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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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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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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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