This article was originally published on April 26th, 2010. How are you at managing your energy?
Energy is the fundamental currency of high performance. The source of personal and professional success is learning to effectively manage your energy, not your time.
Ideas, Implications, and Questions
- 4 Principles of Full Engagement:
- Full engagement requires drawing on four separate but related sources of energy: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
- Because energy capacity diminishes both with overuse and with underuse, we must balance energy expenditure with intermittent energy renewal
- To build capacity, we must push beyond our normal limits, training in the same systematic way that elite athletes do.
- Positive energy rituals – highly specific routines for managing energy – are the key to full engagement and sustained high performance.
- One of the most important ideas that I pulled from this book was the idea of recovery: pushing hard and then resting to renew energy. It runs counter to the prevailing idea that success comes from always working as hard as you can – expending as much energy as possible. The idea that relaxation can help one be a more effective performer is powerful, and I’ve seen it work for myself and my clients.
- Jim and Tony write that we have “the capacity for very few conscious acts of self-control in a day” (pg 169). This reinforced the idea of working on developing positive habits one at a time. Once that habit is ingrained and doesn’t require conscious effort, you can move on to the next one. I think this is why people struggle with New Year’s Resolutions – they try to change too many behaviors at once and they run out of steam. This is foundation I used when I wrote the Book of Habits.
- They also write that “fundamentally, spiritual energy is a unique force for action in all dimensions of our lives” (pg 110) I don’t think spirituality lends itself to an easy description, but their idea of purpose is powerful. I think it’s especially relevant because too often people don’t really think about why they are doing what they are doing. The more that a person’s purpose is woven into their daily activity, the more energy they will have (and the more likely they will be engaged in productive and creative activities).
Should you read this book? Who should read this book?
The Power of Full Engagement is an interesting look at the practical steps necessary to build your capacity in and for life. It’s worth reading if you feel that you have plateaued or if you are feeling overwhelmed with things to do and not enough energy to do them. It’s especially relevant for:
- Independent salespeople
- Executives and managers