The secret to my success is ‘energy management’
Have you heard of the term ‘energy management’? It’s the ability to nurture and optimise your energy every single day, for peak performance.
I discovered the secrets of energy management when training as a high-performance athlete. Energy was a fundamental element in high-performance and I became very cognisant of what re-energised me and what depleted me. I had to make energy management a daily discipline.
Now, over 20 years later, this is something I still practice every day.
Energy management self-assessment in 3 simple questions – how do you rate?
I’d like to ask you three questions about your own ‘energy management’. I encourage you to reflect on your life and dig deep when thinking about the answers.
- ‘If energy is your currency of health and performance, how would you rate your general energy out of 10?’
- Now, think about why you gave yourself that score. What life circumstances, stressors or activities contribute to your energy depletion or rejuvenation?
It’s important to realise that energy isn’t just physical. It can also be psychological, emotional and spiritual. As complex beings, we must nurture all parts of ourselves, so we can bring our best selves to every situation, conversation and interaction, each and every day.
- ‘Do you have an energy management plan in place to help you rejuvenate your energy levels every day?’
If your answer is ‘no’, don’t worry. Most people haven’t yet discovered the incredible benefits of a structured energy management plan. In this article, I’ll be explaining how you can incorporate this concept into your life.
Is ‘exercise’ energy management?
For many of you, exercise may be seen as your current energy management plan. Being active can reduce stress and increase your energy, but a true energy management plan looks at energy in a much more granular way.
For example, what do you do during the day at work, or at your desk, to increase your energy? If you have an important presentation, what can you do beforehand to make sure you bring your best energy to the conversation? After a difficult meeting, what can you do to move any unhelpful emotions and reset your energy equilibrium? Not sure…? We have a solution!
The simple practice of daily meetings (with yourself of course!)
So, what’s the basis of my energy management plan? Well, my secret is simple. I schedule daily meetings with myself as a non-negotiable practice, just like I did as an athlete. Once in my calendar, these meetings are set in stone. So, if someone requests to see me at that time, I simply tell people I’m in a meeting and will reschedule the discussion.
These days, I really own this behaviour. I’m very open about my energy management meetings with others. I explain that it’s a long-held practice, and by nurturing my energy and wellbeing, I can bring my best, and most energised self to our next interaction. In all my years of talking to people about it, I’ve only ever encountered interest, praise and complete understanding. So, I encourage you to give it a go!
When I miss my meetings, I notice a difference in the way I live my life. I’m more prone to making mistakes and doing or saying things that are not aligned with my best self. So, it’s critical that I prioritise my energy management, and this includes lifting, recharging, grounding or calming my energy levels throughout the day.
What to do in meetings with yourself
Well, there’s not one tried and tested approach for meetings. What works best for me, may not necessarily work for you. My advice is to explore a variety of different activities and really notice how you feel during and after each one. Do you feel energised, calm or grounded? Or do you feel exhausted, bored or irritable? Start to write a list of the activities that re-energise you and try to incorporate them into your daily routine.
Some of the things I do in my meetings include yoga (just a few poses can make all the difference), breathing exercises, Calm app meditations, nature walks, reading, listing to podcasts, or contacting someone whom I know will lift my energy frequency.
How long should a meeting take?
I usually like to schedule in one hour with myself, but if you don’t have an hour to devote to a meeting – that’s completely fine. Sometimes, I only have five minutes of free time available during the day. The main thing is I commit to taking some time out for rejuvenation, no matter how short that time may be.
Your energy management challenge
I challenge you to commit to an energy management plan and I can guarantee you will experience increased performance, wellbeing and life satisfaction.
Here’s my 3-step guide to get started:
- Look at your calendar and block out a time every day (if can be different times on different days). Remember, this can be as long as you like, or only five minutes if you’re time poor. If you physically schedule it in, you’re more likely commit to it.
- Make a list of all the activities that give you energy as well as deplete your energy. If you don’t know, be curious about activities that you may like to try (e.g. cooking, gardening, listening to a TED talk etc) and then be mindful about how you feel during and after each one.
- Tell others in your life about it (and the daily meetings with yourself). Explain to them that this is part of your energy management plan, and it’s critical in enabling you to be your best self in every facet, whether it be a worker, friend, parent, sibling or partner. When we prioritise ourselves, it is a sign of self-compassion and self-love – and this is where true transformation and high-performance starts.
Let me know how you go. I’d love to hear about your experiences!