Energy management is just as important as time management. There are always 24 hours in the day, but if you don’t have the energy to use them, life can quickly become frustrating.
I recently returned to my full time day job after some time off over the Christmas period and I’m feeling it. I’m simply exhausted. And when I get home I’m too tired to think about my writing, let alone sit down and do it. I find that extremely frustrating because I know where I would rather be spending my energy.
We all have periods when our energy levels are not where we want them to be. We want to write, or blog, or paint but don’t have the energy.
Here are 5 tips for easy energy management:
1. Find your rhythm
Energy ebbs and flows, depending on time of day and the activities you are involved in. It is easier to do things when you have the energy for them. By knowing your energy rhythms you are better able to plan your time.
Take the time to measure or pay attention to your energy levels during the week, or over a month, to look at what affects those levels.
2. Plan time around high energy levels
Once you determine when your high energy levels are, plan to use them for the important tasks. Those things you really want to do. Or need to do to progress your writing or business.
I work best of a morning so I try to focus that morning time on writing and editing.
3. Use low energy times for the simple tasks
When you still have things to do but no real energy for thinking or creating, use the time to do the low energy tasks.
- Put the washing on,
- get the ironing done while you catch up on movies or tv,
- water the garden,
- scrub the bathroom; or
- read a book.
These things still can inspire you, particularly other art forms, even watering the garden can inspire at times. But you don’t need energy to do it.
This also ensures that these tasks can’t act as distractions or procrastination tools when energy levels are high. Then all you have to do is write.
4. Increase energy levels
When energy levels are low there are ways to increase those levels. Make sure you take the time when you need it.
Rest is very important.
Are you sitting up watching the shopping channel through bleary eyes? The easiest way to replenish energy levels is ensuring you get the right amount of rest. It is not possible to go full steam 24 hours a day. There are times when you need to slow down and even stop.
Regular exercise and eating properly also helps to keep energy levels up and ensures the fitness to continue doing what you want.
Looking after yourself ensures your energy levels are where they need to be.
5. Don’t beat yourself up
Life is busy enough, don’t add guilt to the mix.
Sometimes there is very little you can do other than ride out the low energy levels. Life can get hectic and different things occurring in your life can affect you differently. We all have family and work and friends and pets and well the list goes on.
Don’t add guilt to this pile of things. Adding extra pressure to yourself may lead to writer’s block or anxiety and stress.
When it comes to energy management…
Adding pressure to your self does not increase your ability to get things done. Breath, think about what you do have to do, need to do, want to do. Make a plan and do what you can.
Following through with the simple steps above will help you understand your energy levels and better manage your time in conjunction with energy.