The more you know

How to make the most of every minute of your life: energy management

In the article 2 weeks ago, I told you about 4 anti-procrastination techniques. You apply them diligently, yet there is still something wrong: you cannot stop procrastinating. You know why? Time management alone will not get you anywhere. It is only one of the two directives on which each of your projects moves, it is only one of the two key points on which you must work.

In the United States my work had strange hours: sometimes I worked from 10 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon, sometimes from 4 in the afternoon to 10 in the evening. If I wanted to take care of Mindcheats, I had to do it during the hours that let me work: either in the morning (evening shift) or in the late afternoon (day shift).

I realized that during the morning I am much more productive: wake up early, breakfast, Facebook and a TV show. By 8:30 am I am in front of the PC writing an article, reading a personal growth ebook, working on my next project. Time passes, until 11.30 am I do not detach myself from the screen. Time passes quickly, I write a lot, I feel satisfied. Then out for a run, shower, a few minutes of relaxation, prepare food and go to work.

And when do I work in the morning?

I go home, I know I should go for a run before it gets dark but I don’t always do it, I write in an uninspired way and after dinner I find myself wading for a movie.

I would have the time, that’s not the problem. In the evening I waste the hours I could devote to other more productive activities, while in the morning I have no problems working. If I go home already a little tired, my productivity collapses.

That’s where I understood how time management alone cannot lead you to success. There must be some other force that affects.

Energy theory

The lighting came to me after reading an article by Scott Young. I understand that you can work on something without procrastinating only when you have two things:

  1. The time.
  2. Energy.

If one of these two components is missing, your project will fail. And that’s why many people fail their good intentions even if they have the time to carry them out: they don’t know how to optimize their energy.

Just like time, energy is limited and you cannot do anything to increase it: you can only learn to make the most of it. If you waste your energy on useless activities, it will no longer advance you to carry out the projects that will make you the person you have always wanted to be.

How energy works

Time is easy to understand: it flows forward linearly, we know it intuitively. Energy creates some more problems. I clarify: energy is not some medium-sized magical medium. I don’t believe in magic, astrology, spirituality. I believe in science and psychology.

Think of energy as a bathtub with a slightly open tap: the more time passes, the more the tub fills up. When it is full, the water level will reach the drain and will no longer rise.

In the same way energy is stored inside you up to a maximum level, beyond which it can never go. And just like the tank, the size of your energy container cannot be changed either.

Thus energy is created. But how do you use it? Whenever you are doing strenuous activity, you use energy. It can be physical or mental fatigue:

  • To study
  • Playing soccer
  • To work
  • To run

These are all activities that use energy. It’s like removing the cap from the bathtub: even if the tap remains open, the energy that comes out is greater than what is created.

When your energy reaches too low a level, you won’t be able to do anything. You may be motivated, have the right time and conditions, but you will not do anything. You won’t study, you won’t work. For many supporters of time management this is a frustrating situation: they have optimized their time, but still find themselves with their hands. They do not understand that time alone is not enough. They believe they are not very motivated, they are chronic procrastinators, they need clearer objectives. While they go crazy looking for the solution with wrong techniques, they worsen their situation by wasting energy on useless activities.

How to use energy theory to make your dreams come true

Once you know energy, you need to learn how to make the most of it. Like time, it is a limited resource. When the energy runs out, you won’t have the strength to work on your personal growth. You will have no motivation, you will give in to the temptation of the sofa.

To make the most of your energy, you need to work on two directives:

  1. Don’t waste your energy on unnecessary activities.
  2. Do not leave the energy at maximum for too long.

If you waste your energy on things you don’t need, you will have less to work on the things that are really close to your heart.

You waste energy every time you get angry with someone, you study without knowing the right techniques, you eat badly, you go out too often.

If your energy is already at its maximum, you will not have space to accumulate more. Still imagine the bathtub: if it is at the maximum level but leave the tap open, all the water that comes out will be wasted.

You do it every time you wake up late on Sunday, in the morning you procrastinate instead of doing what you know you have to do. For this reason, early morning is the ideal time to study: your energy is at its best and you will give your best. Then take a break in the middle of the day, regain energy and get off to a good start.

If you go to school in the morning when you come back for lunch, look at Dragonball and the Simpsons, then ready to study.

In this way you will optimize your energy, you can devote yourself to your projects for more time and that time will be more productive.

Reevaluate laziness

Energy theory reevaluates an aspect that is overlooked by time management theories, and is the cause of the failure of many: leisure. energy is slowly recovered and the maximum stocks are small, you will have to take breaks. In these moments of tranquility do what you want:

  1. Watch a movie
  2. Listen to music
  3. Call a friend
  4. Check Facebook

The moments of leisure are essential to make you recover the energy that you will need to invest in your projects, do not neglect them. If you try to make every second of your life productive your energy will remain zero, if you try to do everything you will do nothing.

Learn to manage energy beyond time and you will no longer have obstacles for your success.

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