Energy Management

We heard about the merits of time management for years. It seems that every self help expert and business coach offers insight into managing our time better. This is the "holy grail" for success. You will be a total success if only you manage your time efficiently.

Time management is a valuable tool. There is no question that it has merits. However, there is one factor that time management misses: energy. This is the one factor which determines the level of success we are to achieve. Mismanage your energy and you are doomed to fail.

Here is an example. Someone who takes the day off work because he or she is physically ill has plenty of time. The 24 hours are at that person's disposal. Nevertheless, nothing gets done on that day other than sleep. Why? Obviously because of the lack of energy. When we are sick, the only thing we concern ourselves with is feeling better. The proverbial to do list takes a back seat.

Time management tells us to handle the most important tasks first. This is a valid concept. The question is why are we doing this? We do this since that is typically the time that our energy level is the highest. Our success rate increases when we attack the activities which are the most difficult when we are strongest.

How many of you have the "afternoon crash"? For most people, this is a common occurrence. It is also an example of how time management fails to solve this situation. After lunch, there are a number of hours still left in the day. If we attended to the difficult tasks earlier, they are out of the way. Nevertheless, there is still business to attend to. Many find they have the time yet not the energy. Physically they feel the crash.

Experts will tell you that life is a marathon. In the general sense, it is. This teaches us to look at the long term perspective while persevering. Yet, when it comes to energy, life is a series of sprints. We are confronted with a situation that requires an exertion of energy like a dash. After that, we need time to recoup. This is how the successful excel. They build in the periods to restore the energy level.

In the next post, we will delve more into the energy/sprint concept.
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