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  • Writer's pictureShawndra Holmberg, CPO-CD

You have the Time, but do you have the Energy?

Time Management. That's the most common term we use to describe getting through our to-do lists, fitting in our appointments and meetings, working on those important projects, and juggling our responsibilities. But it is also Task management, Choice management, Motivation management and even Priority management.

Do you have the energy? Woman on beach jumping up as background image

Let's look at it from a fresh perspective. Getting things done is really about Energy management. It's about managing our energy levels (mental and physical, even emotional) so we can do the things we need to do and the things we want to do at the right time.

Energy Management

When you look at your day and your to-do list in terms of energy—the energy you have now and the energy the task requires—there's a couple of things that are likely to happen. You're likely to let go of that inner judge who is always pointing out your short-comings. And you're more likely to take on those tasks that you've been putting off. Because now your first step is smaller—re-build your energy.

Re-Build Your Energy

Before you tackle that box of papers, the spare room, or that project for work, build your energy. The following aren't intended to put off doing your task, but energy-building activities that lead to you starting your task or project:

  • Eat a proper meal or have a "healthier" snack before you start.

  • Have a favorite beverage on hand.

  • Put on some music. Upbeat or soothing and relaxing, whatever supports your energy.

  • Go for a short walk.

  • Turn your face up to the sun (this is my favorite re-energizing trick)

  • Watch cute kitten videos or check out what Olive and Mabel are up to.

Consider the best time for taking on that project or task. How much mental energy (decision making and creative thinking) does it take? When is your energy the highest or the lowest? Match your task appropriately to the time when your natural energy is right. If you must take on the task at a mismatched time, then try one or more energy-building activities.

Another strategy for building your energy to match what you need is to start with a warm-up task. I call this a gateway task, because it leads to the primary task. I use gateway tasks almost every morning to get my brain warmed-up and ready to take on my priorities.

Gateway Tasks

Gateway tasks are useful tasks. They just may not be priority tasks. Gateway tasks should take only a short time, 15-30 minutes, to complete so you can move to your primary goal. Okay, so there are some mornings that take a bit longer to get the brain and energy going, but the intention is always to move onto the primary task. I don’t recommend social media or email time as gateway tasks. Too easy for you to waste time and lose your focus.

My challenge to you is: look at tasks and projects in terms of ENERGY

Start with these questions when you're struggling or procrastinating.

  1. What energy does this task require of me?

  2. Do I have that energy now?

  3. What do I need to build that energy?

  4. Is there a task that I can start with?

  5. What’s my gateway task?

Woman jumping for joy on a beach because she hast the energy and uses gateway tasks

What Energy Management strategy will you develop?

If you want a partner in building that strategy contact Shawndra.

Sure, you may still not have enough time in your day to do all the things you've put on your list, but that's an issue of unrealistic expectations. To deal with that, check out my article It's Time to Get Real(istic).


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