The Power of Full Engagement – Jim Loehr, James E. Loehr, Tony Schwartz
Harness and optimize your energy, as it is even more important than time.
Energy, Not Time, Is The Fundamental Currency Of High Performance
If we want to perform at our best, we must first and foremost manage our energy, not our time.
Optimizing our performance, health, or happiness is not about the quantity of time, but the quality of energy.
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Humans are not designed to run at high speeds for extended periods of time; instead, we perform best when we alternate between expending and intermittently renewing energy.
To do this, we need to live a rhythmic life with periods of intense activity followed by periods of rest.
You Either Fully Engage Or Strategically Disengage
You are much better off oscillating between activity and recovery than when you are living in a linear fashion with your brakes on all the time.
Most of us are in a constant state of energy preservation. We’re never fully engaged or fully off, we just keep going until the clock hits 5 p.m.
Rituals are powerful because they insure that we use as little conscious energy as possible where it is not absolutely necessary, leaving us free to strategically focus the energy available to us in creative ways.
- The body and mind should take frequent breaks.
- The point of these breaks is to renew your energy.
- Turn these breaks into rituals.
- Use rituals to refill your energy without using up any energy or will power.
The Four Sources Of Energy
- Physical: How’s your body doing? How’s your muscle-to-fat ratio? What does your nutrition look like?
- Emotional: How’s your emotional life doing? Do you feel positive emotions on a regular basis? Are you emotionally resilient?
- Mental: How’s your brain doing? Are you able to focus and concentrate for sustained periods of time?
- Spiritual: How’s your motivation doing? Do you have a purpose in life? And a distinct set of values that guide your actions?
The better your nutrition, sleep, and exercise are, the more physical energy you’ll have.
Potential energy rituals to replenish your physical energy:
- Going for a daily walk/jog
- Scheduling a weekly tennis session
- Deep breathing
- Daily Sleep rituals to fall asleep faster and stay asleep all night
- Eating healthy all day long
- Positive emotions fuel performance.
- The more positive emotions you’re feeling on a regular basis, the more emotional energy you have and the higher your performance will be.
- If you don’t have access to sufficient positive emotions, ask yourself if you are devoting enough hours a week to activities purely for the pleasure and renewal they provide.
Concentration is primarily concerned with your attention.
To perform at your best, you must be able to sustain concentration and move flexibly between broad and narrow focus.
Potential energy rituals to replenish your mental energy:
- Meditate daily for 20 mins.
- Commit to a daily yoga practice.
- Play concentration-enhancing brain games.
- Get enough quality sleep.
- Spiritual energy is the connection to a deeply held set of values and to a purpose beyond our self-interest.
- It gives us the motivation to act.
- To optimize our spiritual energy, we need a set of strong values and a purpose for why we do what we do.
- Find out what your purpose and values are.
Energy Rituals In Your Life
Setting an exact time and exact place for when you’ll do something dramatically increases your chances of actually doing it.
To manage your energy as skillfully as possible, you must rely on positive energy rituals that happen automatically without the use of any willpower on your part.
The beauty of rituals:
- They happen automatically.
- They don’t use up willpower.
- They don’t use up conscious energy.
We are oscillatory human beings who should live their lives as a series of sprints, not one never-ending marathon.
To optimize our energy throughout the day, we should follow the ultradian rhythm and take a 15-20 minute break every 90-120 minutes.
Installing energy rituals is the holy grail of optimizing your energy and performance.