Time management is a great invention. It helps to set more significant goals, to do more at work and get a higher income.
For books on this subject, tips like “come to work an hour earlier and leave an hour later are characteristic – you will be amazed how much more you will be in time.” But for some reason, failures occur in this circuit.
A lot of cases are planned, but not even half their strength is enough.
To keep up with the affairs, you all come back home later, and your family and friendly ties are breaking apart. Diseases start from the wrong food and stress.
What to do? Abandon your ambitions? Or try to find a new source of energy?
Jim Loehr is the CEO of LGE Performance System, a recognized world expert in the field of productivity psychology.
Tony Schwartz is the founder of The Energy Project, whose mission is to improve the working capacity of people by working with their energy needs.
This book is available as:
Live Your Life According to Your Purpose
How many among us are those who believe that we are not using our full potential? It always seems that there is something else that will allow us to act faster, more efficiently and better.
All of us too often look at “time management” as a panacea for unproductive work, hoping – ultimately in vain – that all we need is to squeeze as much out of 24 hours in a day as possible. If you remember the last time you sat at midnight at work, or at least really worked eight hours in a row, you understand that “squeeze as much as possible” is not the best strategy.
In order to maximize your potential, live at full capacity, you need to focus not only on how to do more in a limited working time but also on finding ways to more rationally use the time that we have at our disposal. To accomplish this, it is necessary to shift the focus point from time control to energy control.
In this summary, you will learn about what types of energy are, how they affect working capacity, and how to increase the capacity of internal energy resources. Thanks to this, you will be able to hone your ability to concentrate, achieve a higher level of efficiency and unlock your creativity.
Moreover, you will discover the secrets of true harmony between work and leisure, and you will never again have to sacrifice your hobbies or personal life for the sake of work.
And besides this, from this book you will learn:
- how to do less work, while getting better results;
- why the best ideas often come to the soul,
- why is it better to look for land than to scoop up water from a sinking ship,
- and finally, how to live life in accordance with your deepest values.
To Increase Productivity, You Need to Focus on Energy Management, Not Time
Many of us run through life without respite: we return home, tired after a long working day, we feel tired of both work and personal life. And no matter how hard we work, there is never enough time to implement everything we need.
But energy – not time – is precisely it that is the fundamental source of efficiency and high productivity. Unfortunately, this is too easy to forget. Since we are limited to 24 hours a day, we naturally focus on optimizing time.
But time alone cannot help us achieve our goals. We also need energy – without it, we cannot work at full capacity, no matter how much time we have at our disposal!
So, instead of optimizing your schedule, you need to focus on optimizing the quantity and quality of energy available to us.
One way to manage energy efficiently and do more is to work less and take more breaks.
When we focus on time management, many of us strive to work for many hours in a row without respite. But this devastates our energy levels, and as a result, productivity is greatly reduced.
Think: How do you feel after working four hours in a row? Invigorating? Ready to work as much? Most likely you feel completely squeezed out in such cases, and no matter how many cups of espresso you drink, you still cannot concentrate and maintain productivity at the proper level.
Therefore, you need to strive to maximize your energy (and therefore productivity) by reducing the load and taking a large number of breaks. These breaks provide an opportunity to “recharge” energy levels, and thus you can maintain productivity for a longer period of time.
By focusing on energy management, and not on working 48 hours a day, we not only become more efficient employees, but we still have the strength for personal life.
The Summary you might like: Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook
The Full Power of Life is Achieved With the Maximum Activity of All Four Energy Levels
In order to properly use energy, first of all, you need to understand what it generally is. We are all familiar with the concept of physical energy, that is, the one that we use to move, but there are three additional sources of energy – emotional, mental and spiritual – they should also be given special attention.
Fortunately, we can use the same concepts that we use in relation to physical energy — for example, flexibility, endurance, and strength — in order to describe the qualities of other energy channels.
Emotional flexibility allows us to express a huge range of emotions depending on the situation, instead of an equally indifferent reaction. For example, when we face a threat, emotional flexibility allows us to experience not only fear but also curiosity and a relative sense of perseverance, allowing us to overcome the obstacle that has arisen.
