Leveraging Your Greatest Assets: Time & Energy

Something that’s becoming more apparent to me every day is that I have a finite amount of highly productive energy available to me each day. It kinda sux, because naturally I want to get as much done as possible but when I think about the times that I am most productive and actually get things done, it’s really a small window.

This is the case for everyone no matter how smart you think you are. We, as humans are cyclical by nature, we are not computers and cannot function linearly, which means we cannot produce a high constant output for long periods of time. This became clear to me after watching Tony Schwartz presentation. (Thanks for sharing that video Kyle).

For me, I work best under pressure. This is more of a pressure I place on myself rather than other people placing it on me. That’s just stressful, but when I know that I only have an hour left in the day before I need to turn off the computer, my brain switches into productive mode and I start thinking about what can I do in this last hour that is really going to make a difference to my business.

I find near the start and end of the day are times that are highly productive for me. At the start of the day, I have new energy, and I can get a task done that needs to get done. At the end of the day, I have that pressure situation where I know I need to get something done before the day ends.

Then there’s days where you are down, which is natural. Like I said, we are cyclical. Happens to be today for me. I didn’t get enough sleep last night and I don’t believe I really have the mental enthusiasm to get done a high energy task I wanted to do today. If I do it just because it needs to get done, then there’s a high chance that I won’t produce my desired outcome. I will get frustrated with the whole process, and I may abandon something that is a good idea simply because I attempted it when I wasn’t at a mental high point.

It’s a hard pill to swallow. What do you do? Try work yourself into a high mental state, pump yourself full of guarana energy drinks, or simply leave it until another day?

I’m interested to know your opinion on this and what works best for you.

I think it’s important to identify when you are at high mental capacity and when you are just having a bad day. I think sometimes when you are low, it’s better to completely switch off, give yourself a break, and realise that it’s ok. You need a break.

The danger of thinking about anything business related when you are in a low mental state is that your decisions still stick moving forward. If you make a decision about something when you are down, that decision will carry forward even when you are back up to high mental capacity. It will cause you to abandon things, believe something doesn’t work or is too hard, and make judgemens that affect the rest of your life simply because you were having a bad day and weren’t thinking clearly.