The concept of managing time is a misnomer – we all get 24 hours a day regardless! The real game of leadership is energy management.
Here are 5 energy leaks I see often in my clients:
1. Withheld conversations: Conversations you avoid having can drain far more energy than actually having them. ‘Sophie’, a participant in a recent workshop, talked about how a past incident with a colleague that she never addressed still damaged her working relationship with that whole division, even after the colleague had left. As we carry avoided conversations, they morph and develop their own energy, clouding our thinking and impacting our rapport with others.
Prevent this energy drain by having those difficult conversations. (See Susan Scott’s ‘Fierce Conversations’if you need help with a framework.)
2. Procrastinating on the most important action: In ‘Eat That Frog – 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time’ Brian Tracy tackles procrastination head on. Your most important task is your ‘green frog’ – it’s the one that typically will take less energy/pain to action than you realise.
Prevent the energy leak by eating your green frog for breakfast.
3. The unknown pile of papers in the corner: In a coaching session last week, ‘Gabriel’ wanted to focus on getting organised. One of his confessions was a pile of papers he was afraid to tackle because he didn’t even know what was in it… The pile was radiating bad vibes that sapped Gabriel’s energy.
Create a system to ensure the pile doesn’t create in the first place. Or when it does, take time out to review it quickly; then delegate, ditch or do.
4. Sweating the small stuff: The PreFrontal Cortex, or Executive Centre of the brain, is responsible for reasoned decision-making. Large and small decisions can tax the brain equally.
Prevent this energy leak by making your biggest decisions early in the day when your PreFrontal Cortex is at its best.
5. Letting yourself down through non-delivery: A wise mentor once told me ‘You don’t need to punish high achievers. They are acutely aware when they let themselves down.’
If your energy leak comes from the frustration of not implementing the projects that matter to you, Peter Cook’s latest book ‘The New Rules of Management’: How to Revolutionize Productivity, Innovation and Engagement by Implementing Projects That Matter’is for you.
Where are you allowing energy leaks? What commitment will you make TODAY to prevent one energy leak? Share your experiences or tips on preventing energy leaks below.
Have an Extraordinary day