I am a good Time Manager and consider myself better at squeezing more activities in an hour than squeezing myself in size 34 trousers.   Yesterday I watched my favorite movie “Braved heart” for the 8th time.  The movie ended at 23:30hrs and it was 00:15hrs before I could hit the bed.  Next morning no sooner I got up, had gulped two strong cups of freshly brewed coffee before 7:00 in the morning.

I quickly gulped my 2 egg omelet sandwich and reached office after an hour of driving.  When driving I spent time listening to a CD’s “Arabic in 30 days.”   In between I switched on to business news on 103.8fm.   I was excited to catch up so much in so little time but my 9:00am internal meeting was a disaster, could not keep up my attention to the questions put forward and neither participated in the discussions.  What a disastrous start of the day ?

Sound familiar ?

A month ago I came across an article in HBR  “MANAGE YOUR ENERGY, NOT YOUR TIME” a profound statement and after browsing through realized the ton of gold in the wisdom scripted.  Organizations are demanding ever higher performance from their employees and employees are trying to comply through putting in longer hours.  Result…….. employees are disengaged, dissatisfied, burned out and getting their health out of fashion.  Longer hours in the office don’t work because time is a limited resource, but on the flip side personal energy is a renewable resource and by adopting simple rituals you can recharge yourself regularly and pour passion and zeal in your work or whatever you exercise.  These rituals are as simple as taking short brakes at a prescribed interval, expressing appreciation, reducing interruptions and noise pollution.  But before we go further let’s put a system to the renewable energy formula to get a better understanding and better still become a recharged person at your beckon.

You can manage and renew your energy by constantly focusing on four dimensions of personal energy.  And they are…..

  1. Physical Energy
  2. Emotional Energy
  3. Mental Energy
  4. Spiritual Energy

Wow looks intimated but not so when you practice and see the results .

Physical Energy:

  1. Improve quality of your sleep by setting an earlier bedtime.
  2. Reduce intake of alcohol and strictly no before bedtime.
  3. Reduce stress by engaging in cardiovascular activity at least 3 times a week and strength training at least once a week.
  4. Eat light meals and snacks every 3 hours.
  5. Take regular but brief breaks away from your desk at 90 or 120 minutes intervals throughout the day.

Emotional Energy:

  1. Practice deep abdominal breathing.
  2. Daily in the morning and evening practice Pranayama to diffuse negative emotions.
  3. Express regular appreciation of others at fixed intervals to start with; either verbally or through email or phone.
  4. Laugh for a minute three times a day.
  5. Stay away from pessimistic people.

Mental Energy:

  1. Practice high concentration task away from distractions such as phones and emails.
  2. Respond to emails and phone calls at predetermined time period during the day.
  3. Every night before going to bed identify the most important errand for the next day and give it the top priory for the day.

Spiritual Energy:

  1. Identify activities that give you the feeling of effectiveness, effortlessness and fulfillment.  Find ways to do more of these.  These are your SWEET SPOT.
  2. Allocate time and energy to what you believe most important.  For example spend deep 20 minutes after returning home with family.  Spend deep 30 minutes on dinner table with your family.

Live your core values.  If you are late for office due to traffic jams.  Get out early and try reaching office 10 minutes early.

Try these simple steps and stay at the plateau of your energy level all day long.  Good luck.

My article appeared in “THE KHALEEJ TIMES” – OPENSPACE – on August 3, 2011