Do you want to be better at time management?
Why do you want to manage your time?
It's because there are 24 hours in a day, which is fair for everyone, right?
Why do some people get more done than others, whether they have a job, run a business, or freelance?
Why do some friends have side projects, blogs, book clubs, study, work out, and do it all?
It's never because they have more time on their hands.
It's also not that they're all tightly organized planners. On the contrary, there are plenty of people who are tightly organized, but when they're done with work, they're too exhausted to do anything else.
So it's not just a matter of time management!
Time management is a matter of energy management.
When you find the time, but your energy is depleted, you keep procrastinating (we've all been there, right?).
When we're in a real hurry or have a deadline looming, we use our superpowers and somehow "create" time.
When we create time, it feels like we're squeezing time out of something that was already there, and we're exhausted when we're done.
It's really important to know how much and where your energy is spent each day.
A day, a week, a month, a year, and a decade add up to our lives. Managing our day's energy and using it well means managing our entire life's energy
We need to know where it's leaking, and the easiest thing to find is behavioral.
Examples of behaviors:
watching Netflix or YouTube mindlessly, Instagram scrolling, reading news articles, lying down too much, eating when you're not hungry, etc.
But there are certain things that can consume more energy than behaviors.
These are the "draining emotions" that need to be managed.
They're the ones that can be trickier to catch because they're eating up energy in your mind, as opposed to your behavior.
Examples of feelings and thoughts
Comparing yourself to others, dwelling on negative emotions, regretting, worrying about tomorrow, indecision, jealousy, judging others, procrastination, etc.
So how does one manage energy?
1. Make a list of your energy-draining behaviors and emotions from above and decide what to let go of.
You probably spend more time siphoning energy from your emotions and thoughts than you think, so if you've noticed, start thinking lightly about what to change. It's important not to try to do everything at once.
I used to have a habit of spending a lot of energy worrying about tomorrow (the future), so I meditated a lot and practiced bringing myself back to the present, and if I still found myself worrying about tomorrow, I self-coached myself to say, "Okay, I'm worrying about the future, so what can I do about it now?" so I didn't get stuck in a rut, and I got a lot better.
2. Charge your energy
Think about what fills your energy.
The things that when you do them, you're in flow, you feel amazing, and your body feels lighter!
Examples: traveling, swimming, massage, reading, walking, immersion, yoga, chatting, meditation, cooking, pottery, comedy, dancing, music, expressing love, etc.
And from there, schedule the energizer of your choice into your calendar.
If you put it off to "when you have time later," you'll never do it.
I have to do it like a job for the sake of my life's worth of performance!!!
3. Write energy efficiently
[Create or discover ways to connect your work with your life].
If you're an employed person, there's a way to find ways to better utilize the energy you put into your company. Your job is where you put in the value of your time and energy and get paid in return.
Another way to look at this is that the things you do consistently at work, whether you like it or not, accumulate and become your career.
To give you an example, when I was working at the headquarters of a tea company in Australia, I was doing copywriting, community building, and marketing stuff, which I loved, but after a certain point, it became exhausting and often included tasks that I didn't enjoy (report writing and number crunching), and there was a point where I had to ask myself, is this what I really want to do?
But I started to proactively look for connections, I started to record them, I started to share them with people around me, and I kept practicing making connections.
As a result, all the things I've learned, the experience I've gained, and the connections I've made have all come in handy in my coaching business.
Those connections don't have to be your main line of work.
It's about connecting what I want to do in the future with meetings, presentations, relationships, organizing documents, etc.
If you look at it that way, it's not like you're just pouring yourself into the company, but there are definitely things that you're putting in your basket as you're working.
4. Increase your capacity
It's easy to think of energy as the storage capacity of a computer: when it's full, there's less space left and the computer is overloaded. So you need to constantly and eagerly delete unnecessary files, empty the trash, and upgrade your software.
To compare our energy to a computer,
software updates are like exercise, meditation, and reflection, right?
As our capacity grows, so does what we can handle.
5. Create a routine
It naturally takes time and effort to create a habit of doing something you really want on a daily basis. Once it becomes a habit, it requires less energy. [We brush our teeth and wash our face every day because it's a habit, so we do it automatically without putting much energy into it].
The reason habits are so important is that energy isn't just used to do things.
If you're thinking about when to do something, how much to do, whether to do it or how to do it, you're already exhausted before you even start doing it, because every time you make a choice, no matter how small, you're depleting your energy.
I have a client who finds it very difficult to exercise, and she says she wants to do it consistently, but she can't because she doesn't have the energy at the end of the day. She says the moment she has to decide whether or not to exercise after work, it's already a 50-50 chance that she won't, and she keeps rationalizing.
So we talked a lot about how to minimize the energy of decision-making during energy management, and how to make it a habit.
The key thing to remember here is that in order for us to be smart about managing our energy, I recommend that you do your energy inventory and action plan when you're energized, and then you make the least amount of choices possible.
If you get home from work and you don't have energy and you're thinking, "Okay, I'm going to work out today, what exercise should I do, where should I do it, how many minutes should I do it, what should I wear?" there's a very good chance that you're going to be exhausted by these questions and you're going to put it off until the next time. [We all know this] My client was like that.
So we did an energy inventory together, and we identified the behaviors that she really wanted to do ahead of time, so that she could create a routine and execute it regardless of her energy, and now she exercises much more often than she did before.
Remember, the end goal of time management ( energy management) is not to get everything done but to live a life where you can do what you want to do and be fulfilled.