“Our lives are a large collection of single days one right after the other. The sun rises, the sun sets, and it rises again. And in the end, the lives we chose to live will be determined by how we choose to spend each day.” – Becoming Minimalist
As an entrepreneur, and to be an effective leader, you must, no doubt, use time management tools to prioritize your schedule and ensure important matters, which drive your business and life goals forward, are accomplished.
At The Passion Institute, supporting and teaching time management techniques in order to increase productivity and raise awareness surrounding the most efficient time allocation is a staple of what we do. Of even greater importance, however, is skilled Energy Management.
How you manage your energy or life force is crucial to your level of productivity, vitality, and experience of purpose and joy in your life. It requires you to be self-observant and become aware of which behaviors increase your energy, and which zap you in a zip.
Here are 8 simple energy management tips to optimize your life and help you to make the most of every day:
1. Stay away from energy drainers.
Pay extra attention to the people around you. There are people who will suck the life right out of you and others who will replenish you. Spend your time with people who leave you feeling energetically uplifted. Set healthy boundaries surrounding how much time you spend engaging with people who drain your energy.
2. Eat nourishing food.
Food is your source of energy and fuel, not purely for your pleasure. Get to know your body and learn how you react to different foods. Eat healthy, organic and nourishing whole foods and vegetable-packed juices, smoothies and salads that support your energy and vitality.
3. Practice yoga.
Yoga is great for stretching and detoxifying as it centers and strengthens your body through yoga postures. If you are new to yoga and want to try it out in the comfort of your own home, there are many wonderful online classes and apps like Yoga Studio, with a library of 65 yoga and meditation classes, which are sorted by level and focus (balance, flexibility, relaxation and strength).
4. Seek silence and stillness.
Scientific evidence suggests that meditation, the practice of turning your attention to a single point of reference, is good for performance, clarity, inner-peace and contentment. Phil Jackson, a top ranked NBA coach with 11 NBA championships under his belt, works with a sports psychologist and mindfulness expert to “‘build the muscle of the mind,’ so that players can clear away emotionally and mentally unhealthy pressure and perform at a high level.”
There are a wide array of benefits from meditation, including the reduction of stress, increased focus, increased ability to effectively manage emotional responses in a positive manner, compassion and empathy, increased resiliency, and dealing with fear. Even if you don’t prefer meditation, practicing stillness, silence and solitude by making an intentional and mindful effort to take part in your most favorite and nurturing activities can go a long way.
5. Get moving.
Find ways to exercise and move your body in ways that feel energetically uplifting to you. If you dread the gym, then maybe dancing, indoor rock climbing or sports is more your thing. If you have a difficult time motivating yourself, join a fitness meetup or workout with a buddy. If you deeply dread working out, change your mindset from “I have to do this,” to “Because I love myself, and want to ensure vitality and health for myself and those I love, I will maintain a healthy body.”
6. Sleep your way to the top.
Arianna Huffington is a big proponent of sleep. In her book, Thrive, she uses a concept she refers to as: sleeping your way to the top. Sleep research from NASA showed that “naps provided a 34% increase in pilot performance and 100% increase in physiological alertness.”
According to the National Sleep Foundation, “While naps do not necessarily make up for inadequate or poor quality nighttime sleep, a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness and performance.” When we are rested, we can see the big picture and lead from a more alert and peaceful place.
7. Make time for fun and games.
In the U.S. it has become a cultural “cool factor” to be extremely busy, serious and hard working – however, we have it all wrong. Playing and laughter builds energy, contentment, connection and productivity. According to TechnologyAdvice.com, playing games increases workplace productivity.
8. Do all things with passion.
Hopefully, you have already combined your business with your passion, and thus, found your purpose, while spending the majority of your work-life in your passionate zone of genius. Whether this is you, or you are still exploring the ways in which you can best serve the world, it is important to spend time doing things you love.
This article has been edited and condensed. A version of this article appears here.
Sandja Brügmann, Founder and CEO of Refresh Agency and The Passion Institute, is a serial entrepreneur, international speaker and sustainable communications and marketing expert with a passion for Conscious Leadership. Sandja mentors visionary business leaders and entrepreneurs around the world helping people manifest a passion-filled and purpose-based business and life. She has worked with the global business community to create sustainable & social-good change for the past 15 years. She is a certified yoga teacher, former Danish national archery champion and Olympic hopeful, a certified Shadow Facilitator and health food advocate. Connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.