Manage your energy, not your time

Via De Correspondent Ernst-Jan Pfauth werden we geattendeerd op deze trefzekere (werk)tip: ‘Manage your energy, not your time’. Als je naar je energieniveau ‘luistert’, handel je veel meer naar hoe je je lichamelijk en mentaal voelt.
Dit inzicht komt uit het artikel ‘Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time’ op de Harvard Business Review door Tony Schwartz en Catherine McCarthy, oktober 2007.

Lees hier een aantal inzichten en tips uit het artikel die je wellicht kunnen helpen in het omgaan met jouw energie in je werkende leven en het creëren van je eigen dagelijkse rituelen.

The Body: Physical Energy

The core problem with working longer hours is that time is a finite resource. Energy is a different story.

…take brief but regular breaks at specific intervals throughout the workday—always leaving the desk. The value of such breaks is grounded in our physiology. “Ultradian rhythms” refer to 90- to 120-minute cycles during which our bodies slowly move from a high-energy state into a physiological trough. Toward the end of each cycle, the body begins to crave a period of recovery. The signals include physical restlessness, yawning, hunger, and difficulty concentrating, but many of us ignore them and keep working. The consequence is that our energy reservoir—our remaining capacity—burns down as the day wears on.

The Emotions: Quality of Energy

Unfortunately, without intermittent recovery, we’re not physiologically capable of sustaining highly positive emotions for long periods. Confronted with relentless demands and unexpected challenges, people tend to slip into negative emotions—the fight-or-flight mode—often multiple times in a day. They become irritable and impatient, or anxious and insecure. Such states of mind drain people’s energy and cause friction in their relationships. Fight-or-flight emotions also make it impossible to think clearly, logically, and reflectively. When executives learn to recognize what kinds of events trigger their negative emotions, they gain greater capacity to take control of their reactions.

The Mind: Focus of Energy

Many executives view multitasking as a necessity in the face of all the demands they juggle, but it actually undermines productivity. Distractions are costly: A temporary shift in attention from one task to another—stopping to answer an e-mail or take a phone call, for instance—increases the amount of time necessary to finish the primary task by as much as 25%, a phenomenon known as “switching time.” It’s far more efficient to fully focus for 90 to 120 minutes, take a true break, and then fully focus on the next activity. We refer to these work periods as “ultradian sprints.”
 
…Wanner used to answer e-mail constantly throughout the day—whenever he heard a “ping.” Then he created a ritual of checking his e-mail just twice a day—at 10:15 am and 2:30 pm. Whereas previously he couldn’t keep up with all his messages, he discovered he could clear his in-box each time he opened it—the reward of fully focusing his attention on e-mail for 45 minutes at a time.

The Human Spirit: Energy of Meaning and Purpose

People tap into the energy of the human spirit when their everyday work and activities are consistent with what they value most and with what gives them a sense of meaning and purpose.
 
…practicing your core values in your everyday behavior, is a challenge for many as well. Most people are living at such a furious pace that they rarely stop to ask themselves what they stand for and who they want to be. As a consequence, they let external demands dictate their actions.
 
Lees hier het volledige artikel op de Harvard Business Review:
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