You might need to transform your energy if you feel:
- Your workload is too heavy or you have too much to do
- Challenged by the number of priorities you face
- Low on energy
If so, then these tips are for you.
Matching your energy demand with supply
It’s important you are able to match your ener gy to the demands of your job and take action to be productive and to also feel well too. Implement these tips and energise your day and life for greater enjoyment and better results.
Make e-mails the first thing you do.
Switching on and hitting send/receive is highly likely to sabotage the day you have planned.
Instead of following your agenda you may lose focus and run the risk of generating wasted emotional energy, such as anger, disappointment, frustration or overwhelm.
Don’t let others control your day.
You will still need to action e-mails and on the following page there are suggestions for how you might choose to do this most effectively.
Start your day by completing
those activities, actions or
tasks that are most important to your success.
Keep yo ur focus and stay on your agenda. Whatever else the day brings you have already completed your most important work.
Do your e-mails in batches and at specific times when you can focus on them. Try and keep your inbox clear by touching e-mails only once and creating a system where you record actions you need to take – there are plenty of apps to help you. You will be amazed at your increased energy and productivity.
Focusing on more than one thing at a time drains energy. Your mental capacity f or the task reduces as you add a second one.
Even quickly alternating between many tasks is likely to have the same effect.
Don’t allow yourself to be constantly interrupted or to be taken away from what you are doing – it will stop you getting important things done.
Prioritise and carry out one
task at a time. For those people
who love variety and checking each e- mail as soon as they can – this may be difficult and will require effort (and maybe switching off alerts on phones, tablets and laptops).
Plan when you are available for staff, students, and parents and let them know. Interruptions add on average 11 minutes to every task and while it is inevitable that you will need to deal with emergencies, protect your time.
Take regular short breaks between tasks to allow you to have a new focus for your attention. Your energy levels and productivity will increase.
Try and get through the whole day without taking a mental break and disengaging your mind from your day job.
Working consistently for long periods, without ‘switching off’ and thinking about one thing after another without a break will see your energy and productivity plummet as the day goes on.
Ideally take a break every 90 minutes or as often as you can.
Completely disengage your mind from the work tasks you are carrying out – this might simply be switching off between lessons by doing or thinking about something different and ideally something you enjoy. It might be difficult but even a 2 minute break will make a big difference.
During a longer break you might do some reading for pleasure, listen to music or go for a walk. Know what energises you and create effective daily habits. Do this and your productivity will soar.
Worry about things outside
your control. Can you do anything about them?
The minute you do this your energy is focused w here it won’t be effective for you.
Successful people don’t focus on what others might do as they can’t affect it – they only look at their own performance.
Is the same true for you, whatever your role?
Don’t make up your own stories or beliefs about yourself or others – only focus on what you really know.
Focus only on your own performance and those things you can control and influence.
All your energy is positively pointed towards what you can do..
Use facts only – what you know is happening and not your perceptions of it.
What are you going to achieve today – not what might others do to prevent your success?
Give your body fuel everyday and ideally:
Always eat breakfast within one hour of getting up.
Eat light and eat often (at least every 4 hours).
Eat within 2 hours before and after exercise.
Eat until you are satisfied and not necessarily full.
Eat foods that provide good energy, for example seeds and nuts and avoid sugars.
Work through lunch and fail to take a break.
We have already highlighted that failing to fuel your body will reduce energy and if you eat while you carry on working, such as planning or marking, you are unlikely to do either well.
Rather than improving your productivity, this is guaranteed to reduce it!
Break off to eat lunch and connect with other people. If you are a leader it’s also a great way to spend some time with your staff.
Research has clearly shown how eating well and taking a break in which to do it, significantly boosts performance afterwards.
Even if you find it difficult to take 30 minutes or more, can you at least take 15 or 20 and be a role model for others?
Drink regularly throughout the day – between 2 and 5 litres of water (depending on your weight and the amount o f physical exercise you do).
Drink water whenever you feel tired or lethargic. It will give you energy and increase your concentration.
The Wateraid website has a great handy calculator that you can use to calculate how much you should be drinking. Visit www.wateraid.org.
Sit at a desk all day and fail to move around – shouldn’t be a problem if teaching!
Don’t remain stationary and use your computer and other devices to do all your work or to keep in touch with colleagues and the rest of the world.
