…it’s all about managing your energy.
If you are like me, you probably have a complicated relationship with time. Most perfectionists, pushers and control freaks do. For us, safety and security belongs in progress and achievement, so we love to be productive and efficient. In fact we often judge our worth on how productive we’ve been each day, feeling only as good as our last achievement or tick on our To Do list.
Using our time wisely is one of our highest priorities.
As I drove to school to pick up my kids I used to unconsciously evaluate myself. Had I ticked off enough of my To Do list? Had I made progress with enough projects? Was I managing my deadlines OK? It took me years to understand that my mood was determined by how I judged my time management, my progress and my achievements for that day. If I hadn’t ‘done enough’ I felt shitty. I wasn’t performing enough and I must try harder. And the thing at the top of my ‘must try harder’ list was always to manage my time more effectively.
What I eventually came to realise is that firstly, my worth is not based on what I do (duh!). It’s based on who I am. And because I am a human I am innately worthy of being here on this earth living whatever kind of life I choose (without harming others). Being alive is the only measurement of worth, and we all have equal worth. I am the same creative person whether I get that promotion or not. I am the same wonderful-and-sometimes-grumpy-mum whether I get that new client or not, I’m the same mostly-loving-wife whether I remember it’s World Book Day or not, and I am the same semi-organised-but-doing-ok-woman whether I eat a whole packet of biscuits or not. I know it doesn’t feel like it but it’s true.
The second thing I came to realise was that trying to manage my time was completely the wrong approach. Squeezing more and more things in, juggling different tasks, trying out planner after diary after calendar after home-made-diary-spreadsheet-thingy just didn’t work.
What I realised was that I had to manage my energy instead. And this shift has been life-changing. We can have all the time in the world but if our energy is ‘wrong’ we are just not productive.
It really is ALL about energy. With the right energy you can achieve miracles in a short amount of time. With the wrong energy you can spend a whole day not getting anything useful, fulfilling or enjoyable done. With the wrong energy we are just surviving. With the right energy productivity and fruitfulness soars and momentum can build. With the right energy life feels great whatever we are doing and whatever we Get Done (or not).
There are lots of ways of managing and increasing the quality of our energy from looking after our physical needs (sleep, water, healthy unprocessed foods, movement etc) our emotional needs (connection with friends & family, love, spirituality, being in nature etc) and our mindset (our self-talk, mediation, beliefs, meaning etc). We know about these, but don’t necessarily attend to them well enough. I spend a lot of time working on these energy boosters and drains with my clients.
But there are also other very natural ways that we can tap into our best energy, but have forgotten how to – because our culture has swept them under the carpet in recent times. As an in-house coach for One of many™ I regularly get to see the amazing results from my clients of using these often-forgotten ways of harnessing powerful energy. Here are some of the ways we can manage our energy and increase our productivity:
- asking for help and seeking collaboration (which used to be a day to day activity in close knit communities of the past).
- knowing your values, vision & purpose (which get a bad rap as self-indulgent in mainstream culture, but any successful entrepreneur will tell you how important they are).
- understanding, dealing with and releasing emotions and limiting beliefs (we didn’t get taught this at school, and so it’s down to us to teach ourselves to be emotionally intelligent.)
- understanding your body’s natural rhythms and cycles (no one publicly acknowledges that women go through massive energy shifts throughout the month – except, perhaps, to explain our moodiness.)
- using universally recognised archetypes (we call them Women’s Powertypes™ at One of many) to harness effective energy states (outside psychotherapy rooms this isn’t talked about nowadays, but has always been a part of our collective wisdom).
Doesn’t that sound refreshing? So much more intuitive, effective and powerful than chasing time. And it works – my own personal experience and the results of my clients make that clear.
If you want to learn more about harnessing your best energy instead of constantly hustling for more time check out my free Daily Drops of Calm video series. Learn how to calm yourself and manage your emotional energy and recharge, one small practice at a time.
love and compassion,