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 firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a time to speak in confidence.
For more information about Grovelands visit our website: www.grovelands.org.uk