coaching, leadership, life

Manage ENERGY, not time.

Towards the tail end of 2014, I often times would think about getting an espresso shot (or two) on my way home from the office.

Why the thought?

Because I was tired & wanted to be on my “A” game for the most important part of the day – being with my family in the evening. Then it dawned on me…something is wrong with this picture…

How is it that I’ve got no juice left for the “main event”?

As the new year turned, the lemmings and I began to declare our resolutions. It was abundantly clear where I needed to turn my focus: to managing ENERGY in such a way that I have sufficient amounts of it for all the things I care about.

People talk about managing time A LOT. But what about paying attention to how energy flows throughout the day?

Never mind the occasional sleep deficit or the exhaustion of chasing toddlers…we all have something tugging at us.

For me, the catalyst for improvement is rooted in emotional control. I need to be more selective (i.e., smarter) in choosing what I get “worked up” and passionate about.

Coach John Wooden says, “Intensity makes you stronger. Emotionalism makes you weaker.”

The idea isn’t to quell passion. The goal is intensity (passion WITH purpose and control) not emotion (passion WITHOUT stability or balance). [More on the “master of emotional control” here.]

Formula for better ENERGY management in 2015:

  1. Be honest.
    • Before committing to anything, take a quick inventory and ask myself, “Do I have the energy for it?” Notice I didn’t mention time. Of course I can find the time for it. But will that time spent leave my energy dry in other areas? Being truthful with myself around this is important, as I tend to overdo.
  2. Laugh.
    • Ask myself multiple times a day, perhaps on the hour, “Am I having fun?” Laughter keeps me loose and helps me from taking life (and myself) too seriously. The result is better energy as I am less drained and more invigorated.
  3. Limit email. 
    • Don’t live out of my email inbox. Respond to items efficiently, but not in undisciplined fashion. Don’t allow the addiction to take over and zap my creativity!

To ensure my “resolutions” are helping me to live out my purpose and not detracting me from it, I refer frequently (preferably daily) to my list of priorities that give meaning to my life.

This is an important “cross-check” because the last thing we all need is another useless list that is forgotten in two days and that doesn’t bring positive results.


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