Everyone talks about how time is money. Or how you should say “no” more or attend fewer meetings. Time management is overrated.
To make better use of your time you need energy.
Energy is the driver of our entire lives. Yet most people don’t prioritize energy or even know how to create more.
Here’s everything I’ve learned about energy in a 5-minute read. Use the tactics to finally do the things in life you’ve been putting off.
Most people have a financial budget but not an energy budget
Unless you’re Jeff Bezos, most of us have a limited amount of money.
That means we need a budget to work with so we don’t drain all of our money and end up bankrupt. The same applies to energy.
If you don’t have an energy budget then hidden energy leaks will drain your life force and you’ll have nothing left in the tank to achieve your goals.
I find the best thing you can do is direct your energy toward one thing. The results compound much faster and produce feelings and emotions that bleed into other areas of your life.
There’s nothing better than energy created by achieving goals.
The #1 one way I get more energy (steal)
I love simple strategies.
Over the last year my energy has been up and down — thanks to my newborn daughter, buying a home, and crazy financial markets.
The simple advice I read somewhere is if you feel sluggish in the middle of the day, the two best options are:
- Take a 15–20 minute nap
- Do some exercise
I find one of the easiest ways to get my energy back in the middle of the day is to bounce on a trampoline next to my desk. After 10–15 minutes I feel like a new man ready to conquer another mountain of tasks.
People can ‘feel’ the energy you put into your work
As a writer, a lot of writing leaves me feeling lifeless.
The reason is a lack of energy. If you put low energy into your work you get low-energy results. For writers, this means low views or a lack of money.
When you spend time to prioritize energy it flows through to your work. When people come into contact with that work they feel the energy you put in. The energy is transferred into their life.
In return they give you energy back and so it helps your work get better and reach more people.
Create energy-giving work by living a high-energy life.
Most of us have 4 hours of good energy a day
This is an unpopular opinion.
I’m sure you’ve read articles about 4 hours of deep work. Or 4 hours of work done in a flow state. The idea is, we can’t work in a high-energy state for the whole day. So why the hell try.
Learn about how to create flow states then work for 4 hours on your creative endeavor. After that, take a break and call it a day.
It might seem silly but it makes sense.
Deep work and flow states produce extraordinary results, but they drain an enormous amount of energy in return for that benefit.
Use the superhuman periods to their fullest, then spend the rest of your time on energy recovery, so you can get back to a flow state the next day.
What I found while working in banking is my internal battery never got recharged enough to have the energy to deploy into a flow state activity like writing.
I had to re-learn energy management, and ultimately, quit cubicle jobs forever.
Why the end of a 9–5 day feels exhausting
Do you ever wonder why when you get home from a job there’s this deep desire to watch Netflix or chill out on the couch?
Productivity expert Ankur Warikoo taught me why. He says we don’t feel tired because we worked our faces off and did a lot of work.
We feel tired because we’ve done minimal work towards the things that give us meaning and make us feel happy. And we’ve used almost zero creativity.
There’s a solution…
Side hustles and after hours projects are a hidden source of energy
Maybe you don’t want to quit your job … or you can’t.
So how do you reclaim your energy? With side hustles or after hours projects. They’re not designed to make you look cool. No. They help you deploy creativity and build energy reserves.
Here’s what that looks like visually:
Stay the heck away from p*rn
I know most of you are good guys and gals so I’m sure this one doesn’t apply to you. But just in case.
Don’t watch filthy p*rn that exploits women.
So many everyday people are addicted to it, and that means they deplete the precious dopamine inside their brain that’s the source of motivation.
They’re left tired and energy depleted after wasting mother nature’s gift on a screen full of pixels, instead of its intended purpose to, you know, get some real-life action in the sack, and maybe have a kid or two.
For men, especially, if you don’t watch p*rn you’ll be ahead of the 80% or more who do and have zero energy because of it.
“Spend energy to get energy”
Writer Nat Eliason says we assume the body is supposed to give us energy, then we magically do stuff. Nat reckons we have it backward.
You do stuff and then your body gives you energy.
While studying big wave surfer Laird Hamilton, writer Billy Oppenheimer learned that within the body exercising increases:
– oxygen circulation
– mitochondria (“the powerhouses of cells”) production
– endorphin levels
“It takes energy to make energy.”
Sitting on your ass doesn’t get the party started. So if you want more energy you first have to spend more energy.
I find if I don’t go to the gym for a week I become a zombie. My energy levels drop, my thirst for life goes down, endorphins disappear, and I feel like I’ve achieved nothing. Then I can’t be creative or write online.
Use energy to get moving so energy can help you keep moving.
The final depleter of energy
For most of my life I wasted energy on events I couldn’t control.
It made me deeply anxious. And anxiety is a form of energy, where you can’t stop living in the future.
When I learned to spend my energy on events I could control a newfound energy emerged. I used that energy to help heal from anxiety.
Now I use the former anxiety as energy to achieve my biggest goals. Not all forms of anxiety are bad. It’s only bad if it’s wasted.
Focus on what you can control.