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Chapter 1: Why Energy Management > Time Management
What is it that is holding you back in life? A lot of us make the mistaken assumption that it is time. We think that if only we had a little more time, then we could get all kinds of things done. If we had a little more time, then the house would be cleaner, we’d spend more time with our family and friends and we’d be able to progress faster through our career. Maybe we could start a new training program as well and finally get those abs?
But there just isn’t time in the day. We work from 9-5 and when we get home, we often still have a long list of tasks to do that we just don’t have time to finish. That includes checking the mail, paying bills, making dinner, washing up and hopefull y getting just a little bit of time to spend with family!
Man, if only there were more time… right?
Well actually, time is very often not the problem. Rather, the problem comes down to energy. Think about it: if you really don’t have any time to do anything, then how were you able to watch that entire Boxset of Game of Thrones recently? If you really don’t have time to do anything, then how have you been finding time to play Uncharted?
If you genuinely work and busy yourself from the first thing in the morning, all the way up until bedtime, then the answer would be simple: get up earlier, or go to bed later.
No, that is not the problem.
Instead, the problem is energy. Time management isn’t the only big deal here: energy management is just as important. If you can’t effectively manage your energy, then you’re going to find that you can’t make full use of your time. And that’s a problem!
What probably really happens when you get home from work, is that you collapse onto the sofa and watch TV for a bit. Or maybe you just procrastinate a little by not really doing anything much for a short time.
Either way, you could be working. You could be working on that amazing novel.
The issue is not your time at all but rather it is your energy. And this isn’t to say that you’re in some way lazy, or that you could be making better use of your time right now. Instead, it is to say that you’re simply pushing yourself too hard and too far – and it should come as no surprise that you’re not achieving as much as you hope as a result.
Energy is something that most of us ignore: ‘I have a few hours tonight,’ we say, ‘I’ll do it then!’. The only problem is that if you don’t have the energy, then you’re not going to do it. Your energy is finite, it can only go so far, and if you ignore that fact then you’re going to run out of steam and not accomplish the things you want to change.
Coming to Terms With Energy Management
There’s a good chance that you may be reading this and considering energy management properly for the very first time. Perhaps it’s something you never really thought about before – you wouldn’t be alone in that!
But even at this early stage in the book, you’ve hopefully learned a valuable lesson. Simply acknowledging that energy is probably what’s holding you back is one of the very best things you can do to start making life easier.
Once you come to terms with this, you can start to think more logically and realistically about what you can achieve in a day. That means you can remove item from your agenda – knowing full well that you won’t be able to accomplish them – and thus actually get more done as a result and come home with more energy left over.
When thinking about whether you’re going to walk home tonight or drive, be realistic and accept that driving may be easier. When planning to complete a long list of chores this evening, be honest with yourself and ask how likely you are to really complete that list. Did you manage to finish everything you set out to last time? Give yourself a break and organize your day sensibly.
Our Strategy for Boosting Energy
So what is our overall strategy for boosting energy?
It actually comes down to a few things. The first is management: managing our time better and thinking about how much energy we’re likely to have in a given day and what we actually want to do with it. And by finding ways to avoid wasting energy, we can save more for the things that we ultimately decide really matter.
The next step is to start small and not be too ambitious. That’s true with the other things we’re trying to achieve and it’s also true of the lifestyle changes we’re introducing in this book. Simply put? You’re not going to transform your energy levels and your health overnight – and you shouldn’t try! Work up to it slowly and be smart about how you’re raising your energy. We’re going to introduce the concept of ‘kaizen’ here, which means that we’re introducing small changes with the aim of eventually seeing big results. Kaizen is a Japanese concept that basically means any journey is best accomplished with lots of little steps.