Strong time management skills are often hailed as one of the key markers of successful people, and knowing how to prioritize and balance the various things life throws at you certainly helps in terms of general achievement. A new study, though, reveals that time isn't the most important aspect of your life you need to manage in order to be successful: energy is.
According to Harvard Business Review, energy is defined "as the capacity to work, energy comes from four main wellsprings in human beings: the body, emotions, mind, and spirit. In each, energy can be systematically expanded and regularly renewed by establishing specific rituals—behaviors that are intentionally practiced and precisely scheduled, with the goal of making them unconscious and automatic as quickly as possible."
So what's the best way to manage your energy? It's easy enough, and the best way to begin is to simply make changes to your routine that help increase your energy. Going to bed earlier, eating better, and incorporating exercise into your day are all easy ways to quickly boost your energy. But it's not the activity itself that allows you to be more productive, and in turn, more successful. These types of changes allow you to relax more easily, connect better with the people around you, and achieve balance. Then, the time you do commit to work is less interrupted, and more genuine.
When it comes to office life, Harvard Business Review sums up the issue with energy management: "The implicit contract between organizations and their employees today is that each will try to get as much from the other as they can, as quickly as possible, and then move on without looking back," the authors write. "We believe that is mutually self-defeating. Both individuals and the organizations they work for end up depleted rather than enriched. Employees feel increasingly beleaguered and burned out."
At the end of the day, it's work-life balance that's key to success, both inside and out of the office.