Replacing time management with energy management Premium
“Time is the scarcest resource, and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed,” wrote Peter Drucker in his 1967 book The Effective Executive. And yet, fifty years later, in today’s global context, the Western conception of time as a commodity (“time is money!”) is becoming less and less applicable. Instead of managing your time, it may be more effective to think in terms of managing your energy!
1. Face it: your time is finite
Time is a limited resource. Nevertheless, emotional pressures (such as fear of judgment from others) compel us to jam more and more tasks into already over-booked schedules. The first step to using time more effectively is identifying the emotions associated with how you use your time and focusing less on the quantity of hours worked and more on the quality of those hours.
2. Recover your energy
When you consistently fail to regain through rest and relaxation the energy you expend, productivity drops and continues to decline as burnout sets in. “Without adequate rest and time off people get dull and unable to focus. They spend more time answering email and goofing off than they do working,” notes Sara Robinson. “They make mistakes they’d never make if they were rested.” Time spent on recovering energy (coffee breaks, a visit to your favor social media network) is not time wasted!
3. Set limits
Actively managing your energy to increase efficiency and avoid burnout requires recognizing your limits. Although it may feel risky to say “no” to a boss or client, when the task you’re given is not a good use of your time, saying “yes” doesn’t do you (or the organization) any favors. Another trick is to overcome perfectionist tendencies — as Peter Bergman points out, “the world rewards productivity, not perfection!” Ask yourself if the extra energy required to go from acceptable to perfect actually generates any value in return.
Manage your energy to succeed in global business
Time is a subjective concept, says Mike Schell, CEO & President, RW3 CultureWizard. When working with teams in Brazil and India, a Western approach to time management simply doesn’t work, which is why he prefers the concept of energy management.
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Save your time and energy for what counts!
Based on, among others, 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction and Get the Right Things Done by Peter Bregman (Business Plus, September 2011); The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: How to Achieve More Success With Less Stress by Elizabeth Grace Saunders (McGraw-Hill, December 2012); and the Interview with Michael Schell, CEO, RW3 CultureWizard, March 2013.
Business Digest nº 235, april 2013
Watch the video
Being Brilliant Every Single Day
Alan Watkins, CEO of Complete Coherence, discusses the extent to which our emotions influence our behavior. He shows the importance of learning to keep your emotions under control in order to keep your energy up and thus improve job performance.