Energy and Time Management
Updated: Mar 24, 2021
Where does the time go?
Here we are in the middle of February scratching our heads and wondering where the time has gone. Time flies (and as we get older it seems to pick up speed, but that’s a discussion for another day).
One of the core pillars of my business coaching is working with clients on Time Management. More accurately, we reference this as Priority Management. This seemingly ever-elusive struggle can be overwhelming. Finding enough time to complete an ever-changing never-ending list of tasks is a common discussion point with my clients, and a source of challenge for many business owners and entrepreneurs.
So here’s my goal - In the time it takes for you to read this short article, perhaps it will inspire you to rethink how you plan your day. Maybe, just maybe, it can also help you “find” a little extra time.
Let’s start with energy…your energy. Let’s look at it as a way to approach your daily and weekly planning. I’m referring to the energy required to achieve certain line items on your jam-packed To-Do list.
Now, let’s review that list. Reflect on the activities that will require the most energy. And take note: Which ones are highest priority? Pay attention to these items in terms of what strategic value they will bring when accomplished.
It is at this intersection of energy and strategic value that we should further examine.
For example, scheduling a prospective client meeting ranks as high priority in terms of strategic value. It also ranks high in terms of the required energy (focus, preparedness, mental sharpness, etc.) needed to carry out this task most effectively.
So placing this task on your schedule when your energy level is at its highest would be a prudent decision. Don't simply put it in your calendar at the next available time slot. But purposefully place it in the most strategic time that aligns with its level of importance AND the energy required for having such a meaningful conversation.
Although it would be wonderful to assume that we can perform at our peak whenever we wanted to, it just doesn't work that way. I am sure you can dial it up when you need to, but we also need a break to refuel and re-charge, allowing us to tap into those energy reserves at its optimal time.
Take into consideration the range of activities in your day that require different levels of energy. Whether those activities involve physical work, mental reflection, leading a team, problem-solving, social engagements, or anything else that consumes your day, your energy levels will vary by task and time of day, and are specific to you.
Many clients share with me that they perform at their optimal level in the morning, somewhere between 8 a.m. to Noon (this is true for me as well). Others have high energy later in the day from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. It is also wise to look at your overall week as a whole. Are Mondays a low energy day for you? Or do you look forward to Mondays because you are well rested after the weekend? Take some time to reflect and see which is true for you.
Start keeping track of your energy throughout the day and week. The goal is to discover where you hit peak productivity hours. Think of the inverse as well. We don't want to “waste time” using our high level energy hours on low priority tasks either.
I mention this approach, as well as a few other priority management ideas, in a recent interview with my friend, colleague, and fellow coach, Michael Neuendorff. (The discussion on priority management starts at 16:50 in our conversation) Click here to watch our interview - https://www.jamespagano.com/post/how-to-get-coaching-clients-video-interview
There are also plenty of articles and research out there to support this way of priority management. Do your own research to satisfy your curiosity on the subject. One of my favorites is the book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Dan Pink. Get it on Amazon.
Invest the time to reflect on how you expend your energy and how it pertains to your time management. I am confident that you will find this adds a beneficial perspective to your planning, scheduling, and ultimately… your productivity.
Wishing you continued success!
James Pagano Business Performance Coach