Newfoundlanders go south around this time of year. We crave the sunshine, we are tired of the snow, and we get our fix by hopping on a charter flight to a sunny beach down south. After a week of sunshine, we are ready to take on life again. This phenomenon is not so unlike our day to day.
Barring any issues, we typically wake energized in the morning after a decent night sleep. We begin our day with our morning rituals and arrive at work with coffee/tea/smile ready to start the day. As we tick each task off our to-do list (or not), our energy wanes bit by bit. By 3:00 many of us are ready for a nap! By the time we get home from work, we need a break, but then we have to take care of the family and supper and maybe do a bit more work or gardening or household ‘stuff’. If we’re lucky, we might get a workout in. And then our evening rituals begin, while we wonder how we are going to get it all done tomorrow. Do you have days like this?
We cannot add more hours into the day, but we CAN raise our energy levels as they decline. Our energy levels rise and fall naturally throughout the day – and everyone’s rhythm is different. When our energy is high, we are most productive and feel at our best. When our energy is low, we can spin our wheels and feel like we’re working harder than ever, yet not getting anything accomplished. This leads to frustration and stress, and can result in errors or even conflict.
How do you fill your energy bucket as energy depletes throughout the day?
Some use coffee or other sources of stimulants. Some may take breaks and chat with coworkers. Some may take a break from ‘work’ and check social media. Some may even get outside and breathe in the fresh air. Some may have group tea breaks, stretch breaks, or laughing breaks. If any of these work for you, that is fabulous. However, if you find yourself de-energized, with or without these energy builders, you may be interested in some of these ideas:
- Do you know your personality type? Are you an introvert who needs alone time to re-energize? An extrovert who needs to be around others to fill your energy bucket? Understanding this about yourself and what it means for you will help identify techniques that help YOU be more energetic and raise your energy levels when they decline.
- Do you have a good understanding of how you best do your work? Do you need a lot of information or a little information to make a decision? Do you thrive in high risk environments or does frequent uncertainty make you feel anxious or stressed? Do you operate better with systems or do you prefer flexibility? When you are aware of your true strengths, you can better design your day in a way that helps maintain your energy levels.
Get Out of the Box
- Have you ever wondered why you’ve tried to take on productivity advice and it just doesn’t work for you? Much of this advice is great – for the person it is suited to. Take the tips you learn and tweak them, change them, tailor them to fit YOU. If structure wears you down, a tightly scheduled agenda may not work for you. If you need flexibility in order to work at your highest energy levels, back to back meetings are not going to make you any more productive, focused or energized. Reduce your meetings and allow for creative time in your schedule.
- Know your energy rhythm and use it to your advantage. Use your high energy times to do difficult tasks. The key is to know when your energy is up and when it is down. When it is down, get some sunshine – do something that re-energizes you. If your organizational culture does not suit differing schedules from each employee, find a way to make it work for you. You are responsible for your wellness and your work. Working at low energy will not produce your greatest results. Sit on the wellness committee and contribute to creating wellness programs that WILL work in your organization. Do not be satisfied with ‘That won’t work here.’
Try It On
- Have you tried meditation in the workplace? Have you tried yoga breaks? Have you tried outdoor meetings? What about dancing? We are creatures of habit. We will often stick in our comfort zones unless we push ourselves out of them. Interestingly, we will also often stick to something that isn’t working quite right before taking on something new and foreign that might work better. It is proven that meditation, yoga, dance, and nature raise energy levels, productivity, and wellness. Try something different. It not only might work, but it also might result in higher creativity and a bit of fun.
First, you need to know yourself – an adventure in self-awareness. Then, stop trying to be like everyone else – an adventure in confidence. And finally, have some faith and have some fun – simply, an adventure.
If you are an organizational leader, you may want to consider how you can create an organization that maximizes the energy levels of your employees. Challenge what you know or think you know to raise productivity. Be adventurous and allow your employees to join the adventure.
Life is too short to not get any sunshine. Get yours right here in Newfoundland with self-awareness and adventure.
Tina Pomroy is the President of Pomroy Consulting and is a Harmony and Wellness Partner. She uses a holistic approach for helping leaders and managers create healthy and productive workplaces. She provides group and individual coaching, consulting, and training, with her key programs including Mindful Management, Business Buddha, and Create Your Culture. Tina is a Certified Human Resources Professional and has completed a Bachelor of Commerce, Master of Business Administration, and a Certificate of Mastermind Executive Coaching. Her mission is to create workplaces in which people are happy contributors and businesses that thrive. To learn more about Tina, you can find her on LinkedIn, or visit Pomroy Consulting on Facebook or Twitter.