Here are 5 simple strategies around the concept of ‘energy management’ that you can apply straight away and see immediate results:
1. Throw away the To Do list
If you’re in business, you would know that it is close to impossible to get to the bottom of a to do list. In fact, the ‘To Do’ list has a habit of growing longer quicker than you can tick it off. This can be a major energy zapper as it plays on your mind and gives you a feeling of overwhelm that will make you want to throw in the towel. Try instead, a Priorities List. As ideas and activities come to you, add them to a central list that you can put out of sight so it isn’t always playing on your mind. Each day, choose the highest priority activities from this master list and ignore everything else. If a new idea comes to you put it on the Master list so you don’t lose focus on the tasks you’ve set for yourself that day.
2. Have a criteria for ‘No’
Don’t be a ‘Yes Monster’. The most successful leaders and entrepreneurs say ‘No’ more often than they say ‘Yes’. Saying yes to everything doesn’t make you a great leader; it will cause distractions and play on your energy. You will find that the one person you are saying no to is actually yourself and the things high on your priority list will be missed while you are assisting everyone else with theirs. A great strategy to implement is a No Criteria. List the values and activities that are important to you and will assist you to reach your goals and targets. If a request or opportunity does not meet these – say no. It will do wonders to your productivity and focus.
3. Clear the clutter
Physical clutter can be as energy draining as a never ending to-do list. If you’re constantly surrounded by unfinished work, stacks of paper, filing or just plain mess in your work environment, your subconscious mind will feel full and scattered with projects that are waiting to be acted on. Spend some time today cleaning your work space. Put everything out of eye sight and add unfinished tasks to your Master list. When they come up as priority on your list, that’s when you should pull it back out again.
4. Work like an athlete
Sporting athletes train in blocks. They will go hard-out for a set block of time (depending on the sport and fitness level), and then spend a percentage of that time in recovery. Apply this idea to your work in business. Try 90 minute blocks – Focus on 1 activity full out for 90 minutes then take a break for a cuppa, something to eat, or to handle the mundane tasks like emails. Remember, sports stars use stopwatches and timers to make sure they are keeping good time. If you’re prone to getting caught up in the ‘recovery’ tasks, try setting a timer for yourself so you know that you’re on track to get the most out of your day.
5. Apply the 17-minute breakthrough
Spend 5 mins in the morning before you start work planning and prioritising your day. During the day, space out 7 x 1 minute blocks to stop work and ask yourself, “Am I on track to complete today’s priorities or am I being distracted?” Adjusting your course to get on track if needed. Lastly, spend 5 minutes at the end of your day to review what you have and have not accomplished, reflect on what worked and what was missing, and decide on what action you will take tomorrow to respond to this.
For more information on developing time management skills, improving efficiencies in your team and adding value to your business and life, contact PROTRADE United today.