We need to be intentional about energy management.
Yesterday we talked about some of the reasons and time limitations we face : Be Intentional With Your Time
Tony Schwarz says there are 4 types of energy:
Emotional (Quality) how you feel profound affects how you perform
Spiritual (Purpose) when something has value we bring more energy to it
So, how do we learn to manage our energy more skilfully? How do all 4 of these energy types work together for renewal and balance, and an increase in energy reserves.
In physics, energy is defined simply as the capacity to work. Therefore the more energy you have – or the more energy you renew – the more fuel you have in your tank, and the capacity you have to get things done. Unlike cars, human beings have four distinct energy needs: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. The better and more regularly we meet each of these needs, the healthier, happier, more focused and more effective we become.
Steven Covey has a brilliant analogy in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
A woodcutter strained to saw down a tree. A young man who was watching asked “What are you doing?”
“Are you blind?” the woodcutter replied. “I’m cutting down this tree.”
The young man was unabashed. “You look exhausted! Take a break. Sharpen your saw.”
The woodcutter explained to the young man that he had been sawing for hours and did not have time to take a break.
The young man pushed back… “If you sharpen the saw, you would cut down the tree much faster.”
The woodcutter said “I don’t have time to sharpen the saw. Don’t you see I’m too busy?”
Sharpen the Saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have—you! It means having an intentional and balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual.
Tony Schwarz goes on to describe how we can find the balance that solves our energy crisis by debunking management myths with personal truth, that enables us then to live smarter and wiser.
Myth: we are meant to operate like computers, at high speeds, continuously, for long periods of time, running multiple programmes at the time.
We often honour expenditure vs renewal, we praise hard work over balance and recreation.
Reality: humans are designed to pulse between spending and renewing energy.
Unlike those computers that run at high speed with all the windows up all the time, humans are designed for rest and Sabbath as well as work and service. Without rest we burn out on many different levels, reducing any energy we do use to be unproductive.
Consider this disturbing fact: sleeping even a single hour less than our bodies require reduces our cognitive capacity dramatically. Much as we try, we can’t fool our bodies. Consider this statistic: even a single hour less sleep than you need to feel fully rested takes a significant toll on your capacity to think clearly and logically when you’re awake. Sacrificing sleep is self-defeating. Yet how often do we stay up an extra hour to finish a task or get ahead. Sleep is vitally important!
If you do not rest, you WILL burn out.
When you rest you take care of you which makes you more productive, more healthier, more happier in so many areas of your life.
“Work, rest and play is a healthy combination … figure what has to be done NOW and what can WAIT till later.” Bobbie Houston
Learning how to renew your energy on a regular basis will rejuvenate and invigorate you and promote good health and appearance. Sustaining energy is a matter of adjusting your lifestyle so that your personal energy resources never become totally depleted or permanently damaged.
Emotional Management :
Myth: certainty is power. Vulnerability is weakness.
Reality: a strength overused is a weakness. Weakness acknowledged is a strength.
Brene Brown, considered the guru of vulnerability says : Our ability to be vulnerable forms the basis for our connection with others, a connection that is critical if we are to inspire others.
We need each other.
We need strong emotional bonds and relationships that fill our emotional tank.
Likewise if our health tank is empty we burn out and become unproductive, in the same way, if we are not caring for our emotional tank, our emotional core, if we become emotionally empty and dry we become ineffective in serving and loving others, in pursuing our dreams and in living our best life.
Be intentional about having quality time with your family and friends.
Be intentional about making time in your life to do things that fill your heart.
Myth: creativity is genetic and magical. It cant be taught.
Reality: creativity emerges from whole brain thinking and it can be taught systematically
Be careful what you feed your mind – negative thinking and worry drains you.
Take time to enjoy your mind
Find things that engage your mind
Spiritual Management :
When something really matters to you you invest more energy, you persevere in the face of set backs, you’re more persuasive.
Myth: serving others is a greater good than taking care of ourselves
Reality: if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others.
I Sleep With The Pastor says this:
We must start living our daily lives, and doing ministry out of the overflow of God. People need Jesus more than they need me, or you. We need to start praying for God to root all of us out, so we have more room to fill Him in. I want when people to see me to see Jesus. I want when I leave a place, or a conversation for people to desire more and more of Jesus. I want them to experience Jesus, not Jessica.
Christine Caine encourages us:
If we as leaders truly desire to live out our God given purpose and destiny, we must make the decision to follow God with our whole hearts and maintain a passionate faith walk. I have come to the realization that the perspective we maintain actually determines the purpose in which we walk in.
As leaders it can be easy to become distracted and miss the plans and purposes God has for our lives because our focus is on unimportant, insignificant things (that just happen to be screaming the loudest for our attention!).
In order for our lives to be lived out of overflow we must be consistently and intentionally filling all areas of our life. While each area (health, emotional, mental and spiritual) is important as christians our spiritual life is vital.
How blessed are we that God rescued us and draws us close, that He invites us to become family and to walk with Him. He is not a far away impersonal God but a God who is near and relational.
Our spiritual tank is filled up when we spend time with God.
It’s good to have a time when we determine to sit down and connect with God, reading our bibles, praying listening to (and engaging with) worship music. Some call it a quiet time, others personal devotions. Whatever it is labelled really it is just the practice of spending time with God, learning about Him and relating to Him. I would also include listening to podcasts and reading books that build your spiritual affection, that fill your heart.
If you’ve ever flown on a plane you’ll know the standard safety procedure. In event of an emergency and the oxygen masks come down please place the mask over your own mouth before putting it on a child.
We need to find a way to balance taking care of others and taking care of ourselves. It’s not about selfishness and selflessness but about self care and service. We need to be intentional at managing our time and our energy. We need to choose how we spend our time. Make it count. We have this one life.
what area of energy management do you need to be intentional in increasing?
share with us your “tank filling” strategies.