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Energy, Not Time, Is The Fundamental Currency Of High Performance

Energy, Not Time, Is The Fundamental Currency Of High Performance

  • If we want to perform at our best, we must first and foremost manage our energy, not our time.
  • Optimizing our performance, health, or happiness is not about the quantity of time, but about the quality of energy.

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The Best Way To Optimize Your Energy

The Best Way To Optimize Your Energy

Humans are not meant to run at high speeds continuously for long periods of time, instead we are performing at our best when we move between expending energy and intermittently renewing energy.

To do this, we need to live a rhythmic life with periods of intense activity followed by periods of rest.

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You Either Fully Engage Or Strategically Disengage

You Either Fully Engage Or Strategically Disengage

You are much better off oscillating between activity and recovery than when you are living in a linear fashion with your brakes on all the time.

Most of us are in a state of constant energy preservation. We’re never fully engaged or fully off, we just keep going until the clock hits 5pm.

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Tennis Players and The Power of Rest

Tennis Players and The Power of Rest

The top players optimize the rest between each point.

Tony Schwartz and Jim Loehr have found that the top players are able to lower their heart rates between points by up to twenty beats per minute while the average player’s heart rate stays the same.

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The Ultradian Rhythm

The Ultradian Rhythm

  • The ultradian rhythm is a cycle that repeats itself countless times during the day.
  • To get the most out of your working day, go full out for 90-120 minutes (fully engage) and then take a 15-20 minute break (strategically disengage).
  • Take 2-3 short 1-5 minute breaks during this time.

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The Benefits Of Energy Rituals

The Benefits Of Energy Rituals

  • The body and mind should take  frequent breaks.
  • The point of these breaks is to renew your energy.
  • Turn these breaks into rituals.
  • Use rituals to refill your energy without using up any energy or willpower.

Rituals are powerful because they insure that we use as little conscious energy as possible where it is not absolutely necessary, leaving us free to strategically focus the energy available to us in creative ways

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The Four Sources Of Energy

The Four Sources Of Energy

If you want to perform at your highest level, you have to optimize each of these four sources of energy:

Physical: How’s your body doing? How’s your muscle to fat ratio? How does your nutrition look like?

Emotional: How’s your emotional life doing? Do you feel positive emotions on a regular basis? Are you emotionally resilient?

Mental: How’s your brain doing? Are you able to focus and concentrate for sustained periods of times?

Spiritual: How’s your motivation doing? Do you have a purpose in life? And a clear set of values that drive your actions?

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Physical Energy

Physical Energy

The better your nutrition, sleep, and exercise are, the more physical energy you'll have.

Potential energy rituals to replenish your physical energy:

  • Going for a daily walk/jog
  • Scheduling a weekly tennis session
  • Deep breathing
  • Daily Sleep rituals to fall asleep faster and stay asleep all night
  • Eating healthy all day long

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Emotional Energy

Emotional Energy

  • Positive emotions fuel performance.
  • The more positive emotions you're feeling on a regular basis, the more emotional energy you have and the higher your performance will be.
  • If you don't have access to sufficient positive emotions, ask yourself if you are devoting enough hours a week to activities purely for the pleasure and renewal they provide.

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Mental Energy

Mental Energy

Concentration is mainly your attention.

To perform at your best, you must be able to sustain concentration, and move flexibly between broad and narrow focus.

Potential energy rituals to replenish your mental energy:

  • Meditate daily for 20mins.
  • Commit to a daily yoga practice.
  • Play concentration-enhancing brain games.
  • Exercise.
  • Get enough quality sleep.

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Spiritual Energy

Spiritual Energy

  • Spiritual energy is the connection to a deeply held set of values and to a purpose beyond our self-interest.
  • It gives us the motivation to act.
  • To optimize our spiritual energy, we need a set of strong values and a purpose for why we do what we do.
  • Find out what your purpose and values are.

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Energy Rituals In Your Life

Energy Rituals In Your Life

Set an exact time and exact place for when you'll do something dramatically increases your chances of actually doing it.

To manage your energy as skillfully as possible, you must rely on positive energy rituals that happen automatically without the use of any willpower on your part.

The beauty of rituals:

  • They happen automatically.
  • They don’t use up willpower.
  • They don’t use up conscious energy.

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The Conclusion

The Conclusion

  • We are oscillatory human beings who should live their lives as a series of sprints, not one never-ending marathon
  • To optimize our energy throughout the day, we should follow the ultradian rhythm and take a 15-20 minute break every 90-120 minutes
  • Installing energy rituals is the holy grail of optimizing your energy and performance

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IDEAS CURATED BY

jamehall

Commissioning editor

CURATOR'S NOTE

Harness and optimize your energy, as it is even more important that time.

Curious about different takes? Check out our The Power of Full Engagement Summary book page to explore multiple unique summaries written by Deepstash users.

James Hall's ideas are part of this journey:

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