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Boost your productivity by managing your energy (not your time)

Energy-management strategies

Organization has less to do with making lists and putting things in a calendar and more to do with energy levels.

When energy is high, you feel ready to tackle any task. When it's low, you feel scattered and overwhelmed. Using an energy-management strategy will help you channel your energy well.

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Boost your productivity by managing your energy (not your time)

Boost your productivity by managing your energy (not your time)

https://www.fastcompany.com/90450087/6-ways-to-boost-your-productivity-by-managing-your-energy-not-your-time

fastcompany.com

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Key Ideas

Energy-management strategies

Organization has less to do with making lists and putting things in a calendar and more to do with energy levels.

When energy is high, you feel ready to tackle any task. When it's low, you feel scattered and overwhelmed. Using an energy-management strategy will help you channel your energy well.

Close loops in your head

"Open loops" are all those tasks that you've had on your mind for weeks, months or even years that are still not completed. They quietly drain a lot of energy out of you by taking up space in your subconscious.

Take an hour, day, or week to close the loop and do that thing.

Minimize task switching

To preserve your energy, focus on starting one "type" of task and finish it before moving onto the next.

You can even organize your days for various kinds of tasks to keep the different types of energy contained.

Self-source your energy

We usually find ourselves energized when things "go right" in our lives. When things don't go well, we tend to let our circumstances consume our energy.

To self-source your energy, make time to meet your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.

Set healthy boundaries

When we say "yes" to something we should have declined, we use energy on something that will drain us.

Learn to offer a polite and respectful "no" when it is necessary.

Do a social media detox

Take a break from social media or minimize screen time. It will likely remind you that you are not as busy as you feel you are - your brain is just working overtime when you're mindlessly scrolling.

When we're looking at a beautiful lake, we feel peaceful because there is very low "data input" coming into our brains. When we're always on our cellphones, our minds are continually swamped with data.

Stop overthinking

Energy drains from us when we are indecisive. 'Should I go to the gym now or this afternoon? '

Instead, create a routine and stick to it. Make an exercise schedule and flip a coin for what to wear.

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Procrastinating and emotions

According to traditional thinking, procrastinators have a time-management problem. They are unable to understand how long a task will take and need to learn how to schedule their time better.

Short-term mood lifters

Studies show low mood only increases procrastination if enjoyable activities are available as a distraction. In other words, we're drawn to other activities to avoid the discomfort of applying ourselves.

Adverse consequences

Procrastination leads to two primary consequences.

  1. It's stressful to keep putting off important tasks and failing to meet your goals.
  2. Procrastination often involves delaying important health behaviors, such as taking up exercise or visiting a doctor.

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Default behaviors

They are actions we make without thinking (habits, routines, compulsions). They control more than 40% of our daily actions.

So if we want to change our lives and be more productive, we...

Inbox always open

This behavior keeps you from dedicating your time to meaningful work. Replying to email may feel productive, but the truth is emails are rarely the most important thing on your to-do list.

So instead of keeping your inbox open all day, change your default behavior to working on emails in batches.

Immediately responding to messages

Real-time communication sets the expectation that you’re always available. And for many of us, our default behaviors support just that.

In order to change this behavior, you need to set expectations on response time. Mute specific channels, get rid of pop-ups, turn off mobile notifications, etc.

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Energy and happiness

Happiness comes from one measure: your energy.

  • High energy: Good mood, feeling confident, looking forward to the future, chest up, smiling, enjoying myself, and enjoying my...
Improve your self-knowledge

... by asking yourself questions like:

  • Why am I in a good mood today?
  • Why am I in a bad mood today?
  • Why am I happy in this moment?
  • Why am I stressed right now?
Manage your energy

Ask yourself:

  • What activities destroy my mood and drain my energy?
  • What activities make me feel good and give energy?

It’s not about avoiding hard things. It’s about looking at the results activities have on your mood.

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Feeling less productive

Many people feel unable to find time in the day to do their most important work. Re...

Drains and Incompletions
  • Drains are the tasks you have to do (commuting, personal admin, email correspondence, meetings, calls). These tasks drain your time and energy that you want to spend on priority work.
  • Incompletions are the items on your to-do list that you have not yet completed. They are related to work and personal items (responding to a simple email, or it can be a dream you keep putting off).
Identify drains and incompletions

If you are spending your time, energy, and attention on tasks that don't support your overall goal or priorities, it's time to re-evaluate.

