Manage time and energy better and bring balance back into life.
There are 7 lessons in this course:
Personal Energy: A Key to Success.
13 Keys to Effective Energy Management
10 Falsehoods about Managing Energy Supply
The "Other" Energies. Emotional and Intellectual
The Myth of Invincibility
The Limits of Stress and Time Management
Committing Occupational Suicide
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
Three Types of Personal Energy
Have you ever climbed a mountain or a large hill? At the time, depending upon such factors as your speed and the steepness of the terrain, you likely consumed a substantial amount of physical energy. On the other hand, working day after day on new, complex, and highly-demanding tasks could decrease intellectual energy. Discussing an unproductive and very negatively-oriented worker's job performance with him could lower your emotional energy level.
High intellectual energy supply improves your ability to concentrate, to think quickly and objectively, and to accurately size up situations. Low intellectual energy tends to impair concentration, to lengthen response time, and to retard judgement. High emotional energy contributes to patience, and to acting in an objective manner when dealing with people. Low emotional energy leads to impulsive and counterproductive interaction with other persons.
Note the following:
Your supply of intellectual and emotional energy very often may be among the most critical factors determining your degree of success on a particular project or in general.
It is highly improbable that a person can operate effectively for very long without an ample supply of personal energy. Yet ample energy is one of those things, like food, water, and oxygen, that many people tend to take for granted until it is no longer available or is in very short supply. In fact, relatively few books or articles even refer to the concept of personal energy, let alone discuss it in detail.
Stephen Covey is an exception to the rule. In his book, Principle Centered Leadership, Covey refers to positive and negative energies that influence organizations as well as society in general, in addition to other contexts. When sufficient personal energy is not available, the most highly developed knowledge base and skill levels may be rendered ineffectual. This is comparable to attempting to drive a Maserati with an empty fuel tank. Its beauty aside, it isn't going anywhere under those conditions.
In other words, a high personal energy supply is decidedly beneficial and often very necessary (though rarely if ever sufficient) to achieve success on a long range basis. Low energy sometimes is capable, by itself, of causing failure. For brief periods of time energy shortages can be overcome under certain conditions, such as when a person is highly motivated. In the long run, however, there simply is no substitute for solid personal energy reserves.
Pronounced intelligence, intensive education and formal training, as well as strong perseverance, people skills, and good fortune will likely not, by themselves, enable you to survive and prosper in the world of work unless you are: 1) one of the few individuals who were born highly energized, or 2) one of a large number of persons who are not in the first group, but who have learned to systematically manage their personal energy.
THE REAL ENERGY CRISIS
We are all aware of threats to the world's energy supply (e.g., oil, natural gas, electricity). There clearly has been an ever-increasing impact on the day-to-day lives of hundreds of millions of people. Hammered by demands to be more productive, but frequently experiencing a dwindling supply of resources, work sites more and more often come to resemble battlegrounds where only the fittest and luckiest survive. No occupation is immune. The threat of constant overwork has major implications, not only for the individual workers, but for organizations whose wellbeing depends on the continuing productivity of their employees.
It is becoming more difficult as well to climb up the career ladder. In certain cases even highly qualified and motivated workers may no longer be guaranteed an upward ascent. One reason is that in order to get ahead it is almost always necessary to acquire and develop an array of new skills. This often requires considerable energy expenditures, especially intellectual and often emotional.
The bottom line is as follows: To stay in the race may necessitate working harder, longer, and smarter, thereby leading to increased energy expenditures. The degree to which a person is seen as highly successful or not often depends as much on the amount of personal energy at their disposal as on any other single factor.
How leaders become and remain energized
A decided majority of persons in leadership positions work mainly, if not entirely, to gain positive outcomes. This is in sharp contrast to many individuals at lower levels who work primarily to avoid significant negative outcomes. The former approach definitely tends to be energy-enhancing, while the latter is generally energy-depleting and reduces motivation.
What else tends to characterize high level leaders? They definitely focus on avoiding or, at the least, minimizing negative self-talk. They try to spend little, if any, time engaging in catastrophic thinking or looking at a glass as half empty as opposed to half full. Their thinking tends to be solution- and task-oriented, emphasizing what they and others need to do to effectively meet the challenges at hand. It is decidedly not the case that all CEO types are highly energized, or that they were all "born that way". Rather, the majority have devoted considerable time to learning how to minimize the chances of burnout.
The energy-depleting task/activity that has been cited most often by CEOs is dealing with personnel matters. Approximately fifty percent of those I have worked with specified this as generally the most draining of all their tasks. Nothing else was close. Very few high level leaders report that they commonly run short of intellectual energy, and an even smaller number regularly experience significant depletion of physical energy.
Implications for everyone
Ideally, CEOs' major tasks include assisting employees in sustaining and even expanding their supply of personal energy. Hopefully they also provide a work environment which allows for and even supports energy-enhancement. In reality, however, many CEOs and leaders in other areas are too occupied with their own needs and the needs of the organisation to attend to employees’ energy needs, even though much of the burden of achievement rests on those employees. What successful CEO does not depend on the energy and achievements of his or her secretary, lower level management, and ordinary workers? What leader does not rely on the energy and achievements of coordinators, advisors, assistants, speech writers, and others?
Personal energy is important to every person who takes on a leadership role: a teacher, a sports coach, a workplace team leader, a parent, a tour guide etc. It is equally important to anyone who works on a project or wants to achieve a goal, or gain a sense of accomplishment by completing tasks, or learn a new skill, do well at a hobby, or have energy left over for family and recreation after all duties are done.
In other words, leaders and achievers are not found only in the political, business, sporting or intellectual arenas, but can be found in all areas of work and social life, at play, and in the home. Whether you are a mother trying to cope with the many demands of children, home, work etc., a student who is feeling burned out with too many assignments or who knows that you can do much better, or a labourer who, after a day of hard work, wants to have energy for family, recreation or a hobby, you will benefit from becoming more aware of your energy levels and from learning how to manage your energy more effectively.
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