How to Better Use Your Personal Batteries

How to Better Use Your Personal Batteries

How much time, energy and intellectual capital do you spend on things that are not worth the effort?  Most likely the answer is too much.  Similar to other finite resources, how you allocate your energy level and focus impacts productivity, health and emotional wellbeing.  For most people, energy levels increase if they get a good night’s sleep, eat healthier and exercise regularly.  Energy also increases if you connect to something that is bigger than yourself,  such as a charitable cause.  You know what needs to be done to recharge your batteries, but what many people do not consider is how to strategically use the energy they have. 

Think about the conversations and tasks that you have daily.  How many of those could be equally done as well by others or avoided altogether?  How many times a day do you check your email?  Is that really the best use of your energy and time?  How long have you held a grudge against a supplier that made an error 5, 10 or even 20 years ago?  How much do you worry about things over which you have no control?  How many decisions do you delay because of the pain involved in making them? Ignoring problems does not solve problems.

Considering these questions will help you spend your limited energy more effectively, improve your productivity and make you smile more often. Peter Bergman offers guidance for using your energy more efficiently and effectively in a Harvard Business Journal blog:

  • Do you know how you spend your time and energy?  Step back several times a day to notice how you are spending energy at that moment both thinking and doing.  Are these things that you should be doing?  Would your time be spent more effectively doing other things?
  • What is most important to you?  Allocate your energy to those things.
  • Once you have prioritized what’s important, establish a schedule for working on those tasks, ideas or projects.  Bergman advises to crowd out activities that represent energy leaks for both tasks and thinking.  Don’t spend too much time on things that annoy you over which you have no control.
  • Plan where not to invest time and energy.  It’s a lot easier not to turn on a TV than to stop watching something in the middle of a show.  Don’t spend a lot of time in conversations where there are no winners such as political debates.
  • Allocating your time and energy more efficiently is not rocket science nor is there a secret sauce.  The key is to better use your time and resources today than yesterday and make tomorrow better than today.  

“Simply pull yourself out of one useless conversation, stop yourself from responding to one silly email, let go of one nagging thought and you’ll be a more intelligent investor of your energy,” Bergman writes.

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