Energy: A Double-Edged Sword
Working independently is one of those double-edged swords: there are more hours in the day under your control to do things that align with you, but this also means more chances to use time ineffectively. I consider myself a pretty driven person. I tend to do too much than too little. In time, I noticed that my ability to manage time effectively became a derivative of my (in)ability to manage my energy.
Related: Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time
Energy management is hard, as it should be. On top of operating independently, how much energy we have currently under our control change along with a person's health, lifestyle, environmental stressors etc. I had a slow month in June. And it was the perfect time to go through a sprint to improve my ways of managing energy. By the end of the month, I had resolved a few of my challenges around a lack of energy. I've gotten more clarity around what hasn't been resolved, and found a whole lot more improvements to work on. I wrote a report and I hope it helps others in managing their own energy.
Three questions I wanted answers to:
⚡ How can I schedule my days better around energy level fluctuations from general stress, fatigue from training, socializing, and phase in my hormonal cycle? 😬 Am I doing unnecessary tasks or doing them at the wrong time in my schedule? 🔋 How do I recover smarter?
Throughout the process I learned three important lessons:
- Neither subjective mindfulness nor objective data tracking alone are enough to pinpoint energy gaps
- Feedback loops need to be created at multiple granularities to help sustain long term habits around cultivating energy
- A lot of opportunities to use customized, light-weight systems to help with the above 2