Time is a finite resource, but our energy is limitless and renewable.
As the demands of the workplace keep rising, many people respond by putting in ever longer hours, which inevitably leads to burnout that costs both the organization and the employee. Meanwhile, people take for granted what fuels their capacity to work—their energy. Increasing that capacity is the best way to get more done faster and better. For instance;
- Harnessing the body’s ultradian rhythms by taking intermittent breaks restores physical energy
- Avoiding constant technology distractions increases mental energy
- Participating in activities that give you a sense of meaning and purpose boosts the energy of the spirit
Are You Headed for an Energy Crisis?
Take this quiz by checking any of the statements below that are true for you.
__ I don’t regularly get at least seven to eight hours of sleep, and I often wake up feeling tired.
__ I frequently skip breakfast, or I settle for something that isn’t nutritious.
__ I don’t work out enough (meaning cardiovascular training at least three times a week and strength training at least once a week).
__ I don’t take regular breaks during the day to truly renew and recharge, or I often eat lunch at my desk, if I eat it at all.
__ I frequently find myself feeling irritable, impatient, or anxious at work, especially when work is demanding.
__ I don’t have enough time with my family and loved ones, and when I’m with them, I’m not always really with them.
__ I have too little time for the activities that I most deeply enjoy.
__ I don’t stop frequently enough to express my appreciation to others or to savor my accomplishments and blessings.
__ I have difficulty focusing on one thing at a time, and I am easily distracted during the day, especially by e-mail.
__ I spend much of my day reacting to immediate crises and demands rather than focusing on activities with longer-term value and high leverage.
__ I don’t take enough time for reflection, strategizing, and creative thinking.
__ I work in the evenings or on weekends, and I almost never take an e-mail–free vacation.
__ I don’t spend enough time at work doing what I do best and enjoy most.
__ There are significant gaps between what I say is most important to me in my life and how I actually allocate my time and energy.
__ My decisions at work are more often influenced by external demands than by a strong, clear sense of my own purpose.
__ I don’t invest enough time and energy in making a positive difference to others or to the world.
Total the number of checks to determine your overall energy score
0–3: Excellent energy management skills
4–6: Reasonable energy management skills
7–10: Significant energy management deficits
11–16: A full-fledged energy management crisis
If you scored 6 or better, please share the rituals you have established for replenishing your energy bank with your community below 👇
If you scored higher than 6, check out this great Harvard Business Review article on the science of stamina and how individuals (and whole organizations) can, with some straightforward interventions, significantly increase their capacity to get things done!
A group of Wachovia Bank employees who went through an energy management program outperformed a control group on important financial metrics like loans generated, and they reported substantially improved customer relationships, productivity, and personal satisfaction. These findings corroborated anecdotal evidence gathered about the effectiveness of this approach at other companies, including Ernst & Young, Sony, and Deutsche Bank. When organizations invest in all dimensions of their employees’ lives, individuals respond by bringing all their energy wholeheartedly to work—and both companies and their people grow in value.