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Manage your Energy, Not your Time

Think about how you feel after a long, busy day. After running errands, working on projects, and rushing to appointments, do you still feel like you have the energy to work on your goals?

Once the day is done, you probably want to collapse in front of the TV and avoid doing anything at all right? Or do you sometimes wake up the next morning feeling mentally and physically drained?

The reason you might find yourself exhausted and burned out after a long hard day can be influenced by the ego-depletion effect. So what is this?

Ego-depletion effect is often referred to as urges, desires and natural tendencies that demand satisfaction giving us a feeling which is not always realistic, socially acceptable or even healthy. This sense of feeling has a huge impact on our energy levels, causing us to deal with challenges or situations where we end up spending a large amount of our time trying to resolve these challenges or problems instead of taking control of the situation and managing it effectively with high amount of energy. Very often, we need to delay gratification so we can evaluate our energy on the things which are most important to us instead of utilising our energy on things which can be resolved if we effectively manage the time spent on a certain task.

The link between time management and motivation relies on your mental and emotional mindset. Ego depletion happens when people use their available willpower on one task. As a result, this limits your motivation, attention and emotions on carrying out multiple tasks during the day causing you an unbalance management of time. For example, those individuals who are employed are likely to spend an average 80-90% of their energy on their work, leaving 15-10% of their energy on things which they enjoy during their free time. When you spend the least amount of energy on something you most enjoy, may not give you a sense of satisfaction because you have utilised most of your energy during the day on one task. This leads you feeling less in control on things which bring you happiness and joy.

So, how can you take control of your energy?

  • Change your outlook- Take a step back and focus more on the bigger picture. By focusing on your overall goals rather than sensing the feeling of having to complete something in the moment will minimise the impact of ego depletion.

"The tragedy of life doesn't lie in, not reaching your goal. The tragedy of life lies in having no goal to reach". If you're spending all your time on one goal then you aren't making that goal a success without the right kind of energy and willpower causing your emotions to take control of how you utilise your energy for the rest of the day.

  • Think about what matters to you- Self-affirmation can counteract the effects of ego depletion which refers to any behaviour or thoughts that boost integrity of the self. One simple way to form self-affirmation involves expressing your core values/beliefs which you hold inside yourself. During times of exhaustion, stress or overwhelming feeling- Stop, Breathe and take a minute to ask yourself 'what matters the most to you right now?' By being able to take a step back will help you regain your self-control, giving you that extra boost of energy in helping you reach your end goals.

  • Use Ultradian Rhythms- Ultradian rhythms refers to a 90-120 minute cycle involving our bodies to slowly move from a high-energy state into a physiological trough. Towards the end of each cycle, the body begins to crave a period of recovery. These signals include physical restlessness, yawning, hunger, and difficulty concentrating. Many of us ignore these signs and keep on working without realising our body has utilised all our energy on one task. By pushing yourself and over-working can lead to consequences of burning our back up energy on trying to complete a certain task. By taking Intermittent breaks for renewal, have found greater results in performance and high-quality of completing a task efficiently with high dose of brain power and energy. To add Ultradian Rhythms to your daily lifestyle try to set yourself phone reminders to take breaks during the day, this will help you re-energise and help you channel though a task.

  • Emotions + Quality of Energy- The quality of your energy can result to your emotions leaving you feeling either positive or negative. In order to help you achieve high quality energy throughout the day, firstly you must become aware of how you feel at various points during your workday and asses the impact of these emotions to result in the effectiveness to your performance and mood. Studies have shown waking up feeling positive about life gives you the best quality of energy which results in better outcomes to managing your time effectively.

Time = Life "Therefore waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life"

I hope this helps you think differently to how you manage your energy and time.

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