Why energy management is the secret to better workon 12 January 2021 for Companies
Time management once was the go-to strategy to increase personal efficiency and productivity. Yet, the increasing number of employees with burnouts and stress-related symptoms have shown that time management (at least in its current form) probably isn’t the holy grail.
In the competitive business world of today, where organizations are demanding ever-higher performance from their teams, we need something different. Something that can reconcile the high-demanding expectations towards productivity and results in the mental and physical health of employees. Enter energy management. Companies that help employees to systematically rejuvenate their personal energy, will see the benefits straight in their bottom line.
We sat down with Niels Vandevenne, Transformation Consultant at Projective and one of the Business Tribe Ambassadors at Exellys, to discuss the ins and outs of energy management and how you can increase your (as well as your team’s) personal energy.
What is Energy Management?
Energy management is about controlling and maintaining your emotional and physical energy throughout the day in order to perform your planned activities with the desired result. The goal is to foster simple habits that help you to replenish your energy and increase physical, emotional and mental resilience.
Time management focusses on increasing your work efficiency in order to execute as many tasks as possible in one day. It does not necessarily emphasize the quality of your performance. How well you perform your tasks depends heavily on your personal energy level. Energy management helps you to allocate the right amount of energy to the right tasks.
Why is Energy Management important?
Most people perform better when they are experiencing positive emotions. Without intermittent energy recovery, we’re physiologically not capable of sustaining highly positive emotions for long periods of time.
By learning which behaviour and activities trigger positive energy and stimulating this during the day, you will be able to think more logically and generate more mind power to overcome challenges. To put it another way: by establishing certain habits to manage and renew your energy, you will get more things done without feeling exhausted and dissatisfied.
Niels experienced it first-hand when having to work from home fulltime due to covid-19: “This change of environment really affected my energy levels, as I get most of my energy from social interactions. Raising awareness of my personal energy needs, and applying some easy practices, have really helped me to maintain high energy levels throughout the day, increase my focus, and guard my work-life balance.”
The benefits of personal energy management for companies
Companies need to switch their focus from getting more out of their employees to investing more in them. Energizing people, so they are more motivated to give it their best, can lead to a series of positive business results, such as:
- Increased productivity
- Less absenteeism
- Increased employee motivation and engagement
- Increased customer satisfaction
An Energy Management study
Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy performed a study at Wachovia Bank. They compared the performance of a group of employees that followed an energy management program, against that of a control group. The employees that followed the energy management program outperformed the others on several financial metrics (e.g. 13% more revenues from loans and 20% more revenues from deposits). Moreover, 71% of the participants reported that the program had a positive impact on their productivity and performance.
7 hacks to increase your personal energy (by Niels Vandevenne)
Increasing your personal energy doesn’t have to be difficult. It is enough to introduce some simple habits throughout the day.
Things that Niels does to fuel his personal energy:
1: Energize yourself every morning by recapitulating your values and goals.
2: Take regular short breaks between different tasks. Divide your day into blocks of 90 minutes:
- Spend the first 15 minutes collecting low hanging fruits. In this phase, quality is inferior to quantity. Just knock out as many as you can.
- Concentrate for the next 60 minutes with an extreme focus on your tasks. Here, the emphasis is on the quality of work.
- Take the last 15 minutes to take a (true) break. Take a short walk, do some push-ups, meditate, dance to your favorite songs on Spotify anything that might help to clear your mind and replenish your energy will do. Important note: Here, it’s important to move away from your screen.
3: Are you up for a full day with back to back meetings? Schedule a 5- to 15-minute break between two meetings. Mention it on the meeting agenda, so participants know this in advance.
4: Use the blue light filter on your computer screen. Exposure to too much blue light can have a number of uncomfortable consequences such as headaches, blurred vision and even poor sleep. Cut back on blue light in your life and you will feel the difference. It’s that simple.
5: Reduce external sources of distraction, such as e-mails and incoming calls, especially in your 60-min high-focus interval.
6: Reserve 10 minutes at the end of your workday to plan the next day. It is the perfect way to end your day with ease of mind.
7: Leave all work-related thoughts at work. This applies also when working from home. Close your laptop, clean your desk and put everything in your bag. This creates a “leaving work at work” ritual, allowing you to mentally disconnect from work. Avoid checking your work-related e-mails on your phone when you are not working. Turn off the notifications or simply don’t let work-related e-mails come in on your personal smartphone.
Introducing energy management in your organization
As a manager, team lead or C-level executive you can start to support energy renewal habits in your organization in several ways:
- Install a culture that focusses on energy management.
- Encourage individuals to identify the activities that are most energizing.
- Provide a pleasant working environment with enough natural daylight and plants that improve air quality.
- Build relax- and re-energize-rooms. Playing darts, pool, table tennis, etc. are all simple and effective ways to let employees relax and refuel. Or do it our way and just build a bar in the middle of your office…
- Subsidize gym memberships and stimulate sports activities, such going for a walk or run during lunch breaks.
- Start the day with a short briefing meeting with your team. It helps to align tasks and to increase everyone’s focus and productivity.
As you learn to manage your energy better, you will experience more positive emotions. Which in their turn, will have a positive impact on your productivity and focus, being beneficial for both you and your employer.
At Exellys, we care about the well-being of our colleagues and we are committed to creating a pleasant working environment where everyone can focus but also relax. But in times of remote work, we need to take it a step further.
With energy management, Niels showed what the first step could be in helping colleagues to become conscious of what drains their energy and what gives them a boost. This self-awareness is the keystone of introducing simple habits into your (work)life and become more energized than ever!
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