This will not meet the physical needs of your body and will lead to falls in energy, engagement and the ability to deliver results.
Regularly get up and move around at least once every 60 minutes.
Find reasons to move – to go for a short walk, talk with others or carry out some simple exercises.
Your body is designed to move. It needs some action, no matter how small the steps.
Take steps regularly and see the difference it makes. You should take at
least 10,000 steps each day. Think about using a pedometer to see how you measure up?
Regularly go to bed late and/or have little rest and sleep.
Don’t work late into the night or use technology in the 30 minutes before you go to bed.
To have the right energy you will need to recharge your batteries and constantly skipping the time needed for rest will lead to lower energy, enjoyment, productivity and results.
Get the right rest.
Seven to eight hours a night should be the minimum for most people.
Do go to bed and get up at the same time each day (wherever possible).
Early to bed and early to rise really does provide the most energy for the majority of people.
And take time out at weekends and in holidays – just stop working, even if you have things to do!
The right rest will lead to greater enjoyment, improved performance and better results.
Drift and have no idea about what or where you are aiming or what you would like to achieve.
You are unlikely to be fully engaged with your life and work and will not achieve your full potential.
Without a clarity of personal vision you leave to chance where you will end up and your energy, engagement and productivity are likely to be much lower than they could be.
Have a clear vision for yourself and set clear goals.
Break these down into manageable steps and commit to specific action.
Set out when you will do these (not by when) and allocate specific time in your calendar.
Knowing exactly where you are heading (and adjusting as needed) will provide you with enormous energy each day and support you in overcoming any obstacles that get in your way.
Think you can do everything on your own or surround yourself with people who drain your energy.
Constantly facing challenges as an individual will drain your energy.
Being with others who are negative or constantly moaning will drain your energy.
Surrounding yourself with unsuccessful or unambitious people will drain your energy.
Build an effective support team – all successful performers surround themselves with a great team.
Include successful people, positive people, energetic people, funny people and people with the skills and knowledge to complement yours.
A problem shared with the right people really is a problem halved.
Make sure you role model the right attributes too so you are a successful part of the teams that others can pull on.
Expect to get everything done – you probably won’t so accept it and quit trying.
Most successful people strive hard, but it is through their planning, ruthless focus and ensuring they have the energy they need, that they are able to achieve the things they want.
They accept there are limits and apply the Pareto principle (80/20 rule).
Prioritise and plan what is needed.
Create a system (on-line or on paper) where you can record your key projects and deadlines and your weekly and daily to-do lists.
Use these to stay on top of your important tasks and remember around 80% of your key outputs probably come from just 20% of your inputs.
Set yourself a maximum number of hours to work each week and stick to it and ensure you have a balance in your life. You can only do your best and if everything isn’t done then learn to accept it.
Spend all your time only working in your school and being constantly caught up in your everyday work.
Don’t be unaware of how you are feeling and not mindful of what is going on for you.
Don’t fail to take action to change anything you are unhappy with and to respond differently to stressful situations.
Spend time working on your school and on yourself.
Be mindful of what is going on and think strategically about what you need to do differently, as well as the operational tasks you need to complete each day.
If you are aware of situations you find stressful or feel overwhelmed by workload or constant changes, take time out to think about what you can do.
Remember it’s not these situations that cause problems but your response to them and how it makes you feel.
How do you respond?
Use all your resources to implement these tips to transform your energy
There are four quadrants you can use to transform your energy and if you want to know more about each of these then get in touch.
Decide if you want more energy, a better balance and greater wellbeing in your life? That you can use to generate greater engagement, enjoyment, performance and results.
If you have answered yes, which of the tips have the greatest interest for you?
Of these give each a score of 1 – 10, where 1 is you have no interest and 10 is where you have great interest.
Now select the one with the highest score.
For the tip you have chosen, what is the firs
t step you need to take?
How will you do this and do you need anyone else to support you?
When will you take this step? We recommend setting a specific time to do it and not a ‘by when’ date.
Take the step and learn from the result. High performers and those who feel better keep taking action until they get the results they want.
Repeat until you are sustaining the changes you want to see – then in time you can do the same for any of the tips.
How are you feeling about taking positive action?
If you could focus only on your priorities and had all the energy you needed every day, what would you do differently and what would you be able to achieve? Both in and out of work?
We would love to hear your success stories or to help if you have questions.