The Secret To Taking Back Your Time? Energy Management!
I can see it now. Your workspace is locked + loaded, adorned with coffee, spreadsheets, ClickUp, timers, planners, and Post-it notes. You’re armed, and ready for any entrepreneurial challenge that comes your way.
By now, you know what works best for you, time blocking, batch working, cycle syncing…you’re fierce, and OWNING your day. *cue Ciara, Level Up*
This is right about the time my clients say to me… “I’m organized but doing all the things. I feel scattered, unorganized, and burned out”.
Are you slowly raising your hand, too?
My friend, you are not alone. In fact, you and millions of other women have been taught it’s healthy to be exhausted, so much so that ‘if you’re not tired, you’re not working hard’ – eh, not true.
While we’re here, let’s clear up a few more formalities the patriarchy left for us to dismantle.
• Multi-tasking is a woman’s job. Not true.
• The busier you are, the more important you are. The woman who’s inbox is full to the brim, taking the most calls, and seeing the most clients = the most successful woman in the room. Very much, not true.
• If you want to ‘make it’ you have to grind, put your head down, and do the work – you can sleep when you’re dead. I’m tired just reading this.
When we believe these lies, it leaves us feeling disappointed, unworthy, inadequate, exhausted but most of all…time poor.
I’ve had the honor of working with a handful of women, all with different backgrounds, and revenue markers. But, they all come to me with one common challenge, “I’m doing, doing, doing but the needle isn’t moving. My to-do list is just getting longer by the minute. How can I manage my time better?”
My response comes in the form of a hard truth; Time isn’t your challenge… energy is.
Let’s unpack that:
Time is finite.
Energy is not.
Meaning, unless Mother Nature owes ya one, we’re cemented in at 24 hours a day…for the rest of time.
Energy however, can be manipulated. We can replenish energy, and unlike time – we have control over our energy.
The reality is, even the most organized women are burned out. Time follows energy, so even if you’re only doing a few tasks everyday, if those tasks are energy sucking, they’ll take you 10 times longer. Let’s redesign what it means to be “busy” and take back your time but managing your energy. Shall we?
Step 1: Awareness
Productivity is not one size fits all, which is why it’s so important to tap into what you uniquely need to thrive. Over the next two weeks you’ll track 5 different areas to help uncover how to manage your energy best. Each day, check in with yourself – how are you feeling (key word: feeling vs. how you’re performing)?
• Are you moving your body?
• Spending time outside?
• Fueling it with what makes you feel good?
• Are you taking breaks?
• Practicing gratitude + appreciation?
• Breathing deeply + regularly?
• Are you focusing on one task at a time? Multitasking?
• Stuck in your inbox? A slave to your IG feed?
• Are you feeling scattered? Or focused?
• Are you nurturing your relationships by connecting often with friends/family?
• Are you surrounding yourself by community and support?
• Are your ‘yes’s’ in alignment with your values?
• Sleep plays a critical role in our energy. Track the hours you sleep to find how many hour you needs to feel 10/10.
• Lastly, take an overall energy rating for that day. 1 being lowest, 10 being highest.
Step 2: Inventory
One of the most draining parts of being a business owner is…doing #allthethings. Sure, wearing all the hats might be necessary, but wearing all the hats all at once (multitasking) is not.
Even if you already have a team in place, getting clear on what feels energizing / draining / indifferent is critical. Why? If you continue to perform the actions that drain you (or feel indifferent about), you won’t be able to give yourself fully to the thing that energize you (usually the most important parts of your business).
In the first column of the template, write out all of your duties as a business owner. Each ‘card’ should represent a different task you perform, i.e. Instagram Engagement, Inbox Management, Client Onboarding, Pinterest Strategy, etc.
Step 3: Strategy
Here’s what we know so far:
• For the past two weeks, you’ve been tracking your energy. Have you noticed, when taking breaks more often, you’re able to show up better during client meetings? Maybe, now that you’re taking deep breaths vs. shallow ones, you’re finding the quality of your work is increasing? Remember, everyone is different. Now it’s time to take note of what you took away from those two weeks. What rituals will you keep in place that actually support and sustain your energy?
• Your inventory audit is complete (is that list looking extra long on the ‘draining’ side?), that’s okay! In fact, it’s a great indicator that it’s time for you to either redistribute work within your team or perhaps it’s time to finally hire support? Know this: The work that energetically drains you, is not the work you’re meant to be doing.
Now, let’s take your awareness + inventory, and create a strategy to manage your energy for the long game.
Outsourcing + Delegating:
There is nothing like a soul sucking task to leave you frantically searching Facebook Groups + Google for an assistant. Get ahead of the stress. Of the draining tasks, what can you automate to a system, and what can you delegate to a human? When taking those tasks off your plate, you may even find you’re more productive when doing the ‘indifferent’ tasks.
Create your rituals list:
What rituals can you integrate into your daily practice to help support a better energy system? Go through each area Body, Mind, Focus, Purpose, sleep, and note which rituals helped reinforce your energy vs. took away from it.
Create a plan:
Now that you know what needs to be in place, deploy this strategy in your favorite planning system. I simply use Google Calendar, and reminders on my iPhone.
Keep in mind, your clients + customers don’t invest in you because of the time you spend working on things, they invest in you because of the energy you dedicate to projects, courses, ,coaching and beyond. By honoring your energy you ultimately provide a higher level of value to your business, clients, and team.