Time, Energy and Priorities

by | Dec 17, 2020 | Coaching, Professional Development, Reflections

There have been some interesting articles and posts circulating about the war between managing time and managing energy. It’s particularly relevant around the holidays, with all the pressures of what to buy and for whom; what to cook and for whom; end of year performance reviews, projects. I was on a webinar recently where many were lamenting these pressures.  It’s time. No, it’s energy. It’s time. No it’s energy.

The truth is-you need to manage both time and energy, as both are finite resources. Coupled with being crystal clear about your priorities and having the mindset to carry out those priorities, you can then set yourself up for getting what you want and need.

Two phrases I hear most often: “I need more time,” and “I never have the time to do what I need/want.”

Want to know a secret? You really do have the time.

I often ask clients to describe how they spent the last few days. It’s typically a mix of working, commuting, fixing dinner, helping kids with homework, watching TV, messing around on Social, playing games on their phone.

We all get the same 24 hours in a day, yet some are able to get what they want and need done.  Why?

It’s all about prioritizing what we really want. What is really important to us.  Because the truth is, we make the time for the things we really want to do.

So, my first question is, what do you really want? Is it studying for a new degree or certification so you can get ahead in your career? Is it exercising daily so you can stay off blood pressure medication? I don’t call anything “wasting” time, as I believe we are our own best judges of how we should spend our time. When you are engaged in an activity and the answer to the question, “Is this really what I want to be doing,” is “no,” it might be time for some introspection.

What is getting in your way? Is it procrastination? Fear of change? Not wanting to be uncomfortable? Name it as specifically as you can.

I sometimes hear, “Well, I was going to do x, but by the time I get home, and I have to do y and z, then I’m too tired to do x, or I just need to sit and relax.”

A valid observation, as we all have a limit to our energy. At some point, we will hit that wall.

So, how are you prioritizing what you want? How are you making your energy work for you? I’ll give you a personal example.

Exercising is the most important thing for me to do—even more than working with clients or managing my business.  Why? Because it keeps me off medication and keeps disease processes away as I age. This means I am staying healthy to live my best life, which includes giving my best to my clients and my business. There is nothing that gets in the way of my daily workout.

You might think I’m going to tell you that I get up at 6am and workout. That’s only partially true. I do rise at 6am most days, but not to workout. I know my energy is not at workout level at 6am. I spend my early morning energy planning or in creative mode. I might work with one of my clients.  My workout energy shifts into gear between 10am and 12pm. That’s when I hit my workouts 4-5 days per week. When I had my corporate gig, I often went to the gym on my lunch, as I found it reset the day, and my energy level for the afternoon.  My energy level seems to be hardwired for that time of day.

My point? Analyze your energy throughout the day. Where are your peaks and valleys? How can you align your energy levels with your priorities and the other things that need to be done? How do you then want to manage your time?  Are there things that you need to let go of to really get what you want?

I look forward to hearing your insights. If you’re feeling stuck, click here for a free exercise.

Photo by Andrea Natali on Unsplash

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Nancy Jacoby,

Nancy is a registered nurse, recovering hospital administrator and ICF certified coach and consultant. She leads individuals, teams and organizations in growth, development and process improvement to yield sustained change and desired outcomes. 

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Nancy Jacoby, RN, MBA, MHSA, FACHE, ACC

nancy@njacoby.com  |  212.779.2049  |  Connect on LinkedIn

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