It's important to manage our mental energy level before we can sort out our time management, here’s how!
You should manage your energy, not your time. Time management may seem like the right solution when you can’t get everything you need to be done, but it wouldn’t help if you’re exhausted. Energy is the feeling of capability and there are several types such as Motivational and Emotional Energy, Intellectual and Physical Energy.
Goals, dreams and fulfillment give you motivational energy whereas trust, friends and family give you emotional energy. Mindfulness experiences and knowledge give you intellectual energy while sleep, recovery and exercise give you physical energy.
1. Our bodies are designed to move which is why studies show that our mind conceptualize things better when we exercise. Our bodies degrades without exercise, and you will feel demotivated and exhausted.
2. Our bodies are not designed to work for 8 hours straight, you would need to take a 15 minutes interval breaks every hour. Go for a walk, have some snacks, listen to music, practice stretching and breathing exercises.
3. Sleep is the absolute minimum you owe to your body everyday. When you sleep your body recovers so you can get things done.
4. Your body needs food like water, nuts, fruits, vegetables, fresh meat and fish. Don’t just eat for yourself, you should eat to take care of your body and your brain.
If you’re tired, it always means one thing, you have to give your body a chance to recover. Proper recovery is always active, not passive. Take a walk in the park, get a massage, hit up a yoga class or meditate. It’s important to find something that works for you. You can also use stress and energy measurements to track an experiment with different recovery techniques.
What are the methods?
Energy levels vary according to one’s habits, choices, and natural tendency. When you do things, you can decide which energy you would want to use, different energy brings different results Matching mental energy levels to the appropriate tasks allow us to do work more efficiently and effectively and this energy could be divided into four categories, in descending order of mental demand:
• Habit energy
— Not Important + Not Urgent
— Mindlessly executing a habitual behavior (ex: waiting for lift, friend and etc)
— It’s automated and it’s a daily thing to do, like a protocol (brushing teeth and etc)
• Audience energy
— Not Important + Urgent
— Watching or listening passively, not giving any inputs or ideas
— You are just understanding/observing, not formulating any response,
eg: watching TV, we can't watch TV without audience energy
• Engagement energy
— Important + Not urgent
— Talking to people, reading, observing (exchange ideas)
— Formulating response with information in your brain/thoughts
• Contemplative energy
— Important + Urgent
— Planning, deciding, creating, restricting/inhibiting, setting priorities, making transactions, decision making, reflecting, analyze, brainstorming
— We should identify when our contemplative energy usually peaks because that is when we best reflect and make decisions for ourselves.
Reference: Gretchen Rubin, The Real Planner