Dear Reader

Increase your energy and your performance - In the March edition of Inspire I referred to Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy’s research that was quoted in the online Harvard Business Review. I thought this month I would explain in more detail some of their ideas in terms of boosting your energy, performance and enjoyment in life.

See the right hand column for more information on:

May & June Public Workshops:

  • Master Your Inner Critic Release Your Inner Wisdom
  • Managing Challenging Interactions
  • Coaching & Performance Management
  • The 2008 Women's Residential Conference and Retreat

To order copies of my book Master Your Inner Critic, Release Your Inner Wisdom: simply email me and I can send you copies. Price £8.99 plus P&P

Best wishes for an energised and productive April.

Melanie Greene

Increase your energy and your performance

What are your energy levels like? – when our energy levels are high, we think clearly, feel positive and if we have a sense of purpose, we feel there is almost nothing we can’t achieve.

Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy’s research looked at the following four areas related to performance:

  • The Body – physical energy
  • The Emotions – quality of energy
  • The Mind - focus of energy
  • The Human Spirit – energy of meaning and purpose

The Body – physical energy – The managers and leaders in the research project often had very unhealthy lifestyles, working long hours, being overweight and not spending much time with their families or on outside activities. During the research they undertook a range of activities from exercising regularly; going to bed at a regular time and sleeping longer; changing eating habits, including smaller meals and light snacks every three hours; having regular breaks at specific times always away from his desk (some managers would go for a 20 minute walk in the afternoon). The idea with the breaks is to completely remove yourself physically and mentally from work to switch off completely.

The managers found that they had more energy and were more focused. This continued throughout the day, without the usual dips in energy and motivation that many experience when working ‘head down’ for hours on end. They also lost weight, were healthier and able to spend more time with their families while still being more productive (See March Inspire for statistics on increased performance).

I can hear you saying ‘Yes but I don’t have time to do this’. But by doing these kinds of things these people found they had more time and energy and were more productive. So start to make the changes today – experiment over a period of several months, rather than do it one day or for a week to give the ideas enough chance to work.

Are you getting enough good quality sleep, do you awake refreshed in the morning? Are you getting regular exercise, as well as time to rest? Are you having regular breaks throughout your day?

The Emotions – quality of energy – Managing emotions and mood is one area of my life that I have seen huge differences in and it is backed up by this research project. Which is why on many of my training programmes and during coaching I assist clients in exploring how they can acknowledge and transform any negative emotions that they are experiencing to provide more energy and focus.

Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy introduced a range of ideas for improving the quality of energy. One technique I particularly liked was the ‘three lenses’. This involves viewing things that happen to us from a positive rather than negative or victim perspective.

The reverse lens – ask yourself: ‘What would the other person in this conflict say and in what ways might that be true?’

The long lens – ask yourself: ‘How will I most likely view this situation in six months?’

The wide lens – ask yourself: ‘Regardless of the outcome of this issue, how can I grow and learn from it?’

When could you use these three lenses to gain a more positive view of a situation?

The Mind - focus of energy – Multi-tasking, dealing with constant interruptions by phone, email or people can decrease productivity by as much as 25%! The research showed that chunking time for specific tasks (including dealing with emails) and controlling interruptions made managers much more effective.

Again I can hear the ‘Yes but’s’. I’ll answer with ‘If your clients, colleagues, manager found you to be 25% more productive they would probably understand why you are not available 24/7. It is better to be clear about when you are free to give people your full attention, so that you can communicate with them in a fresh and energised way.

How are you going to chunk your time for particular tasks this week? When is the best time for you to deal with emails, phone calls? How can you communicate this to others in a positive and constructive way?

The Human Spirit – energy of meaning and purpose – Does your work and your life give you a sense of purpose and some meaning to your existence? Or have you found yourself on a treadmill, feeding the big mortgage with no sense of purpose to what you do.

Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy found that if people’s work really matters to them: ‘they feel more positive energy, focus better and demonstrate greater perseverance’. This is not about us all going off to work for charities or something ‘worthwhile’. It is about making sure you feel your life either in and/or out of work is worthwhile, in terms of you feeling like you are creating value whatever you do. Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy say:

‘To access the energy of the human spirit, people need to clarify priorities and establish accompanying rituals in three categories:

  • doing what they do best and enjoy most at work;
  • consciously allocating time and energy to the areas of their lives – work, family, health, service to others – they deem most important;
  • and living their core values in their daily behaviours’.

What action are you going to take? – if this is of interest to you and you are wondering how you can increase your energy levels, your performance and you satisfaction in life then call 01865 377334 or email to arrange a time to speak in confidence.

For more information about Grovelands visit our website:

2008 Public Programmes

When you attend one of our public workshops, you receive a one day workshop, a training booklet and two follow up coaching emails to assist you in putting your learning into practice for just £100 (plus VAT). For more information email


Master Your Inner Critic, Release Your Inner Wisdom – Saturday 17th May. You will receive a copy of the book on the workshop.


Managing Challenging Interactions workshop on Thursday 5th June. This workshop supports you in effectively managing the impact of such interactions on yourself and enhancing how you handle them.



Coaching & Performance Management on Tuesday 17th June. This is a open workshop run in conjunction with Oxford Brookes University. If you manage staff and sometimes find it a challenge to tackle performance management issues or find time to coach your staff then this workshop will provide practical ideas and techniques to assist you in managing performance.






The 2008 Women's Residential Conference and Retreat, 12th – 16th May, at Latimer House in Chesham, Buckinghamshire

I will be running two, thee hour workshops at this conference on:

  • Power of Working Effectively Under Pressure

  • Power of Managing Challenging Interactions

Do you want to take some time out for some personal and professional development? Perhaps you are seeking to change careers, set up your own business or purely enhance your life. You can attend either a day at the conference, several days or come for a whole week of development. Click here for more information.



Quotes on energy…

‘Ultimately love is everything. When we love something it is of value to us, and when something is of value to use we spend time with it, time enjoying it and time taking care of it.’

M Scott Peck


‘No matter how much pressure you feel at work, if you could find ways to relax for at least five minutes every hour, you'd be more productive.’

Dr. Joyce Brothers


‘Thoughts are energy, and you can make your world or break your world by your thinking.’

Susan L Taylor





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