The three golden resources of humanity are Currency, Time, and Energy.
We seem to spend an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to accumulate the first resource instead of managing our limited resources so we get the maximum ROI (return on investment).
Time is a VERY limited resource there are just 24 hours in every day.
Five to eight hours are spent sleeping, so 16–19 hours of productivity time are available to us each day. Roughly 1200 minutes to get stuff done!
Energy is limited as well.
Energy can be replenished, but we need to invest in recovery so that we actually accumulate some more of it overnight or throughout the day through optimum nutrition.
Energy is also sucked from us rapidly, like Superman touching kryptonite, when we do things we hate doing, or spend time with people or in situations that are negative or draining. We need to become aware of what these energy suckers are so we can begin to mitigate them or manage them out of our lives.
Most of us have no idea where we spend our time or energy to the level or degree we should.
We like to complain a lot about “having no time” or being tired, exhausted, running on fumes, but what are we doing to change it?
Complaining about it isn’t going to change it!
Unfortunately a lot of the things we compromise in order to gain more time are just the things we need to prioritize in order to gain more energy!
Maybe you’ve heard yourself saying a few of these statements to yourself:
· I need more time during the day, so I get up earlier and go to bed later, maximum productivity! Ya! Grind it baby!
· I cut my workout short, or don’t even do anything physical because it takes time. Who needs a workout anyway, totally over rated!
· No time to cook so I’ll just grab something quick at the fast food joint and eat in the car while I drive to my next appointment.
· My partner or kids, ah they’ll be fine without me, I gotta get this project finished, that bonus is going to come in handy at Christmas!
· Journaling, meditating, breathing, that’s a total waste of time, I need to be getting shit done! Come on!
Any of these thoughts sound familiar to you?
Bottom line is:
· Sleep quantity, and especially sleep quality are imperative elements of energy recovery. Poor sleep and energy is not recovered as well. Now you slowly start to reduce your daily reserves and a cycle of compromise begins.
· Exercise not only improves our physiological capacity and increases our adaptive buffer to physical and mental stress, but it also helps improve the quality of our sleep, so by skipping it, or eliminating it entirely you reduce your buffer AND your energy recovery. Another drop in the reserves!
· Poor quality nutrition, high in animal fat, processed food, and low in quality nutrients, oh boy, down go those energy reserves again!
· Cutting corners on time with loved ones? How do you expect the quality of your relationships to improve? Poor relationships = more energy drain!
· No journaling or time to decompress, take stock, think about life, where you want to go, how you are doing, so no time to breath, and no time for you?!
The above ingredients make for lower and lower energy reserves, more and more compromise, less and less quality productivity, and a vicious circle that sees you grow more and more disparate as the quality of your life diminishes more and more daily.
You can have all the money in the world but this life is not going to feel good!
So what can you do?
Own Your Time
First up, take stock of your day. Create a spreadsheet with an hourly schedule on the left and a column on the right where you can write down everything you do each hour of the day for 3–5 days straight.
Once you’ve done this, take a cold hard look at where you are expending time in the least profitable manner.
When I say profitable, I mean is the time you are using being used to generate energy or currency?
Take real stock of how much time you are spending doing energy sucking things.
Also, take stock of how much time you are spending doing things that are energy in for you, like exercise, sleeping, napping, meditating, eating well, taking a bath, spending time with people you love and energize you? How much time is getting delivered to raising energy levels!
When you are “working” how much of your work time is truly productive and how much of your time is wasted with e-mails, social media surfing, negative or unproductive conversations, useless TV, procrastination, or low priority tasks?
Get Rid of Fluff
Build a plan for each day (roughly so that you can be flexible to the ever changing realities of daily life) so that you maximize energy in contributions, and you get rid of fluffy unproductive time sucks. Schedule blocks in your day of specific amounts of time to catch up on e-mails.
Same thing for social media, put the phone away, even turn it off when you are doing energy in things, like good conversations with your partner, or watching your kid’s baseball game, or hanging with good friends.
Kids or no kids, how about some recreational activities during the day, like wall climbing, playing a game of chess, going for a walk in the park, or scheduling a competitive game of squash or tennis with a buddy?
What’s that you say? What if someone texts me and I miss something important?
What could be more important than what you have planned to do? What could be more important than talking to the person who you arranged to meet for coffee?
What could be more important than taking care of you?
We’ve become way too interested in what is NOT in front of us instead of being focused and listening to the person or the moment we have right now!
Inject High Energy In
Make sure every day has high energy in elements, things that increase or maintain your energy.
Maybe you love having a great coffee and reading a newspaper, book, or even something on the Internet? But instead of just endlessly surfing, lurking on other people’s Facebook feeds, or selfie posting, truly take in some content, learn something, or be inspired by something.
There’s just so much junk out there, use your time on social media to inspire or to contribute!
Do you have certain friends or family members who inspire you, or elevate you, put more time and energy into those relationships and in most cases the energy will come back to you in spades.
Don’t get driven to exercise by what you read in a magazine or what the newest fad might be, instead craft exercise opportunities in your day that leave you feeling energized and alive. It could be as simple as going for a brisk walk in the park, climbing a tree, or running some stairs in your office tower. You don’t always have to “go to the gym” and lift weights and do cardio. It shouldn’t be a drain it should be uplifting!
Schedule a session with a good personal trainer, do a tri-bathalon (Sauna, hot tub, cold plunge!) or make a date with a massage therapist.
If all of that seems too extravagant, think about something for a second.
How much money do you spend a year on car maintenance? Just do a ballpark rough estimation. If you’re like most people, minus big repairs you are probably spending anywhere from $1000 to $4000 on car maintenance a year, easily.
Massages are inside of a $100 a pop in most places, and you can usually do a tri-bathalon at most good fitness centres, or go to a specialty spa when you get the massage. You can do that probably 10 times during the year for inside of $1500.
Spending it on the car, no brainer, spending it on you……..?
What ever it is you feel creates energy for you, do more of it, and start to take stock of what drains it from you, and begin taking steps to remove it or mitigate it in your life.
More energy, more time, will eventually lead you to more money!
P.S. Please share this post if you enjoyed it and you feel it can help someone else. Thank you!
Originally published at medium.com