  • Set aside 20 minutes on your calendar and minimize distractions.
  • List all of your drains and incompletions. Write every last item you can think of, including the light bulb that needs replacing, and the conversation you need to have with a co-worker.

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What Self-Care Means

Self-care essentially means tuning in to our true needs, and making them a priority, rather than neglecting them in favor of obligations or urgent (but not important) tasks.

The&nbs...

How We Start Our Day

How we start our day is key to our daily lives.

Practicing gratitude, taking things light and easy, listening to soothing music, and cultivating a positive mindset is the start of self-care.

It's The Little Things

Little things like focusing on your breath, some moderate exercise, taking care of your posture, relaxing with your favorite TV show

are great ways to do some self-care that they don't require any extra time, like a spa therapy or a vacation.

The 2 kinds of work :
  • Deep work”: using your skills to create something of value. It takes thought, energy, time and concentration.
  • Shallow work”: all the little administrative and logist...
Cal Newport
Cal Newport

"The ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare at exactly the same time it is becoming increasingly valuable in our economy. As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill, and then make it the core of their working life, will thrive. "

Cal Newport on time management
  • Don’t schedule distractions. Schedule deep work.
  • Keep a scoreboard for deep work: The point is to shame yourself if you’re not up to snuff.
  • Stop saying “yes” to unimportant stuff;
  • Have a “Deep Work Ritual”: Hiding in a conference room and throwing your phone into an abyss is a good one.
  • Ask your boss how much time they want you spending on deep vs shallow work: If they say “100% shallow”, feel free to ignore everything above.
  • Doing Is Not Accomplishing

    Many of us fall into the trap of thinking that if we’re busy doing something, we’re being productive. 

    But “doing” is sometimes just a form of procrastinating.

    Find your Time thief

    For many people, their top time thief is social media or aimlessly wandering the World Wide Web. For other, it is spending hours organizing their office.

    It’s not the task itself that’s the issue, it’s whether or not it is the right thing for YOU to be doing.

    Too Much on your To-Do List

    You might be falling into the trap of making yourself think you’re making progress when you might not really be.

    Consider whether something you’ve put on your list is a small task that can be done almost as quickly as you write it down. If a task is only going to take you 5 to 10 minutes, such as sending a thank you note or paying a bill, just get it done. 

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    Prevent Tiredness

    General tiredness affects the majority of people.

    Here are a few basic ideas to have all-day energy:

    1. Respect your body's sleep cycle
    2. Move around
    3. Moderate coffee int...
    Respecting your body's sleep cycle

    It is imperative to sleep 7 to 9 hours for most adults.

    An alarm clock or phone alarm can interfere with the body's sleep cycle to wake us up before a cycle is completed. It is healthier to sleep while not being simulated and wake up naturally.

    Don't be a Couch Potato

    Apart from rest, it is crucial to have a daily exercise routine and get some sun exposure regularly.

    Human beings are designed to move and be in the sun, trekking and toiling for hours. If you are feeling tired, walking outside in nature and getting some sun will help.

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    Social media

    The rise of social media has meant that we as a global population are more connected than we have ever been in the history of time. 

    ...
    Self-esteem

    A study conducted by the University of Copenhagen found that many people suffer from “Facebook envy”, with those who abstained from using the popular site reporting that they felt more satisfied with their lives. 

    Becoming more conscious of the amount of time you spend scrolling through other people’s online profiles could help you focus more on yourself and boost your self-confidence.

    Human connection

    It’s so important for us to be able to communicate and forge personal connections with one another. However, it can be hard to do so when we’re glued to rectangular screens, becoming more acquainted with our friends’ digital facades than their real-life personas.

    A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology that assessed 5,208 subjects found that overall, regular use of Facebook had a negative impact on an individual’s wellbeing. 

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    Mastering ‘internal triggers'

    To master time, master your ‘internal triggers.’

    Try to understand the uncomfortable sensations you're trying to escape when you reach for your cell phone or email account, then learn ...

    Tracking input

    Many people use to-do lists without considering the amount of time it takes to complete a task

    Practice  "timeboxing" your schedule: assigning a maximum amount of time for an activity. It can help give context and limits to ambiguous tasks.

    Remove external triggers

    A simple way to accomplish this is to manage the notification settings on your smartphone. 

    Try turning off personal email notifications. Unless social media is part of your job, consider turning off notifications from apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter during work hours. Designate a specific time during your day to check personal communications.

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