Mental endurance allows us to focus on something for a long time. It helps us in the moments when we are ready to give up everything, but we cannot – for example when we read hopelessly boring (but obligatory) work reports.
Spiritual power allows us to keep in touch with our core values, which act as a life compass. For example, spiritual energy helps us make the right decisions, such as refusing a well-paid job in an unethical company whose policy does not correspond to our values and ideas about morality.
In order to work to the fullest and at the same time feel great, all four energy levels must be as full as possible, especially with regard to physical and emotional energy. In fact, physical and emotional energies are the main energy sources: without them, we will just feel annoyed, depressed and unable to do anything.
Imagine, for example, that you have to undergo heart surgery: think how full should be the energy channels of your surgeon? If he is emotionally or physically exhausted, he will not be able to concentrate on work, will be prone to mistakes and will not be able to make decisions in difficult situations – and thus, your life will be in danger.
But one understanding that energy is an important thing is not enough; it is now important to learn how to apply this knowledge. In the following sections of the abstract, you will learn how to raise your energy levels.
To Maintain Energy Levels, It is Necessary to Train Energy Muscles and Give Them the Opportunity to Relax
Unfortunately, our energy reserves are not infinite, and we tend to spend more energy per day than we can afford, which ultimately leads to burnout.
Restoring strength is an integral part of high productivity, and therefore maintaining the energy balance at the appropriate level. In fact, all living organisms must recharge their batteries in accordance with their biorhythms, that is, behaviors that help them stay alive and healthy. For people, this means the need to rest every 90-120 minutes.
If we do not follow this natural cycle and continue to work at a time when we need to take a break, stress hormones accumulate in our bodies, which over time lead to aggression, impatience and can even cause a heart attack.
Therefore, if we want to live a happy and productive life, it is necessary to listen to our life support rhythms and regularly disconnect from work for a while. During the working day, this means taking a short break approximately every one and a half hours – go for a cup of coffee and take a walk in the neighboring park for fifteen minutes.
In addition to maintaining energy reserves, we can also gradually increase the volume of these reserves by taking small steps outside the comfort zone. When we train physical muscles, we make a small effort outside their usual levels to keep them in good shape and develop. The same can be done with volumes of emotional, mental and spiritual energy resources. Training of energy muscles occurs exactly according to the same algorithm: by moving them beyond the comfort zone and providing them with short-term discomfort.
For example, if a person suffers from constant negative thoughts (the result of the accumulation of negative emotional energy), he needs to accustom himself every morning to write these thoughts on paper immediately after waking up and then force himself to re-read what was written. The discomfort that arises at this moment prompts a person to monitor their thoughts, as he sees how unattractive they look and at the same time begins to look at them as a challenge, and not as a problem. Thus, the “trains” and strengthens his emotional energy.
To Reach Its Full Potential, It is Necessary to Develop and Maintain a Good Level of Physical Energy.
Obviously, without the proper level of physical energy necessary for us to move or think, we will not go far. In fact, physical energy is the most important fuel resource for our bodies. If we want to use our own potential to the maximum, for a start we need to maximize the level of physical energy. But how to do that?
The amount of physical energy reserves depends on what and how we eat, how we sleep and restore the strength of the body. Since the primary source of physical energy is food, you must definitely include foods that increase energy levels, such as nuts, green leafy vegetables, and yogurts, in your diet. These products provide a gradual supply of energy to our bodies, so this source is also the most stable compared to others.
It is also important to drink enough water – for muscles that are dehydrated by only 3 percent lose about 10 percent of their strength!
In addition, it is necessary to “recharge the batteries” by regular rest. You may have noticed that the longer you work in the evenings, the more mistakes you make. This happens because your channels of physical energy at this time are almost empty.
So how much rest do you need? One study measured how many subjects slept in complete isolation from watches, alarms, and other distractions. They slept for about seven or eight hours every night, so this figure can be taken as the optimal duration of sleep.
