Time or Energy: The Gift is the Present

In our bustling workplace, some define stress as “too much to do and too little time”. But if we had more time, would we really have the energy to engage with the seemingly endless tasks at hand? Managing our time should really be about managing our Energy. Happiness and high performance increase when we make energy the focus.

Of course energy can be boosted by a healthy diet, exercise and proper rest. And more subtle energy boosters and sappers have their source in our thoughts and our environments. Boosting our Energy levels can have the biggest impact on our sense of agency and “control over time”.

Throughout this month of “MINDFULNESS”, we invite you to observe your thoughts and actions, maintaining both curiosity and kindness. Don’t be surprised if all too frequently you find yourself reliving a past event, with all the unneeded stressful emotions. Maybe you fantasize about what you should have said or done. Too late! Occasionally you may indulge in daydreaming about something more positive that happened. Better for the blood pressure, but still in the past! When we free our thoughts from pining for the past – there is always the seductive future to worry about… What may or may not happen? Will everything be alright? Endless concerns to sap our precious energy!

With stress and depression on the rise in the western world, there is a push towards greater MINDFULNESS and living in the Present. Remember the joys of “losing yourself” in the present: that great satisfaction of being truly absorbed in the now. Maybe it’s in nature. Maybe it’s in a breath.

Are you optimizing your time and energy mindfully? Here are some helpful tips:

  1. Be aware of your energy and pace yourself

Our energy fluctuates though demands seem constant. Pace yourself for the long haul and ensure you set more attainable short term goals. That sense of completion and satisfaction can go a long way to boosting your energy for the next leg of the journey. And a little self-empathy never hurts when it is time to rest and recharge your batteries.

  1. Know what drains your energy

Be aware of what truly drains you and what gives you energy. Own these needs and preferences, and prioritize Energy whenever possible. Choices could involve places, people, types of activities, topics of conversation, or even times of the day.

  1. Plan with flexibility

Plan and carefully prioritize what is truly important. Then allow “life to happen”. When surprises pop up, maintain clarity on what you already have on your plate and what new developments are at hand. Choose consciously how your priorities might shift. Build in time for individual and shared learning and reflection.

  1. Take a break

Give yourself brief mental and physical breaks to stay fresh and energized. Consider breathing exercises, meditation, walks and other ways of momentarily removing yourself from noise and work demands.

  1. Be fully present

Time slows down when we are fully present. In whatever you do, strive to remain connected to your senses. Observe a beautiful scenery, engage in a tactile activity or listen attentively. When we spend time with someone who is truly present, we feel re-energized. You can be that someone, while maintaining healthy boundaries and choosing with whom to spend your valuable time.

  1. Be yourself

Own your strengths, needs and challenges, remaining authentic and true with everyone. Being real, clear and compassionate is contagious in and beyond the workplace. Energy expands when we operate from a place of truth and positivity, inviting others to operate from their strengths and unique qualities too.

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