Energy is really the fuel in your tank. It’s what makes it possible for you to bring your skill and your talent to life. – Tony Schwartz
Recently, during a Next Level Leadership Development coaching group, I ask: “How would you describe the pace of your life?” As you think of your own response perhaps you can easily imagine their responses:
Fast, way-to-fast, steady, sporadic, congested, slowing down, hectic, demanding, rushed, stressful, busy, distracted, and overwhelming
To follow up I asked, “What is the affect of this pace on your life?” Again, you may identify with some of their answers:
High blood pressure, anxiety, depression, broken family, stress, tension, weariness, scattered, unfocused, unproductive, ineffective, and frustrated
The unspoken messages often heard in today’s workplace play on fear:
- I have to give more at work because there is someone waiting to take my place.
- Push harder, work longer, get more done…with less.
- I can’t take my flex time or vacation, “they” will think I lack dedication.
When it comes to down time, Mike Prokopeak, Editorial Director of Talent Management Magazine writes:
Even when they get away, today’s workers feel guilty, fearful or anxious about work. Even if they don’t fear losing their job, they feel like they’re missing important business opportunities.
…American corporations are facing a crisis in human energy. We’re demanding more of our workers, but we’re not paying attention to how they generate and renew the energy required to carry out their work.
When it comes to performance and efficiency we are human beings not machines or computers or devices. If we fail to give attention to our four people dimensions – mind, body, soul and spirit – there is a price to be paid. Even our smart phone needs a battery re-charge; routinely, I have to turn off my iPhone for it to re-set.
The Towers Watson 2010 Global Workforce Study reveals a major shift in the traditional employment relationship. According to the study, there is a “recession-weary workforce [with] lower expectations, increased anxiety, and new priorities”.
Whether you are “recession-weary” or weary from the demands of life, financial pressure, packed schedule, too-many-irons-in-the-fire, overloaded-at-work, or just exhausted it’s important that you take care of yourself.
Tony Schwartz, president and CEO of The Energy Project is an advocate for pushing ourselves AND caring for ourselves physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
Simply put, energy is the ability or power to get things done.
I am finding a lot of weary people these days. Recently, I wrote about how to support high performance and the value making progress brings to us, how
- Making progress in meaningful work energizes
- Guarding against unintentionally hindering work is important
Making progress provides an emotional boost. At the end of the day, we receive emotional support and motivation from even a small win. Performance is the reward.
Four Keys to Sustaining High Performance
In a recent Harvard Business Review Tony Schwartz, author of Be Excellent at Anything comments on the four primary dimensions of energy in relation to performance.
How well are you tapping into and renewing these four energy sources?
- Physical – fitness, sleep, nutrition, and rest
- Emotional – cultivating positive emotions
- Mental – gaining more control of our attention
- Increasing the ability to focus on one thing at a time
- Shifting into the right hemisphere to do more creative work
How do you rate your life in these areas?
More, more, more…
The pressure is on, the more you can handle the more you are given to handle…that’s the reward – right?
High performance requires energy and while making progress each day is helpful it can only provide so much support. Today’s work place and life’s pace consumes energy. It is both prudent and our responsibility to replenish our supply.
How are you replenishing yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually?
Which one of these four, get-up-and-go energy sources needs your attention?
Now, what is one step, one thing you can do to renew your energy?
Please share your comments below.