Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time"* Part 2

This is a second post inspired by a wonderful article "Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time" by Tony Schwartz (no relation) and Catherine McCarthy (Harvard Business Review, Oct. 2007).

Another strategy that Schwartz and McCarthy suggest is to write down (each evening) the most important challenge you anticipate for the next day, and then when you arrive at work, begin addressing that challenge.

I'd like to build on this.... I don't know about you, but when I start thinking about my most important challenges (projects, papers, class preparation, etc), my brain usually gets stimulated which typically re-energizes me. Doing this in the evening, tends to make it harder for me to get to sleep. I can imagine that for some people, identifying the next day's challenge is actually calming as it helps you feel more organized.

My point is, and what I would add to Schwartz and McCarthy's point, reflect on how various activities impact your ability to energize yourself and also to relax, and then honor this. So if thinking about the next day's work is calming, then yes, do it before you go to sleep. If however, it gets you revved up, then resist the temptation to engage and instead try to let yourself relax so you can get a good night's sleep. Most often, you'll work better the next day if you have gotten good sound sleep.


Cheering you on in your work,

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