How to manage your energy for a long and happy career
Unless you keep your TV turned off these days, it seems impossible to escape the hype around the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations rapidly approaching at the start of June.
70 years as the Queen really is a remarkable achievement when she has been balancing being the sovereign with her other duties as a wife, mother, grandparent, sister, friend, employer and so much more!
For those of us that sometimes struggle to balance our business activities with life’s other commitments, what can learn from the Queen to manage our energy and thrive in what we do?
Understand where you’re spending your energy
Jot down all of the tasks you’ve been doing, work and personal, over the last week. Go through them with a highlighter and mark off the vital “only I can do” tasks. Now, carefully consider the other tasks and determine if a) if there’s another way to save time or energy by doing them differently or b) someone else can do them.
Let’s take a regular morning routine as an example. You get the kids out of bed and ready for school, drop them off at school, get stuck in traffic on the way back and finally have time for breakfast yourself as you read your emails. Several hours later you realise you’ve fallen down a rabbit hole of clicking links in emails and wasting time reading articles and perhaps even succumbing to some spontaneous purchases. Now it’s the afternoon and that 5pm deadline is looming ever closer.
As the saying goes, “Life is a marathon, not a sprint”. While we might not be able to avoid some of these activities, we can find better ways of managing them to conserve our energy rather than burning out with nothing left to give. After all we cannot give from an empty cup.
Here are some tips for managing your time and energy better
There are things we can do with that morning routine to make it easier for us to manage our energies more effectively, such as:
- See if there’s an alternative way to get your kids to school – car sharing with friends, walking crocodiles, the school bus, etc might all be options worth looking into.
- Use your car time wisely – rather than feeling stuck and stressed in slow-moving traffic, why not listen to an audiobook or podcast? It’ll help you feel like you’ve done something with your time.
- Outsource your email management to a virtual administrator. Email management can be one of the most time-zapping tasks a business can have. Clearing out your inbox and dealing with enquiries and follow-ups can be a huge drain on your time and energy – a VA can blitz through it and point your attention to the emails that really require it.
- Use an app on your phone or computer such as StayFocusd to limit the amount of time you spend online or Freedom which allows you to block certain websites so that you don’t get distracted when you should be working!
- Try the Pomodoro technique to help you stay focused and blitz through your work. With Pomodoro, you work in focused blocks of twenty minutes on one task with a five-minute break at the end of each block. After four blocks, you take a half an hour break.
Master the art of delegation
Unfortunately, we don’t all have ladies in waiting, household staff, chauffeurs and numerous other personnel around us to assist with everyday tasks but that doesn’t mean that we can’t delegate some tasks to free up our time and energy for essential tasks.
As with the example above, email management is one task that can be outsourced, but there are so many more. The most common tasks for a business owner to outsource are those back-office tasks and functions that can zap away at your energy while preventing you from doing the tasks that will generate new leads, sales and money.
Day to day admin support – these include tasks like diary management, email management, general admin, data entry, research, and client response. It can also include ‘life admin’ – tasks such as sourcing a new cleaner (another great thing to outsource) or comparing quotes for car insurance for example.
WordPress website support – maintenance, updates, uploading new content, blogs etc.
Marketing support – such as blog writing, email newsletters and social media marketing.
We can’t all be the Queen, but we can take a leaf out of her book which has led to a successful seventy-year career and realise that how we manage our energy, time and resources is completely up to us. Rather than following the norm, why not be the Queen of your business today?
I might not be a Lady in Waiting, but I can support you with the tasks I’ve outlined above and so much more. Get in touch if you’d like support with your business today.