pm in the afternoon, or perhaps in the evening.
Maybe you love the pressure of a deadline, others of you will love to get things completed well ahead of time.
Perhaps you feel energised around people, alternatively this may drain you and you may find you get your energy from time alone.
Different tasks will consume different amounts of energy.
For example, writing new material takes more energy than sitting in a meeting.
Or Counselling one on one for four hours may take more energy than running a workshop.
Putting it all together
Since you are better at some things than others, and different tasks consume different amounts of energy,
you need to do an Energy Audit.
This is for you to understand:
- What is it that drains you? What takes away your energy?
- What is it that sustains you? What fuels you and replenishes your energy?
How do you do an energy audit?
Using the numbers from negative two to positive two, with negative two being utterly draining with 0 meaning tolerable and positive two being absolutely life giving.
Large work Meeting -2
Spending time with Greenie +2
Time with Close Girlfriend +2
Large Social Gathering -1
Over two weeks write down and keep track of the things that you do every single day.
Then give each activity a number.
Audit the tasks you perform, the conversations you have and the type of decisions you make at work.
Audit the time away from work. When you are active, when you are out socially and who you are with. Audit time spent with friends and family.
Audit everything over the next two to three weeks.
Putting it into practice
Once you have completed the audit look back over your schedule. Try to look at all the things which drained you and all the things which called over 0 and sustained you.
Do more of what sustains you and less of what drains you.
As often as you can, eliminate, automate, or delegate all the tasks or type of work that drains you.
If there are tasks that you are doing, that do not actually make a difference, could you eliminate them? If you can make the task automatic somehow? Like making the same lunch the night before or getting your breakfast ready. Meal prepping for meals at night? If you can delegate tasks to someone who loves it or is better equipped, than delegate!
As much as you can, do more of the things that energise you and sustain you.
These are most likely the things you are the best at and give you joy.
Is it writing new material? Is it one on one meetings? Is it certain activities or relationships in your off time? How can you maximise your gifts and productions. How can you maximise time with relationships which bring you pure joy and restoration.
Create the daily weekly and monthly rhythms that allow you to create your peak performance.
Craig has intricately studied his own life energy audits to optimise his energy levels. He has studied what time he has gone to bed, woken up, what foods he eats, the supplements he takes, when he does certain tasks, and worked out how to schedule his life in a way that optimises his energy.
Here is an example of His life:
On his wall he has a visual calendar of the whole year. Each frame on his wall represents each month of the year.
He never books work or speaking engagements in June or December as this is his time with his family. If asked? He gives a blanket No.
He gets his best work done early in the morning. So the evening before he prepares his breakfast, packs his bag, and readies his workout gear so that he is ready for the next day. Why? So he doesn’t waste any energy and time of his most creative moments in the morning. He uses the energy instead to create. He starts the day in the office at 4/5am prior to people getting there.
Come Monday, as he is tired from the weekend, he starts his day with a meeting where he doesn’t have to contribute much. He then has a meeting with his PA to discuss his week. He makes it a rule to never make decisions on a Monday or at the beginning of the week where he is tired and distracted by generating content.
By the end of Monday morning his day is planned. His lunch meals are automated. His pre-ordered meals are delivered and are healthy and what he knows is best for his body.
By Monday afternoon, he starts generating content ideas and then leaves in the afternoon for the gym. Evening is for family on Mondays.
Tuesday’s are the day that he does content writing. He begins early in the morning at 4/5am. The time before 8am is most productive for him. So he starts early.
Later in the week, once content writing is out of the way, he takes meetings, and his head is clearer to make decisions. So he makes his more important decisions at that time.
Friday is his day off!
Craig’s energy audit is completely different to what mine will be! And it will be very different to what yours will be. However, he has diligently created his week, to optimise his energy.
How inspiring is this!! Don’t you feel compelled to do an energy audit and use some of his wisdom?
All of this content came from this podcast below. This is Craig’s genius thoughts and words, not mine. SO please listen to the podcast. He will share it better than I can!
Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast.
Also if you go to his website you can get his notes to go through on your own!
My Energy Audit Begins!
I feel so incredibly inspired to do this!!
I have started. I am writing down every task that I have done that day, meetings I have had and people I have seen. Any workouts, anything active I have done, and a rough analyses over what I have eaten. I am writing down any social activities I have been involved in, and time with my husband and family.
I am going to give each one a score at the end of the day from negative 2 to positive 2.
- -2 so energy draining I nearly have to pick myself off the floor.
- -1 drains energy.
- 0 tolerable on occasion. Does not bother me or replenish me.
- +1 is restorative.
- +2 is so restorative I could just die and go to heaven after doing these things with a smile.
Then I am going to try to rearrange my week into:
Do less of what drains me.
Once I have completed the audit I will go through what drains me and eliminate, automate, and delegate what I can.
I will do more of what sustains me.
All of the things that scored a plus one or plus two I will focus on doing these things more. Whether that be certain business tasks, hobbies or certain relationships.
Finally based on my audit, I want to try and establish my week in a way that creates a rhythm and focuses on tasks and people that optimise my energy! At the very least I will balance out tasks that drain me ,with that which sustains and restores me.
I am SO PUMPED!! Stay tuned for what I uncover on my audit, and what rhythm I develop over the next few weeks!
Beloved I exhort you to do the same! Do an energy audit. Analyse the tasks you are doing, the relationships you are in, the way you spend your time and energy, and give it a score. Ask yourself, did it sustain you or drain you?
After you have completed the energy audit rethink your tasks, where you spend your energy and focus, and reschedule your life. Seek to, as much as you can, to do more of what sustains you and less of what drains you. More importantly develop a rhythm for your week and year that optimises your energy!
Let us optimise our energy and develop rhythms that allows us to give the best we can and to be the best that we can be.
To reign in all areas of life.
You are deeply loved and richly cherished
Reign in life.
PS Did you like this? You may also enjoy. The Power of Appreciation
PPS Forgive me if this is incredibly obvious, but just in case it is not, anything that is bold and italics will have links attached if you click on them! Just so you know. So if it is in bold, click on it and it will take you to the site where I found it.