Today we are going to discuss the Energy!
It is the essential fuel for our business yet, from my experience in working with people, very rarely do we spend much time managing it or even understanding it. We know when we don’t have it – as we feel lack lustre, lethargic and it all seems a little hard.
But then, when we do have it, we feel inspired, motivated and move our business along!
When we run our own business we need energy – as it is the energy that fuels our actions, and ultimately, our actions will give us our results.
What we are going to cover on this call is:
- The four types of energy that drive us
- How to think about energy like a bank account, with deposits and withdrawals and then you will create your own energy audit
- And from this Your very own formula to keep your energy balance high!
Energy is our most precious resource, not time. Time measures the quantity of effort put into work but not the quality. It is the level of energy that we put into a task that predicts high performance and success.
Time is finite – there are a fixed amount of hours in each day, you never get that time back once it’s gone. But energy operates like a bank account – we can add to our energy when we need to, and also we can have our energy depleted as well.
Energy management is critical to running our business, as not only is it our fuel but energy is infectious. You know when you are with someone who has good energy = they are compelling to be with, they make you feel better and likewise you have probably been with other people whose negative energy drags you down, makes you feel uncomfortable. Ass business owners, we are our business, so I think it is just as important to manage energy as any other resource, money and time, in our business.
Four Types of Energy
So let’s look now at the four types of energy. By categorizing energy into four different areas it makes it much easier to manage as it takes it away from an amorphous lump, which because of it’s vagueness can be hard to make changes to. This will also give you some insights into why you may feel energized in one experience, yet completely drained by another.
The four types of energy are:
Let me repeat that – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual
To really perform and manage your energy well, it is important to look at all areas.
Let me describe them in more detail. I’ll explain what the impact of the having or not having the energy is, and then what can fuel it. You may want to take notes!
Firstly physical energy….
Physical energy is related to our body – do we feel tired, weak, strong, resilient or overwhelmed.
When we have good physical energy we can feel alert, vital and manage our emotions well. Because we have the energy to make sound choices in our emotions.
There are a range of physical energy sources – you will all have read about these before I’m sure…. and these include:
Exercise – there is a lot of scientific research about how exercise increases our energy. Simply put, exercise increases our energy because :
– It gives us endorphins – which are the lovely neuropeptides that make us feel better – so we feel more energized
– It speeds up our metabolism, so our body actually has more energy in it, and this can last for a few hours after exercise
Diet – what we eat and drink can really impact our physical energy. Are you eating foods that support the growth and repair of your cells and fuel you, or do you eat foods that maybe give you spikes of energy but ultimately make you feel worse?
Sleep – sleep deprivation was used as a form of torture, and if you ever meet a parent of a newborn baby, you can see what impact lack of sleep has on their energy levels! Sleep is a restorative time for our bodies and allows our subconscious to order and make sense of that has happened in the previous day
Water – hydrating our bodies is essential for keeping energy high. We need it to cleanse our body, regulate our temperature and digest food easily.
Next is emotional energy….
Emotional energy has a profound impact on how we relate to others, and that in turn will impact how they respond to us. It can be easy to get into a negative or upward spiral with our emotional energy. For instance when we are feeling low, we tend to look at the world through a negative filter and then when we are feeling up – we think the whole world is a positive place…..
Emotional energy sources include…
Positive emotions they do more than make us feel good – – happiness, joy, love, humor, excitement, wonder, relief are some positive emotions…. the thing is when we think positively, and we feel these positive emotions, our brain releases neuropeptides such as oxytocin, dopamine and adrenaline and we feel good! They are our little happy drugs….
Now on to mental energy….
Mental energy is also our intellectual energy. It is required for us to focus, organize, and find solutions and to be creative. Are there days when you are busy all the time but never seem to get anything done? Or feel burnt out at the end of the day and have nothing to show for it? Your mental energy is very low….
The essence of out mental energy is our ability to handle different things in different ways – especially the ability to respond to new and complex problems.
