A Quick Guide To Managing Your Energy
There is a lot of emphasis placed on time management but what happens when you have the time but not the energy? Energy management is just as important (if not more important) than time management.
There have been so many days where I came home from work and I had my evening planned out. There was enough time to work on the blog, clean the house, and exercise. However, when I got home I just didn’t have it in me. My battery was drained. With no energy, there’s no way you can be super productive EVEN IF you have great time management.
If you want to try a new way of getting things done in a productive way, keep reading! Let’s chat about managing your energy and how to plan your day.
What is energy management?
A quick Google search will give you something about energy saving and the environment and while that isn’t totally related, it’s also kind of related!
Energy management is exactly as it sounds – managing your energy.
Humans are full of energy and during the day you expend a lot of it. You need to essentially “refuel” through rest, nutrition, and sleep.
The main idea of energy management is that you learn to plan your day and your life around your energy.
Some people have lots of energy in the morning so they will do harder tasks or more mentally draining tasks then. Others are night owls and have energy at night. Those people thrive by doing work after dinner or hitting the gym at 10pm.
Everyone is different and everyone has different levels of energy to begin with.
When it comes to spending energy, that’s different too. For me, a workout might be totally draining and I need a nap after, while someone else doesn’t have that same experience.
So just like time management is making sure you are using your time in the best, most productive way possible, so is energy management. The goal is to make use of your energy during your peak times in the best, most productive way possible.
What are energy givers?
Even with the best planning and management skills, you are still bound to wear out.
If you think of yourself like a rechargeable battery then it makes sense that you need to be recharged at some point!
Energy givers are different things in life that give you a boost in energy or fill your cup in a way that nourishes you.
Some of my favorite energy givers include:
- Walking outside
- A warm cup of coffee
- A healthy meal
- Cold water
- Power naps
- Playing with my cat
Think of things that give you energy! That could be anything from a restful night’s sleep to washing your face.
Certain things and even people can give you energy. Have you ever done something and felt a rush of inspiration or motivation? Whatever you did energized you! Knowing what lifts you up is a big part of managing your energy.
Here are some other energy givers you may want to incorporate into your day:
- Glass of water
- Hugs from a loved one
- Getting fresh air
- Mini vacations
- Breathing exercises
- Dancing and singing
- Meaningful connections
- Healthy foods
- Being near water (ocean, lake, river)
How to manage your energy better
Now that you know what energy management is and what energy givers are, you are ready to finally get ahold of your own energy!
Here are some tips for managing your energy.
1 – know when you are most energized
Everyone is naturally more energized during certain times versus other times. For example, I tend to be most energized and alert around 9am to 1pm.
Knowing your best times can help you plan higher energy tasks during your peak times.
Why this is better than time management: you can easily plan an important task for 2pm and logistically it may make sense and fits into your day perfectly but if you tend to feel like shit at 2pm that task may not get done (at least not as quickly). If you know 9am is your best time for mental work then that’s the most productive time to plan or for!
2 – set daily maximums
Everyone has a limit that they can handle when it comes to work or even social events.
Part of managing your energy is knowing your limits.
I know I can’t handle more than 2 social outings in a week. More than that and I just don’t really want to be there and I’m not giving my full attention to my friends. So 2 outings is my maximum!
You could do this for meetings in a day, phone calls in a day, errands in a week, outings with friends, volunteering, and so on.
Figure out what your maximum is and then stay true to that!
Remember, everything you do takes energy. That is energy you could spend on something else so knowing your priorities is also helpful here.
3 – focus on nutrition
Food is fuel! This is something I’m working on with myself right now.
It’s not really surprising but also kind of surprising (lol) how much better you feel when you eat right.
The food you put in your body is literal energy. The better food you fuel your body with the more energy you will have (and it will last longer too).
Try foods like:
- Sweet potatoes
These are foods known to give you a little energy boost!
Related read: The Best Smoothie Recipes For Summertime
4 – practice breathing techniques
A very quick lesson on breathing… When you breathe, air enters your lungs and oxygen from that air enters your bloodstream and is carried through your body. It’s obviously pretty important.
When you feel tired you often yawn. Yawning happens because your body needs to stay awake. The big intake of air enters the lungs, travels the bloodstream, and heads to your brain so you can stay alert!
All of this to say, if you practice breathing techniques and are able to get your breath under control it can actually help increase your energy!
Deep breathing has been shown to release endorphins (feel-good hormones), calm the body, refresh oxygen levels, and boost energy by making sure the brain and organs are functioning at an optimal level.
Do I know all the science behind that? No, I’m no scientist! But with my basic understanding, it does seem like breathwork can be beneficial.
5 – take small breaks often
It’s okay to take breaks! None of us were made to work 8-hour work days with 2 tiny breaks and a 30-minute lunch! That’s actually crazy!
There have been studies done that say people can really only focus for 10-50 minutes. That’s not very long.
So giving yourself more breaks, even if they are just 5 minutes, can help you maintain your energy throughout the day. Taking breaks should be part of managing your energy (because remember, you need to recharge).
You know the feeling when you get up from the computer after sitting there for 2 hours nonstop? You feel like a zombie. Your brain is fried and honestly, good luck getting back to any productive work.
With smaller brain breaks and making time for movement (to the printer and back, up and down the hall, a quick breath of fresh air, etc.) helps you stay on task longer and not feel so worn down.
Related read: How To Boost Your Productivity Using Theme Days
Energy is not everlasting. Humans are energetic beings and are constantly giving and taking energy. However, we always need to recharge.
That is why learning to manage your energy levels and knowing what your energy givers are makes you a more productive person both at work and at home.
There is nothing wrong with having more energy during different times of the day. That is normal!
So, if you find time management techniques just aren’t working for you, maybe try energy management!
Spend some time getting to know yourself and then plan your days around your most energetic times (with breaks for recharging) so you can be the most productive version of yourself!