But maintaining a high level of physical energy improves not only our physical products but also our minds. Numerous studies have confirmed that the productivity of people who regularly play sports is up to 70% higher in terms of their ability to make and make difficult decisions.
Therefore, it is important to take care of physical health. This does not mean that you need to go to the gym every day. But even small exercises in everyday life can significantly improve the situation – for example, climbing stairs instead of an escalator and elevator, or a walk to a slightly more distant restaurant than the nearest one where you usually dine.
Even a few minor changes in life can improve our physical condition, which will increase our energy levels.
To Reach Its Full Potential, It is Necessary to Develop and Maintain a Good Level of Physical Energy.
When was the last time you did something simply because you liked it, and not because you were required to do it? In desperate attempts to get the most out of the time allotted to us, we prefer to choose “useful” actions instead of those that bring us real pleasure. As we will see, putting work in the first place to the detriment of the rest of life can have serious negative consequences.
Because when we do what we like and relax, it is only in this way that we can replenish the reserves of positive emotional energy. Positive emotions – such as enjoyment, excitement, passion and the search for new opportunities – feed our performance. The actions that evoke these emotions bring pleasure and a sense of fullness of life – therefore, it is a wonderful source of emotional renewal, which helps us restore emotional energy.
Therefore, it is so important not to forget to devote time and entertainment too, in addition to “more productive” tasks.
For example, imagine that the boss came to you and set the task to prepare another report, which should be ready right now. Of course, this will cause you severe stress and lead to a surge of negative energy, which will negatively affect your productivity. What to do?
You need to find a way to emotionally “recharge” for yourself: any action that will bring you a sense of pleasure and help you relax – for example, take a walk or read a book to distract from work. After that, you will have enough energy to complete this report.
In addition, by maintaining a good level of physical energy, we can avoid the accumulation of negative emotional energy. Because when we lack physical energy, our bodies are more susceptible to stress and to the transmission of negative energy. Therefore, people become irritable and quick-tempered when they have no time to eat all day or they do not get enough sleep.
Thus, in order to maintain the proper level of positive emotional energy, one can never neglect the needs of our body, and always eat and relax normally!
Mental Energy Training Helps Maintain Focus and Creativity at the Same Time.
In order to stay afloat in an ever-changing world, you need to maintain creativity while maintaining the highest possible level of efficiency and concentration. Paradoxically, the more we strive to achieve all this at the same time, the less we get it. So how do you strike a balance between these factors?
The secret here is to use mental energy.
First of all, we need to learn how to focus on work as efficiently as possible.
This means accepting a worldview known as “realistic optimism,” perceiving the world as it is, and at the same time moving forward toward the desired goal while maintaining a positive attitude.
Realistic optimism allows us to keep our sights on the ultimate goal, even when things go awry. Imagine that in a conversation with a client you blurted out something wrong and put your relationship at risk. Imagine this sensation. Instead of being upset or ignoring this feeling, first of all you need to accept the situation and then find positive aspects in it: remind yourself, for example, that the relationship has not ended, and you have the opportunity to learn a useful lesson from this mistake.
As soon as you can keep this attitude in you, you can take a course to increase creativity in everything that you do.
Look: the coolest ideas come to us when we don’t even work in essence, for example, in the shower, at bedtime, during rest, etc. Why it happens?
Creative thinking requires the work of both hemispheres of the brain: the left is used for logical, linear thinking, and the right usually thinks in images and can see the “big picture”.
At work, we overload our left hemisphere with a constant solution of routine tasks, neglecting the need to give incentives for work and the right hemisphere too. However, as soon as we relax or begin to do what we like, the left hemisphere gets a chance to relax, and the right takes on the job. If you want to unlock your creativity, you need to regularly train both hemispheres and thus use all your creative reserves in your work.
Spiritual energy is a source of motivation received both from other people and from oneself.
While most of us do not consider ourselves to be spiritual individuals, we all nonetheless possess the so-called spiritual energy. Spirituality does not necessarily mean adherence to a particular religion. It means that a person has a set of personal values that give us some guidelines in life and motivate us to act.
