Forget time management, prioritising your energy will transform your productivity. We take a look at managing your energy instead of your time. Here’s how to audit your energy domains for sustainable performance
When time management has failed and our clients are feeling stretched, examining where they place their mental energy is often a pivotal moment. We know ourselves that when we’re under pressure, it can be less than easy to achieve an effective work life balance. Maybe it’s an ever expanding to do list, or commitments that you really wanted to say no to, or perhaps you’re busy travelling for work. That’s why we examine energy domains instead of time management with our clients. Whatever is grabbing at your time and energy, examining your domains will unearth them. Where time management strategies haven’t worked, mapping your energy domains offers a fresh perspective.
The 3 Energy Domains
When we consider our energy in terms of 3 key domains, it makes it easier to identify where we place our focus. Some of our actions will recharge and renew us, other actions will deplete us. The domains offer a framework that brings clarity to your energy expenditure.
Manage Your Energy Not Your Time
Domains are all about working to achieve a positive balance – even under pressure. When we achieve balance across all three domains, our wellbeing, performance, productivity and happiness are optimised. It’s the ability to maintain an energy equilibrium that develops resilience, helping us to bounce back when there are bumps in the road.
An Energy Deficit
The reality is this rarely happens. We fail to achieve an energy equilibrium, depleting our resources by focusing on one single domain, leaving little leftover for the other domains. Stress and burnout are the result.
For each domain, evaluate how you spend your time and energy.
Domain 1: You
This domain is often ignored & receives the least input. We sacrifice ourselves in order to get things done. It’s a common mistake that leaves us running on empty. The reality is if we neglect ourselves we’ll deplete our resilience reserves, leading to stress and burnout. It’s when we think we have no time for this domain that we need to pay more attention to it. Often making relatively small adjustments to your day will provide a great return on investment.
Consider these key questions:
- Do I invest time in myself?
- Is there space for rest & renewal?
- Do my nutritional habits help or hinder my energy?
- What is my sleep hygiene like?
- Where is my downtime?
- How could I create micro actions to create renewal in domain 1?
Domain 2: Your Professional Domain
We spend most of our time at work. Love it or loathe it (and if it’s the latter we think it’s time for change) work takes up a huge chunk of our lives. This domain can swallow up all of your energy if left unchecked.’Powering through’ is a myth. When you engage in working practices that require you to skip breaks and miss meals you’ll simply slow down. Data shows that these kind of working habits drain us, damaging performance and energy. Ask yourself:
- What are my motivations for work?
- Do I take regular breaks?
- How do I refuel at work?
- Am I able to manage my time & energy in a way that serves me?
- Do I need to create stronger boundaries?
- Am I confident when saying no? Would I benefit from developing assertiveness?
Domain 3: Your Social Domain
The third and final domain concerns family & friends. Often when we focus on the professional domain our social relationships suffer. This domain operates on multiple levels. We’re social animals and we benefit from spending time with others. Research demonstrates that positive social relationships are linked to mental and physical health along with longevity. That’s correct, being around the right people could help you live longer. Reflect upon these questions;
- Do I sacrifice all of my energy at work with nothing left for myself afterwards?
- Where can I create more time for positive relationships?
- Do I need to limit my time around toxic relationships?
- Are there relationships or friendships that I would like to reconnect with?
Core Values and Domains
Consider your values. If you haven’t thought about them, contact us below for a free personal core values worksheet. Using the domains, consider how you can align your values with the energy that you commit to each domain. For example if a core value is ‘family and friends’ ensure that you allocate an appropriate level of energy to this domain. It may mean that you need to pull back on domain 2, but as we’ve discovered, time spent with positive social connections is an investment in your own health. All of the domains require equal attention to achieve balance.
Want to know more about energy domains, stress in the workplace, developing resilience and maintaining high performance? Take a look at our Free Building Resilience Toolkit or any of our Free tools in the resources section.
We work with individuals, leaders and Fortune 100 companies to improve performance, build resilience and embed sustainable high performance in teams. We provide training courses, coaching and consultancy. Want to know more? Get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.