It’s inevitable; your energy levels go up and down. Have you noticed how low energy levels affect your work? Low energy levels have lots of causes, among them: being tired or sick, being in a situation that is draining your energy, boredom and strong emotions.
Awareness is the first step in dealing with a low energy level. When this occurs, change your expectations of what you can and can’t do. It may be that you have no choice but to raise your energy level for an immediate task that must get done. In that case, develop dependable ways to raise your energy level – perhaps a short nap, a change of scene, getting help or another means. When you can afford to, give yourself the time you need to restore your energy to a high level.
When your energy level is low, you are not at your best. It is in your interest to understand and know how to deal with your changing energy levels.
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A recent article in the New York Times, Productivity Isn’t About Time Management. It’s About Attention Management by Adam Grant makes a good point about productivity. “Being prolific is not about time management. There are a limited number of hours in the day, and focusing on time management just makes us more aware of how many of those hours we waste.” Grant came to a realization that attention management – the art of focusing on getting things done for the right reasons, in the right places and at the right moments – is what matters.
Time management really is an oxymoron. You can’t manage time, you can only manage yourself. Maintaining and cultivating your focus gets you in a zone that is key to your productivity. What are your priorities this week? Get going on them, excluding distractions and non-priorities, and you may find your week is a highly productive one.
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A recent article in Medium Magazine, What I Wish I’d Known as a First-Time Manager, presents advice on being a first-time manager from people who have been there. The focus is personal – on interrelationships, respect and working as a team.
What better way to succeed as a first-time manager then to put some focus on the personal? Skills and talents can be developed over time. Who you are and how you relate with others is a lifetime pursuit.
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What jazzes you and makes you happy? Are those things present in your work life? True, there are some separations that must exist between life and work. However, following a path for your career that includes what makes you happy can bring you significant benefits. Too often, our society sends messages that we are not meant to be happy at work. In reality, being happy with your work leads to productivity, success, purpose and fulfillment.
In my last blog post, I looked at being fully present in the moment, as you face a challenge. There is another useful aspect to being present – you can consciously decide how you will spend each day. Doing this requires your focus – on what is important, your expectations, your commitments and how much time you have.
What if, each morning you ask yourself what you are going to do with the day ahead of you? It could lead to higher productivity, fulfillment and motivation.
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It could be getting enough rest and relaxation or running a marathon. What is wellness for you? To answer this question, look comprehensively at the physical, mental and emotional aspects of your life. Wellness is personal.
What do you need to feel a sense of wellness? It is worth your time to answer this question and make room in your life for the things you identify. Doing this, increases your productivity, fulfillment and happiness. Get on your road to wellness and reap the benefits.
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Sometimes, it takes extra effort to keep things going. It may be that your motivation is low, you are not feeling well or something or someone outside you is making things difficult. How do you keep going, despite the pull?
First, assess whether what you are trying to do is important for you to get done. If it is, look next at whether you have what you need to keep going. If you do, find ways to increase your motivation – perhaps by rewarding yourself or rethinking your reluctance. If you don’t, get what you need.
When you feel a pull or drag on something you are doing, recognize that it is there and minimize its ability to take you off course. Focus moves you forward. Delay holds you back and doesn’t serve you.
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You are not a machine, you are a vital, creative and in-motion human. Do you give yourself the replenishment you need to keep going? Better that you do, or burnout and discouragement can occur. Without refreshing yourself periodically how can you stay productive? In reality, you cannot.
What refreshes you? Do it often.
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Dissonance: lack of agreement, consistency or harmony; conflict.
Experiencing any dissonance in your work lately (or forever)? Though work may not reach perfection, too much dissonance is unhealthy, unnecessary and inhibits your productivity. Best to minimize dissonance in your work and life.
Sometimes, you can become accustomed to dissonance or even encourage it, towards your own aims. Do so at your peril. To maximize your performance and work happy you need a work life that feeds you. Do an inventory of your work life (relationships and interactions, nature of your work, noise, expectations and time) and estimate the percentage of your time in which you experience dissonance. Is the percentage acceptable or unacceptable to you? If unacceptable, see what’s possible in terms of creating more harmony in your work experience.
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If you are to have a productive and fulfilling year, what must you do? You deal with things that are urgent in many areas. Do you consider yourself enough of a priority to make your well-being an urgent matter?
Pick one or two actions that can bring you closer to having 2018 be the year you want it to be. Make them urgent and you will get them done!
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