It’s spring time here in the UK. It’s a stupendous and productive time. The grasses are growing, the leaves sprouting on the trees, the flowers blossoming, the land turning from brown into a huge variety of colours. You can almost see it changing in front of you. The amount of energy apparent at this time is extraordinary.
Yet, all too often as we travel around the organisations we work with it’s not quite so energetic or productive. People are, frankly, knackered. Over the coming weeks here in The Performance Room we’re going to look to put some more consistent spring in your step.
Here are seven core, common sense principles and ideas (our version of ‘high performance secrets’!) that we’re going to build on in the coming weeks:
1. How much energy is enough?
In our view the ideal is to have more energy than you need. That means you have energy left over to do fun, interesting, challenging stuff and need never use “I’ve not got the energy” as an excuse. You’ll consistently be thinking about how you can optimise the energy available to you.
It’s also about maximising your energy as much as you can. The reality is that you’ve got busy lives – at home and work – and we don’t live in a perfect world. But you might be able to manage your energy a bit better so you’ve got more when you need it most.
2. Energy ebbs and flows
We can’t have full batteries all the time, but we’re lucky, we’re re-chargeable. The things you do will drain your energy at times and some of the things you do have a regenerative effect. Understanding what drains and what re-charges your battery gives you a good start point.
3. It’s not just about the physical
Energy is not just physical, it’s also mental and emotional. Goals can be energising or draining. Some people can be energising, others draining. Some tasks are full of purpose and the very process of doing them brings out your best energy. Other tasks seem pointless and can be a drag. We’re not all the same (phew!), so start understanding your unique energy recipe.
4. Time is fixed, energy isn’t
Time management is all well and good, but you still only have a fixed amount of it in a day or a week. You can’t make more time, but you can make more energy to give to this time. Energy can be managed by making good choices in 3 key areas…
5. Fitness for purpose
Being fitter gives you more energy. Yes, some exercise can be tiring physically, but it can also be tremendously energising mentally. And, by exercising and getting fitter we get more efficient at using energy, which means the same amount can go further. So, being active and moving can have a really helpful positive effect on your energy capacity. How fit are you for all the things you’d like to do with your life?
6. Food and fluids as fuel
Our brains and bodies don’t work on fresh air alone. We also need a mix of fuels that are delivered through what we eat and drink. When we eat/drink; what we choose; and how much we eat/drink all matter. Don’t fuel yourself well enough then blood sugar goes too low and tasks become more difficult. Over fuel and you can start to feel sluggish or have rapid bursts of energy followed by debilitating slumps. How well do you think you’re fuelling your brain and body?
7. Rest and Recovery
Tiredness is a performance killer. By getting better at resting and recovering we can get more done. Sleep, breaks and holidays are all part of a well balanced plan that will give you the energy you need to do all the things you want to do. How good are you at getting the right rest and recovery?
So, as Spring continues to flourish here in the UK, think about how you can apply these ideas to put a spring in your own step. We’ll share some more information in the coming weeks to give you some more practical ideas that’ll keep you bouncing along.