I recently undertook a course with Ruth Kearns Wollmann, titled “Growing in Resilience Together”. The course has been eye-opening on many levels, but one aspect which really hit home, and which I wanted to talk about further, was the importance she gave to increasing your energy to ensure best performance, not your time.
The problem, she states, is that time is a finite resource: you can’t produce more of it. Energy, however, is completely different. Increase your energy and your productivity can reach a potential you didn’t know was possible!
The Harvard Business Review published an article some years ago by Tony Schwartz, CEO and Founder of @the-energy-project, and @catherinemccarthy Catherine McCarthy, previously COO of the-energy-project, titled “Manage Your Energy Not Your Time”. The article is very interesting – and well worth a read – not only for the fascinating viewpoint, but because it uses real data collected from two groups of Wachovia Bank employees: one control group, and the other a group of 106 employees who undertook a pilot energy management programme.
The article details how their performance was measured, not in “soft” measurements as you may expect, but through real financial performance data. The article states, “The participants outperformed the controls on a series of financial metrics, such as the value of loans they generated. They also reported substantial improvements in their customer relationships, their engagement with work, and their personal satisfaction.”
This paragraph summarises neatly the changes that need to be made and the benefits to be gained from doing so:
To effectively reenergize their workforces, organizations need to shift their emphasis from getting more out of people to investing more in them, so they are motivated—and able—to bring more of themselves to work every day. To recharge themselves, individuals need to recognize the costs of energy-depleting behaviors and then take responsibility for changing them, regardless of the circumstances they’re facing.
It is not news that looking after yourself – by which I mean eating healthily, participating in exercise and giving your body good rest periods – will facilitate a better performance in work and personal life. But what is interesting is how much the level of improvement in performance can be if these other aspects are all included in one’s day to day life.
For me now, five months on from the start of my course, starting the day with some mindfulness exercises, journaling, taking a few walks during the day to breathe in the air and escape my desk, and limiting my consumption of processed food – ensuring instead that my diet is full of superfoods and antioxidants, have all helped to make a marked improvement in my energy levels and productivity. The changes have not taken very much time out of my day and in the main have been just small “tweaks”, but cumulatively have had an impressive effect.
I am looking forward to discovering more about this relationship between energy and productivity, it has certainly had an impact on me so far, and with my energy levels at the highest they have been for some time, the future certainly seems positive.
Needless to say, all my clients requesting Italian and English translation and interpreting services will benefit from this!