Therefore, spiritual energy is also very important, because it is it that gives us the necessary impetus to action. But where does it come from?
The development of spiritual energy requires us to motivate, which lies beyond our daily interests – often it can be a concern for the needs and needs of other people.
However, most often we act in accordance with our own current needs and desires, doing those things that bring an immediate satisfactory result. And too rarely do we think about whether these actions interfere with our full lives with full potential.
A perfect example is cigarette smoking. Many smokers experience incredible difficulties when quitting smoking, despite the fact that they are aware of the serious risk to their health. However, they focus on the immediate desire to smoke, and not on the future well-being of their body.
In order to change this destructive model of behavior, it is necessary to find a source of motivation that lies beyond our own interests, that is, the goal that will help us act in the right positive direction.
Back to the smoker example: although giving up a bad habit in normal circumstances is an extremely difficult task, it is much easier for many girls who smoke to quit as soon as they become pregnant. Why is that? Because now they have something to take care of – the health of their child. In other words, they have a source of motivation (or spiritual energy) that encourages them to act in the right direction, regardless of their own interests.
In order to achieve the maximum level of spiritual energy, it is necessary to find a way to connect the leading goal, which lies beyond our momentary desires, with our own goals and interests. In the next two sections of the abstract, you will learn how people come to their true goal, and how to attach it to their values.
To Live at Full Power, You Need to Find a Positive Goal That Will Motivate You From the Inside Out.
The search for the meaning of life is perhaps one of the most important topics traced in all world cultures. As we saw in the last section, a sense of having a goal provides us with motivation, commitment, and commitment to what we do.
But what is the “right” goal?
First of all, the goal must be positive. A goal is a powerful and reliable source of energy, as long as it is directed in a positive direction. A goal-driven by fear or lack of resources limits our choices.
For example, imagine that you are sailing in a boat and a leak has formed in it. Your goal, of course, is to save the boat from flooding. But if you concentrate only on scooping up water, you will not have a chance to find out where the shore is and swim to it!
However, if you switch the goal from a sense of fear to a sense of challenge to yourself, then you can expand your vision of opportunities and find a better solution. Secondly, the goal must motivate internally. Usually we want to do something when the action itself is pleasant and enjoyable. But in fact, external rewards such as money and fame can actually undermine our motivation. This was demonstrated in one study, which established the observation of playing children in order to track what they like best to do. Surprisingly, when they received a reward every time they were engaged in certain activities, their interest in this action suddenly and rapidly decreased.
Finally, as mentioned earlier, a sense of having a goal should grow beyond our usual interests. The problem, however, is to find a way to demonstrate our core values in a typical working day. Often we turn to our values when we make small decisions, such as whether to talk with colleagues now or instruct subordinates.
For example, if your value is “respect others,” you will not make your colleagues feel left out and will not postpone a scheduled conversation in a smoking room. Thus, you calibrate your actions in accordance with values and move one step closer to a full and fulfilled life.
Fundamental Values must Feed Our Energy Channels – It is in This Case That Life Makes Sense
Of course, the social status or likes on Facebook that we get on a daily basis may matter to us, but the values that are really important have primarily internal significance. They give us motivation for life, fill it with meaning – it is impossible to take away.
Our values define the framework for how we prefer to act in a given situation. If you want to define your personal values, ask yourself what matters to you the most. For example, one of the author’s clients determined the following values for himself: family, respect and good attitude from others, first-class work performance, integrity, and health.
Another strategy is to look at someone you deeply respect and ask yourself: What qualities most admire me in him or her? These may be your values.
Our values should ultimately serve as a guide for each of our actions and for every decision we make. If our values do not guide the choices we make, then by themselves they become meaningless.
For example, if one of your values is “honesty”, but at the same time you are deceiving or hiding something from your partner, you need to pull yourself together and start acting in accordance with this value – start telling the truth. Otherwise, you have no right to say that honesty is your life guide.
