Managing personal Energy Vs. Managing Time
What’s different in WFH during current time
Work From Home (WFH ) is not something new. Some of us have experienced it personally and most of us know it. How is this WFH different from the pre-COVID times ? The shortest list possible:
- Children are home schooling
- No support in terms of domestic help
- Resources like Laptop and computer system have to be shared between office work and online classes for children
- Endless work meetings
- Internet connection issues
And above all, without any time to prepare ourselves, we were thrown into the situation. As a result, we experienced high levels of emotional and physical fatigue while we were struggling to do justice to all that we planned for the day.
Managing Time Vs Managing Energy
The problem with Time management is that Time is finite resource – exactly 24 hours in day and 168 hours in a week. Nothing less; nothing more. We can’t do anything about it.. Energy on the other hand is a different ball game. We can expand our energy, we can renew our energy and also we can manage it more efficiently, just like the wind energy, the solar energy and all the other energies in the universe.
Personal Energy may be divided as:
- Physical Energy
- Emotional Energy
- Mental Energy
- Spiritual Energy
Amongst all the energies it is easiest to know when we are high or low on Physical Energy. Managing it also becomes the easiest of all. Some of the factors that go into managing physical energy. Components of physical energy:
- Nutrition : In simple words it is the food we eat. WFH has created culinary geniuses in the world. Ask yourself, are you balancing on your diet with the right kind of food. Learn to be creative on foods that add to you health. Minimise white Sugar, fats etc. Increase Protein intake. Love your fruits and green vegetables.
- Exercise: WFH ensures we save travel time to and from office. Use part of that time in exercising. Even though exercising seems to be physically draining, in fast it helps build energy & renew energy. Exercising regularly ensures our energy levels are high on energy even towards the end of day.
- Sleep: Are you getting 7-8 hours of sleep a day? Are you sleeping deeply? If not try meditation. Try to break your sleep and take catnap during the day.
- Take frequent breaks : every 60 minutes or 90 minutes (based on your cycle) take a break of atleast 2-3 minuets. Sportspeople know it intuitively, and take these breaks during their sporting activity. Next time you watch cricket, observe how the cricketers take breaks. They spend few seconds before and after every activity to renew their energy, and in that break, they do nothing. As professionals, we forget to take this breaks and hence feel drained out. During your breaks, do nothing at all.
Managing emotional energy is even more important during the COVID times. We are continuously bombarded with negative messages from the all quarters including the media. It brings along with it the stress, coupled with sadness and many other negative emotions. All the positive news is being trivialised and the negativities are surrounding us.
Two of the ways to manage emotional energy
- Deep breathing or the belly breathings. Take a few moments off every couple of hours of even minutes, from whatever you are doing, Close your eyes and take a deep breath and one more and one more. This is the easiest way of managing emotional energy.
- Appreciate someone: Take the time out to appreciate someone who deserves it. Be authentic in your appreciation. Write that note or call them up and tell them how much you appreciate what they did. Try doing it once everyday to a different person and observe the difference it makes to your emotional energy.
Are you able to Focus on our work? Can you give undivided attention to a task and forget about everything else? Unfortunately there are multiple distractions that prevents us from focussing on single talks . According to a research we have 87 interruptions in a day, this number would have increased during these WFH & COVID times.
Chunk your work into time periods with dedicated time for each of the activities like answering to emails, looking at your messages on telephone, answering your calls or even spending time with family.
It has been proven when we are engrossed in an activity which makes us completely oblivious of the passage of time, we don’t experience any emotions. The emotions will be felt once we have completed the task or come out of your focus. Important to engage in such activities. Be it an activity which is part of your official work or your hobbies.
For renewing your mental energies, engage in something which gives you a feeling of satisfaction. Whether it is your work, or using your creative juices in an art form including culinary skills or exercising or anything else. Anything that helps you get into focus will help renew your mental energies. Surprisingly, the positive energy generated while engaging in a hobby, carries forward in the professional work too.
The word spiritual has different meanings for different people. Here we talk about connecting with self. Connecting with what is most satisfying to self. It could be taking up a hobby, or your daily religious ritual, or meditating or engaging in a playful activity with your family. All these are tried and tested ways (sometimes handed down from generations) to renew spiritual energies. A lesser known way (or rather more difficult way) is “to completely & wholly accept oneself.” Can I accept both the good and the not so good in me? Accepting oneself is not a one time activity but a continuous process and takes practice.
So sum up, create a routine around each of the four Personal Energies. If you follow discipline, you will find yourself doing much more than you can do by traditional time management techniques.
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Also read our posts on WFH