This is going to sound strange perhaps but as someone who has spent real and virtual time in the African bush, you can’t help but learn from the 'professionals' about energy and how to be respectful of it and how to use it wisely.
Lions don’t rush around in the heat of the day, elephants walk slowly – they are on their feet a lot, walking vast distances to keep their large bodies nourished. Even with their restless, nervous energy, zebras know when to take a break. #Energy is one of their life sources and they understand its importance to their survival.
That cannot be said for us humans. There are those who strive to build energy balance into their life. Generally though we rush around using up our precious #energy, feeling exhausted with no real gain, until we come unstuck and the proverbial wheels fall off. That is our body saying – 'enough', and we need to listen to it!
Is that right though? Would being rested, energised and focused not be a better way?
To achieve this as a #leader, it requires you to slow down long enough to work out what is the best and most economical way of using your energy for maximum effect and benefit – for yourself, your teams and your organisation.
I am not going to talk about #resilience and #wellbeing (although it is close to my heart). This is about encouraging you as a leader to take the time (another precious commodity) to understand how your body works – what is your personal energy capacity? No two people have the same energy levels and therefore each individual needs to work out the equation of energy to task and time for themselves – and then work accordingly.
This might mean changes in the way you work. Mornings may be your high energy time. For others, mid-afternoon is when you feel most productive. Taking short breaks, just 5 minutes every now and again to clear and focus your mind may work for you. At the end of the day, tired, energy depleted, is a run the right kind of exercise? Would a good walk be better?
However, there are a few ‘must do’s’ when it comes to watching your #energylevels – enough sleep, the right food, recuperation time (apologies, slipping into resilience here) – and all done consciously and with understanding of its purpose.
And it’s not just about doing this for you – it’s about ensuring your team also watch their energy levels to ensure exhaustion does not occur in anyone around you. You are the role model so you need to ensure that your colleagues understand what you are role modelling – and why this element of their lives, professional and personal as the two are intertwined, needs to be thought about and planned for....for every day of the year.
So, coming back to my original analogy, can you think of a role model who could help you think about how to use your energy wisely and that would work for you?
Good luck with your energy watch. We would love to hear how you get on or who your role model is. Can you guess who mine is?