Sources of mental energy include
– Focus and concentration – when we focus on one task, we can get the energy to bring it to completion. As our attention is not dissipated over many different areas – a classic example of this can be multitasking – look at email or twitter when we are on the phone – our focus is everywhere and thus no where
– Critical thinking is a good source of mental energy- as when we make good decisions, find solutions and achieve results, we feel energized
– Positive thinking – pessimism can drain a lot of energy from us and make it hard to be focused when we think an outcome will be negative, so positive thinking can fuel us and give us focus
Last but not least is spiritual energy – this is all about my reason for doing this. It is the fuel for motivation, meaning and commitment. When we feel that passion and sense of deeper purpose to what we are doing, we feel more energized about doing it!
Like most things in life, energy sources are very individual – some things may energize you in these different areas, but they may not energize someone else…and that’s fine!
I mentioned before that energy can be thought of like a bank balance – it goes up and down. And when you think about the four different types of energy, chances are you will have different amounts of energy in each separate account at any one time – these of course, combine to give you an overall balance of your energy.
When we think about managing our energy, I think it is very important to be aware of what the withdrawals are on our energy, and then what increases our energy levels – the deposits. This can help you increase your awareness of why you may be feeling a certain way on a certain day and yet completely different a day later.
Energy withdrawals and deposits are a very personal thing. Now you have your chance to think about what brings your energy levels up and down. This will help you increase your own awareness of what impacts your levels in each energy area. Think of this exercise like an energy audit!
What I want you to do is to think about what depletes and adds to your energy is each area. I’ll talk you through each area.
So, for physical energy – what depletes your energy…is it, lack of sleep, or not enough water or no exercise or missed meals?? MORE
Take a moment and write down what depletes your physical energy…I’ll go quiet for a minute to give you a chance to jot some notes down…
Now, what adds to your physical energy? Is it meditation, sleep, nature walks, seeing the beach?
Again, I’ll go quiet for a minute to give you a chance to jot some notes down about what adds to your physical energy…there are no right or wrong answers….
Now we need to do the same for your emotional energy – what adds to it – what depletes it?
Let’s start at what depletes it – is it…tough meetings, demanding customers, people calling you on detail if you are a big picture person or vice versa?, lack of autonomy?
Take a moment to write it down….
Now what adds to it – what gives your emotional energy a burst? Is it going on courses, reading stimulating articles, receiving praise and acknowledgment?
Now your mental energy – what depletes you? What makes you feel unfocused, fuzzy? Is it detail, redoing the same task again and again?
What adds to it makes you feel sharp, alert – ready to tackle a challenge?
Is it creating things, products, brainstorming with other people, working with great clients, solving issues?
And your spiritual energy could these things deplete it – no time with loved ones, lack of connection with friends, no understanding of why you do what you do
And would these add to it – personal reflections time, having more friend time. Reconnecting with the reason why you do what you do and the value you bring?
Your own personal energy plan
Looking at your notes, you have now completed your very own energy audit! Your awareness has increased and now you have a much better sense of what things cause your energy to go down and what things make it go up. When we are aware of our energy and what impacts it, then we can do something about it. As with most things, the first step in change is awareness.
Take a look now at what actually adds to your energy levels across the four areas…and consider how much you incorporate these elements into your daily life. Do you do most things every day – or only when you have time?
Likewise, with the depletions, are they a constant or only happen when you are stressed, or extremely busy.
Energy is an essential fuel for our businesses, so how do you want to play this to your best advantage? How do you want to ‘be’ each day at work…switched on, focused, alert, engaged and positive – or pessimistic, uninterested, apathetic, bored and unappealing?
The choice is really up to you…
So as an action from this call to manage your energy proactively, I would urge you to do this….
Review your energy audit…. consider how you can reduce those elements that deplete your energy. What do you need to shift, change, avoid?
What daily structures do you need to out in place to actively ensure that these changes will happen?
Then take a look at your energizers –those things that actively lift your energy and make you feel better. Can you ensure that you have these in every day? What changes do you need to make to ensure this happens – what little things can you do each day to create new habits to improve your energy and vitality for you and your business?
I would love to know what action you will take as a result of this – email me or leave a comment below and tell me!