Time Management is Energy Management, Part I

“Time management” is a common term that has been used for a long time. I use this term a lot because it means something to people. But in the end, I feel it is a misnomer. There are 24 hours in a day. And while you can manage a lot of things, I don’t know that time is one of them.

In researching time management and in teaching workshops and doing extensive coaching on the topic, I have come to the conclusion that the way to move through your day with ease and productivity is to manage your energy.Energy

Physicists understand energy as the capacity to do work. Like time, energy is finite; but unlike time, it is renewable. This makes it a resource that is manageable.

When you start to look at the ways we “manage time” that cause us problems, they tend to be things that drain, sap, and constitute poor management of, our energy. For example:

• Working late into the night and not getting enough sleep is a way we “manage time” that saps energy

• Trying to do more than one thing at a time is a way we “manage time” but which makes us feel overwhelmed and dragged down

• Having a long list of things “to do” and not completing any of them is a way we attempt to “manage time” but which makes us feel overwhelmed and want to avoid the list

• Being overwhelmed is a result of how we “manage time” and generates a level of energy that makes most people want to go back to bed

These are common things that we do when we are stressed and feeling there is too much to do. Some of these behaviors (for ex., working late into the night and not getting enough sleep) are strategies we employ to catch up. But others (for ex., having a long list of things “to do” and not completing them) are less strategies and more side effects of ineffective time management. Whether a strategy or side effect, these things tend to sap our energy. The less energy you have, the less you want to work and the less effective you are when you do work. We all know this on some level, but we try to “push through” and do the work anyway even if we are too tired to focus fully.Energetic businessman

This brings us to the concept of energy management as a better approach to work. When you manage your energy in such a way that you feel good about work – getting enough rest and physical rejuvenation, and also managing your tasks so that you don’t have too many “open loops” pulling you in different directions – you are more effective and you get more done.

By managing energy more skillfully, it’s possible to get more done, in less time, more sustainably.

If you like this blog share it with someone else!  And you can subscribe here to have my blog posts delivered directly to your inbox about twice a week: http://www.mclarencoaching.com/blog

About the Author

Cami McLaren

Cami McLaren

is the owner of McLaren Coaching. She has been coaching attorneys and management since early 2008. She wrote a book, published by the American Bar Association, "Coaching for Attorneys: Improving Productivity and Achieving Balance." She coaches attorneys and managers one-on-one, and provides in-house training designed to improve productivity and bring accountability to the organization.

Subscribe To Our Blog
Recent Posts

PSA: What is a Professional Coach, Really?

Professional coaching is a rapidly growing industry.  It is gaining in credibility.  Coaching is remarkably effective and utilized in the biggest organizations and by the most successful professionals.  And yet… What is it? When I use the word “coach,” what do you hear? It has...

Read More

Age is Just a Number

Last week, one of my favorite coaches (who happens also to be my mom!) was interviewed for the Washington Post. Such an inspiring article on living in purpose throughout our lives! If you are interested in learning more about the coaching skill set, join us on...

Read More

Coaching as a Game Changer – Tip #4

Act With Intention Next in our ongoing series on ways of BEING coach, we have Tip #4 — act with intention!  Intention is deliberate, magical and in some ways invisible.  But there is also a very practical component to it.  Here is the formula we teach our...

Read More

Coaching as a Game Changer – Tip #3

In our ongoing series on ways of BEING coach, we have Tip #3. But first a review: Tip #1 – Meet people where they are (Coaching as a Game Changer – McLaren Coaching) Tip #2 – Approach people with openness (Coaching as a Game Changer...

Read More

Share this Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email