We all have this image of strong leaders as being invincible, that no matter how stressful a situation, we look to leaders for support, guidance and direction. This is especially true of what is happening during this covid pandemic…
However, always remember everyone is human and energy is a finite resource.
Again mentioning the Mike Tyson quote ‘Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face’ and how many times as a leader do you get punched in the face with so many issues being thrown at you on a daily basis.
This is where I struggle with the concept of time management. I have taught time management techniques for years to clients who want to improve productivity. Sometimes they work sometimes they don’t.. Why? Well there are many different answers to this question but one that stands out to me is lack of energy. So the question I pose to clients who ask me to teach time management is
‘What use is time if you don’t have the energy’?
This is something I’ve had lots of experience with over the years in many different forms, working around the clock, not being in the right frame of mind for certain activities, getting burnt out and needing to take a break to avoid getting ill. Sound familiar?
With that I’ve developed an energy system over the years to support my clients in improving performance through managing energy.
As stated energy is finite resource, you need to build it up, use effectively and then rebuild. While I’m won’t be going into the rebuild cycle here, trust me when I say that it’s of the upmost importance and it’s very much related to your health and well-being habits.
In this video I’m just focusing on the how to maximize your energy resource during your working day..
Forget Time Management – Manage your Energy Video Transcripts
– Hi, Shay Lynch here, Director of Future State. And today I wanna talk about your energy as a leader. Many people talk about time management. That it is the most important thing around our concept that you need to manage your time as a leader and be very effective. And to a certain degree, that is correct, but I’m here to tell you that managing your energy is way more important than managing your time. Because, what happens if you run out of energy? What good is time? Mike Tyson has a great quote. “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face”. How many times as the leader, do you get punched in the face? Whether it’s a supplier that you know, whether it’s a customer giving aid, and those two phone calls could change the whole dynamic of your day, stress your way. And then you come in to work burnt the very next day. So, what I wanna go through here is a concept of time, managing your time through managing your energy, right? How did I develop this concept? Well, when I was writing my book, “Monkey Business”, and I was very busy with client work, I had this great idea to manage my time, and get up at six o’clock in the morning and spend an hour every weekday, that’s five hours in the morning, working on my book, writing, building copy. But what I discovered was I wasn’t very productive. ‘Cause my mind wasn’t in the right state or dynamic to produce good, flowing words. By chance, on a Saturday afternoon, I was writing at about three o’clock and I discovered words just flowed. I did it again on the Sunday, words flowed again. I got up on the Monday morning, words didn’t flow. So this gave me a little indication of how my energy changes, the dynamic of my energy changes, throughout the course of the day. So this led me to think, well, if this is applicable to work, is it applicable to other types of activities and what you’re doing on a day to day basis? So as a leader, so I developed this concept with a few customers, and we came up with a process, right? So this is the process I wanna go through with you very quickly. It’s a very simple process. And it’s actually the next step of building your time views we talked about in the previous video, in terms of, are you committing to your role as a leader? So when you commit to the role, you understand, you’ve completely consolidated the type of activities that you need to work on as a leader. Now, the next question is, when in the day, or the week, should you work on these activities, right? So, we talked about building activities down as a description of all the things you do. And then we said, well, once you see patterns, you build into activity groups, right? So, just for example, and this is quite representative of one of the projects I worked on with one of my clients where we looked at a number of different activity groups for this particular leader, right? So, first one was doing sales. This person was doing a lot of business development work. He also had to do somewhat sales admin based on the sales activity. They were down, that’s fair enough, right? Then we talked about creative design. And this, when I talk about creative design, this is about working on your business. So you’re looking down on your business from a helicopter view, not in your business, stuck in the day to day. You’re stepping back and looking in at your business, and figuring out what should we be doing? What is our next plan? How do we help our customers better? All these different ideas where you can support customer success, right? And then we talked about the communications within the business. And then acting as a leader. So these are the sort of five activities. These won’t be the same for you, but they may be close enough. But please, spend time figuring out what these activity groups should be for you. So then we started speculating, well, realistically, what kind of percent of time should we be spending on these different activities? And what we see here is again, is representative of what was the end result. But it took us time to develop these figures, right? So all in all, we discovered that 30% of this leader’s time should be doing sales activities. Less than 5% should be the admin, because the admin should be very simple, very effective. None of this crazy, spending times on a CRM system and wasting all your day on it. No, it has to be very simple and effective. Then we talked about working on the business’ creative design, and they found that they needed to be on 30% of the time doing this type of activity. And then in terms of communications of leader, approximately five to 10%, just keeping communication lines open with their business, helping the people within their business to become better at what they do, become better decision makers, right? You will notice, if you add them up, they don’t equal 100%. And the reason why we do that, in fact, it should only about equal 80%. And we talk about the 80/20 rule, right? Because then you have to account for the Murphy’s Law Effect, that customer phone calls, that supplier phone call. We need to allow some sort of buffer there for what could go wrong. Or, not just what could go wrong, but what could go right in any of these. Do you have to spend more time working on a proposal? Are you developing an idea? Do so many of your team need help? You need to plan a bit of free time in so that you can take up that extra effort that required in whatever area that you’re working on, right? So again, once we discovered this time, then we talked about when was that person, that leader, at their best? And again, this took a bit of time. This took about two to four weeks. And then we discovered sales, mid morning. Sales at mid and early morning, creative design. And by the way, that looks a bit contradictory. You see you do the admin after sales, just in this case, the activity, the energy, Patton’s defined that this is the best way to do it, right? So this is proactive admin, as opposed to reactive. Then creative design, early afternoon, and then communications, mid afternoon. And being a leader with the team, spending time with your team, late afternoon, right? Now, this is the generic pattern that we discovered, right? And again, we’re going to talk about the 80/20 rule. The next thing, then you have to figure out well, how can I implant this into a weekly schedule? And this may seem very mechanical, right? And it is, but the whole point of this is, you’ll never get a week where you’re gonna be able to do this, exactly. But the whole point is, well, how can you do this as much as you can? And again, I stress the 80/20 rule. If you get 80% of this into your weekly plan, you’re actually doing really well. So don’t use it as a I must do this. Do it as best you can, because at the end of the day, if you can match your energy patterns with your activities, you’re gonna be managing your energy, managing your stress, and come home from work in an evening where you feel much more better for having completed a good day’s work, and then be ready for the next day tomorrow. Now, again, you’ll always have that Murphy’s Law Effect, so always be mindful of that. But the goal, as I said, is to manage this 80% at a time. And by the way, is this a starting exercise? Absolutely not, this is where consideration on a periodic basis, maybe once a quarter, biannually or whatever. But just keep an eye on it because, the better your start to do certain activities, the better results you will get. I hope this makes sense. If you have any questions, get in touch. And in the meantime, this is Shay Lynch, thanks for listening.