I entered 2019 with feelings of excitement and accomplishment. During the last quarter of 2018, I endured many late nights and early mornings simultaneously building two businesses, the Sweet Decor and the Five Minute Mindfulness podcast.
However, like many small business owners, I still work a corporate job. I also work two part-time jobs as Certified English Language teacher. Working a full-time job, two part-time jobs, running a business and hosting a podcast, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed when juggling multiple responsibilities.
I’ve always been highly ambitious, but I wasn’t always in tune with my energy. For a long time, my focus was just on managing my time. I would schedule the time to do specific tasks, but it didn’t always get done as planned because I was frequently drained. On occasions, I just didn’t have the energy to do the things I set out to do. I eventually caught on to the fact that energy management is just as important as time management.
What is Energy Management?
Energy management is being aware of your body’s natural rhythm. It begins with self-awareness. When you’re aware and have a better understanding of how your mental and physical energy levels work throughout the day, you can prioritize your planned activities around it. For example, my energy is at its highest peak in the mornings. Therefore, I teach online in the early morning’s right from the comfort of my living room before I leave for my 9-5 job. My classes are 30 minutes in length allowing me to teach from 6:30 am to 8:00 am. I’m out the door and on my way to the office by 8:15 am. I don’t schedule any classes in the evenings because that’s when my energy is at its lowest. Some people might have high energy levels during the evening hours rather than early in the mornings. Energy management is about aligning tasks to your natural rhythms.
Let’s get into some energy management productivity hacks.
Grab a pen and begin to track where your energy levels are throughout the day. Break it down into these categories.
- High Energy
- Medium Energy
- Low Energy
- Relaxed Energy
DAILY MAP OUT
Not only do you need to observe your energy during certain times of the day, but you also must take into consideration the days during the week your energy may differ. For me, my energy may peak at the end of the day on a Friday, especially during the Spring weather because the winter blues start to decrease, and the Friday happy hours begin. Who doesn’t love a good after work happy hour on a Friday? Keep track of your daily levels to determine if there are any fluctuations or if your levels remain consistent. Do this for a week or two before you begin to schedule your tasks.
If you want to get real fancy, create an energy map to get a clearer picture. Here’s an example of your energy map can look.
Once you begin to feel like you have a solid picture of where your energy stands, begin to categorize your tasks accordingly.
+ High Energy– create new content, physical activity (yoga, gym, running), try something new, brainstorm session, meeting with clients.
+ Medium Energy– writing a blog post, social media engagement, household chores, cooking, go for a walk.
+ Low Energy– reading, checking emails, pay bills, clean your workspace, set appointments, meditate.
+ Relaxed Energy– meditate, light a candle, read a book, watch your favorite movie, shower, sleep
+ Undetermined– sometimes there are times when our energy is just in limbo. This category allows for some flexibility.
The goal of managing your energy is to be able to perform with maximum productivity. Energy can change like the seasons, especially during different life circumstances. Your energy map is not set in stone. Test it out and adjust to accordingly when necessary.