I have a question for you- Do you make listening to your body during your working day a habit, in particular paying attention to your energy levels? If not here’s why you should be doing this. Structuring your day around your energy levels has the benefit of making you more focused and productive. Meaning you get more done in less time. Who wouldn’t want that!!! It makes sense really, but how many of us do this. I certainly didn’t!
Despite many years working as a freelancer and entrepreneur, I was still stuck in the corporate 9-5 mindset. I would feel guilty if I didn’t work a full day as dictated by society. Thinking about this, this way of thinking is crazy. The 9-5 was devised for the industrial age, a time when work for the masses involved heavy machinery and lots of hard physical labour. We are in the Information/Technological age, a period that gives us a lot more flexibility around how, when and where we choose to work. But are you actively embracing that flexibility?
I am guessing that one of the reasons for working for yourself is the freedom of not having a boss looking over your shoulder. As an entrepreneur, you still answer to a boss, but that boss is you. And you get to decide how your time works for you. Whether it’s fitting it around family needs, study or whatever it is that matters to you, to be able to make the time you have work for you you need to know when your energy levels are high and when they are low. Your energy levels influence the way you work, and understanding this will help you match your energy level to the most suitable tasks thereby increasing your productivity and efficiency to get more done in less time.
Being productive also means recognising when your energy levels are low and allowing yourself to step away from work for a while – be it a few hours or a few days – to recharge. When working for yourself taking time off can become an afterthought. But we need to take those breaks for our well-being and mental health. Because when are rested in mind, body, and spirit we can show up as our best self in our work and lives.
Managing your energy levels is a simple process. All you need to do is make a note of how you feel every day, keeping a diary or journaling is great for this. Look for patterns, for example, the post-lunch slump is very real, but whilst the workplace only gives you an hour, setting your own hours means you can allocate more time if you need it. Or perhaps you find that your energy drop for longer periods at certain times of the year for example in August or at the end of the year, so this could be a good time to schedule vacations, not take on clients, or to work on tasks that require minimal effort.
How do you manage your energy levels, I’d love to know. Do share in the comments.