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How to increase productivity

December 17, 2012

There’s a difference between being ‘Present’ and being ‘Fully Engaged’.   The energy we have in any given day is limited.  When the draws on our energy exceed capacity a lack of engagement occurs.

I was at an event this weekend at a friends home (hi Donna and Emile).  I arrived tired from my day and by 8 pm had to go to the guest room for a knap.  I had managed my time (I was there after all) but not my energy (to exhausted to fully engage).

As leaders we are stewards of energy weather it be in the companies we work, organizations we belong to, projects we work on, and most importantly in our families.  We first either manage or mis-manage our own energy and then we either inspire or demoralize those who follow us based on how well we’ve done managing our own energy.

Consider these scenarios:

  • A parent returns home (present) from a long day at work exhausted and instead of experiencing family as a source of joy and renewal views them as just one more demand on an already overburdened life.
  • A team meeting is held in which not a single minute is wasted, but during the final two hours it’s as if your energy fell over a cliff and you can no longer stay focused.
  • You’re with your family in the car, but you’re so distracted with Twitter, Facebook, or thoughts about work that you don’t give your full attention.

How to increase productivity by becoming fully engaged

Full-engagement requires a shift from a paradigm of time-management to energy management.  Energy management being the key to high performance, health and happiness.

4 Principals of Full-Engagement

  1. Full engagement requires drawing on four separate but related sources of energy: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.
  2. Because energy capacity diminishes both with overuse and with underuse, we must balance energy expenditure with intermittent energy renewal.
  3. To build capacity, we must push beyond our normal limits, training in the same systematic way that elite athletes do.
  4. Positive energy rituals-high specific routines for managing energy-are the key to full engagement and sustained performance.

Going into 2013 my goal will be to shift from a time management mentality to an energy management focus.  You can learn more about these principals in Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz book called The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal

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