Energy Management, Your Time Management Supplement

As a busy solopreneur, you already know that there will never be enough hours in a day to check off every item on your never-ending to-do list.

No matter how many emails you reply to, no matter how many blog posts you write, no matter how many projects you complete…there will ALWAYS be more to do. And there will never be enough time to get it all done.

You’ve also probably tried every productivity and time management trick in the book: maybe you’ve experimented with the Pomodoro Technique, perhaps you’ve tried tracking your time with a tool like RescueTime or maybe you’ve even downloaded every productivity app in the iTunes store.

But I bet there’s one thing you haven’t tried yet. One thing that might change the way you work forever.

It’s called energy management.

Energy management means maximizing your energy and the times of the day you're most alert and creative to get your most pressing work done. It means prioritizing your day based on when your body and mind work best.

The key here is to experiment; it may take a couple of weeks or even months to truly discover how you can make energy management work for you. You'll need to figure out how you feel doing certain tasks at certain times of day. However, I promise that when you figure out when you work best, you'll be amazed at the quality of work you can produce and how much closer you can get to your goal in the process.

Three Quick Tips For Making Energy Management Work For You

  • Accept that you only have so much energy in a given day. Just like there are only so many hours in the day, we also only have so much energy we can expend each day. Find the zones in your day when you can be most productive, but also recognize that you still will not be able to achieve everything in the span of 24 hours. Life is about give and take; energy management also means knowing when to take a break and knowing that another day, another week or another month are always around the corner.
  • Learn to say no. Saying no is never easy whether it’s to a new project or a social outing. Since I’ve discovered the times that I’m most productive, I have learned to be very strict with my calendar to protect those times. Of course, when it comes to your job or other obligations, sometimes you obviously can’t say no and that’s fine, but the areas you do have control over? Be strict about them.
  • Experiment to discover the times you’re most productive. If you told me four years ago that I’d be an extreme early bird, setting my alarm for 4:45 a.m. each day to get 2-3 hours of work done before heading to my full-time job, I’d tell you that you are seriously crazy. But I experimented and learned that I could actually be pretty productive first thing in the morning. That’s when I tried setting my alarm a little earlier and slowly began to develop it into a habit. Play around with different times of day and note how your body and mind feel. Don’t be afraid to try a time completely out of your comfort zone.

Have you experimented with energy management? I’d love to hear about your experiences!

Want more? Read more about energy management and how it has completely revolutionized the way I get work done here.

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After six years in the corporate PR world, Jessica Lawlor left her job to run her own communications agency, blog/brand and teach yoga. She blogs at about getting gutsy- stepping outside your comfort zone to reach your goals and live a life that makes you truly happy. She’s documenting her step-by-step journey to Becoming CEO on her blog.

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  1. Cherry Jeffs says:

    You’re so right, managing our energy is definitely a missing concept in most productivity strategies and one that I’ve also been advocating for a while. Anyone interested can get my free Energy Almanac for recording their energy cycles here:

  2. Samantha Stauf says:

    After much experimenting I discovered the only way I can write (or do anything that is heavy on brainpower) is to do it first thing in the morning. Otherwise I expend all of my energy on other tasks. By two I go into sloth mode.

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