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When we manage our energy well, we boost our motivation, performance, creativity and even our memory. I think often as entrepreneurs we feel overwhelmed by the need to “go all in,” never slowing down or exhibiting weakness. Yes, it is up to you to keep the momentum going, to be focused 100% of the time and motivate your team, but you should never feel guilty for taking breaks.
One of the reasons I practice scheduling my energy and allow myself downtime is to avoid burning out. When I then commit to a client, I have enough energy to fully mentor and motivate them to become their best selves. Manage your energy by getting enough rest and exercise and by avoiding energy depleting people. Focus your attention on things you have a passion for and that align with your purpose.
In my opinion, your energy can be broken down into four different elements:
1. Physical Energy
Inadequate nutrition, exercise, sleep and rest diminish your basic energy levels. You will have trouble managing your emotions and focusing your attention. Physical energy is the fundamental source of fuel in your life. It’s imperative that you eat right, get enough rest and exercise regularly.
Keep your glucose levels fairly stable by working out a meal plan that fits your daily schedule and performance goals.
Exercise increases the supply of oxygen in your blood stream at any given time. Going to the gym creates a cornerstone habit, a habit you can build any other habit around. After you have a consistent fitness habit, you are basically ready to tackle any other challenge. Exercise also releases endorphins which in itself is an energy and mood-booster.
Go to sleep and wake up consistently at the same time. Research shows that your performance will strongly atrophy with even slight sleep deprivation. Not getting enough sleep disturbs your cognitive function, quite simply it makes you process less and process worse.
2. Emotional Energy
If you are able to take control of your emotions, you can improve the quality of your energy, regardless of the external pressures you’re facing. Emotional energy has a specific feel. It’s a sense of being up, happy, forward looking, resilient, feeling hopeful and creative. Emotional energy means you can ride out any storm, take on challenges and maintain courage throughout.
• Build Relationships
Relationships are key for social health, they do your heart good. Embrace the spirit of community, build a network and culture that looks at supporting, uplifting and blessing those around you.
• Establish A Great Reputation
Your reputation is the best and most valued commodity you have as a business owner. You won’t function well on empty fumes and you’ll harm our reputation when you push yourself beyond what is healthy.
• Express Gratitude And Appreciation To Others
Holding gratitude in your heart does amazing things, most profound is that it multiplies. Nurturing a heart of gratitude demonstrates appreciation of what is good right now in your life.
3. Mental Energy
Mental energy is your ability to concentrate, analyze and be creative.
• Your mental energy is essential to direct your focus to the activities most important to you. For example, each night before you go to bed, identify the most important challenge for the next day and make it your first priority when you wake up.
• Your mental energy can be zapped by excessive worry, negative thinking and racing thoughts, leading to an inability to concentrate and focus. Underutilizing your mental energy by watching an excessive amount of television or sticking to rigid routines can result in a “don’t care” attitude and demotivation.
• The mental aspect of your energy will determine how effectively you use your physical capacity of energy. A commitment to learning new things every day is one of the best ways to keep your mental energies sharp.
• Focus systematically on activities that have the most long-term leverage. Research shows that unless people intentionally schedule time for more challenging work, they tend not to get to it at all or rush through it at the last minute.
4. Spiritual Energy
Finding the “why” of your life and finding your purpose: entrepreneurs especially need to focus on this often overlooked spectrum.
• You need to align your values and goals with a purpose beyond your immediate self-interest. You must immerse yourself completely in the mission you have undertaken, whether that be founding a business, managing an existing business or caring for your family.
• Be aware of what you want because indecision is the enemy. You need to empower yourself
to make the right choices to showcase your passion and skills.
• Create and protect time to think and invest in you. You must stay centered and focused on your mission statement, and on understanding your key reasons for being here.