Therefore, you should strive to achieve spiritual balance, i.e. the point at which your values, actions and all aspects of your life keep pace with each other. One way to help yourself with this is to remind yourself of values on a daily basis by formulating a vision that tells us what to put our energy into so that it matches our values as much as possible.
Here is one example of a vision from the authors: “I am passionately fighting for what I believe in, but I remain open to learning and growth. At work, I intend to help people grow and interact more effectively with each other. ”
Having formulated your vision, you will get a clear picture of how your actions coincide with your values, and in this way, you can better manage your spiritual energy.
The Ability to Face the Truth and Accept Your Own Limitations Increases Positive Energy.
Of course, for a full life, we need positive energy, but this does not mean that we must deny or suppress our negative feelings. Instead, we should strive to consciously manage them.
It is clear that many of us, as a rule, avoid the truth in order to protect ourselves from negative emotions. In the long run, however, this can adversely affect our energy levels.
For example, if someone criticizes us at work (in a constructive way), many of us decide to ignore and not take this criticism seriously, a priori considering it to be “wrong”, instead of carefully evaluating the words of another person and understanding what is useful to you you can extract from them.
In fact, such as avoiding the truth consumes a lot of energy due to the involvement of mental effort. And while ignoring criticism protects your self-esteem in the short term, in the long term it will result in you repeating the same mistakes and thus encountering criticism at work every time. Thus, whenever you force yourself to ignore criticism, you squander precious energy into nowhere.
On the other hand, honesty with ourselves and a willingness to make positive changes help us to increase the level of positive energy. Often this causes certain difficulties because people are convinced that their view of the world is absolutely correct, and thus they are unable to accept criticism.
Instead, we must accept the fact that our point of view is only one of many that exist, and perhaps not the best. This approach allows us to start learning from others and improve ourselves.
Being honest with yourself also means accepting self-criticism. Ask yourself how your behavior correlates with your values and priorities, and don’t be afraid to give yourself honest answers!
If you find that something interferes with your full-fledged work, for example, a violation of the balance between work and life, or you do not like something at your work, accept this fact in order to see how you can correct the situation.
Rituals are powerful tools for efficient energy management.
People often think that “rituals” are a relic of a bygone time, and they have no place in our changing life. But this is not so! Rituals are positive, consciously acquired patterns of behavior that we carry out without brain activity, thus saving time and energy.
In fact, most of our actions are guided by just such rituals, which helps us work more efficiently. According to studies, only 5 percent of our actions are conscious, which means the following: about 95% of our actions occur automatically, out of habit.
Even if we try very hard, we are unlikely to be able to control ourselves so that we always act consciously; full self-control requires too much energy. Therefore, rituals allow us to balance energy expenditure and renewal of resources – they allow us to act without the participation of thinking, even in the most stressful situations.
Think about how soldiers prepare for battle: new recruits turn every aspect of their lives into a ritual, from eating and ending with thinking and acting under intense pressure. This code of conduct allows them to automatically make the right decisions, even in life-threatening situations.
But rituals not only save energy: the creation of positive patterns helps us live in accordance with our values and effectively do our job. But how to form such rituals?
One way is a technique called “substitution”: every time you are tempted to do something “bad”, train yourself to do something “good” instead.
For example, if you try to stop eating sweets, every time you are tempted to eat a piece of cake, say to yourself, “Every time I want to eat dessert, I will eat fruit.” Over time, you will develop a habit of eating fruits, not desserts, which is much more effective than deliberately forcing yourself to leave the kitchen so as not to succumb to the temptation.
In addition, rituals must be trained by carefully moving beyond the comfort zone: start building them gradually, focusing on lifestyle changes, and then create new useful rituals for yourself on these changes. In the end, all your values will become part of your daily life.
In order to live life to its full potential, to realize to the maximum in everything that you do, you must first of all purposefully work on the level of your energy in all areas of life – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual – and consciously manage this energy.
Why You Should Read “The Power of Full Engagement”
- To get more out of life, be it the level of work productivity or a feeling of happiness
- To increase your productivity dramatically
- To start operating more effectively and efficiently
This book is available as: