Energise your leadership; manage your energy as well as your time

Aug 17, 2023

What would happen if you put as much focus into managing your energy as you did managing your time?


There are so many tips out there on managing your time.  What about your energy?

Sure, you can block out time for deep work, put all of your meetings on one day to maximise productivity and even spend more time at the office, but there is still only 24 hours in a day.  And what happens when you don’t have the mental capacity or mental energy to make the most of that blocked out time?


This is where you need to turn your focus to managing your energy.

Effective leadership requires you to draw on a range of different skills.  To be effective it takes more than good time management, it means we need the energy to show up and have the impact we want to be having on the people and environment around us.


If you think about the contribution you want to make, what kind of energy do you need to support you and over what time frame?  How does that compare with the energy levels you feel in your body and mental space today?


Being a productive leader isn’t about cramming as much as you possibly can into each day, it's about managing your time mindfully and purposefully.  

To make the most of your energy peaks, identify your most productive periods during the day, the times when you're most alert and focused (mine is morning and late afternoon, which is not compatible with the school run!).  Align these high-energy times for tasks that require focus, deep work, decision making and critical thinking.

For your low energy times, use this for the easier work, it may be admin, low stakes meetings or clearing your inbox.

It’s a good reminder that we don’t need to be on high alert or maximum speed 100% of the time, give yourself time to step away from work and engage in a brain break that will recharge you.  Whether it's a short walk, deep breathing exercises, or a stretch to get your body moving, reconnect your mind and body through your breath.  Aligning your tasks with your natural energy rhythms can help you to make the most of your time and make those hours more productive.


Recognise the things that add to your energy bucket and the things that drain it.  Effective leadership requires delegation and empowerment of others.  You don’t need to be doing everything all of the time.   Develop your team members by fostering a culture of ownership and accountability. When team members are empowered and developed, it enhances their growth and engagement and allows you to direct your energy towards strategic thinking, mentoring and coaching your team.  This effort will pay huge dividends in the future.


Maintaining your energy levels requires taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.  If you have recurring thoughts about the need to exercise or change what you eat, take the time to prioritise this.  Making time to do things that refill your bucket will help you to not only shift your thinking to long term goals it will also help you to enjoy the journey to get there. 

As a leader, your energy is a precious resource that directly impacts your ability to lead yourself and your team. By adopting mindful time management, setting clear boundaries, delegating effectively, and prioritising self-care, you can protect and amplify your energy levels.


Remember, your well-being isn't just about you – it has a ripple effect on your team and the organisation around you. So, commit to safeguarding your energy to enhance your productivity and leadership effectiveness.


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