High performance headlines
- If we’re serious about performance and results, we should start paying more attention to the energy levels of the people who have to deliver the performances every day
- Don’t wait to get unhealthy and unfit for work before you start prioritising energy levels and being great at good energy habits
- Monitor your energy levels. If they’re slumping, take action. Get great at keeping them topped up through the day by eating the right stuff and taking regular short breaks where you’re active
The full viewpoint
People in the world of work seem to worry about whether systems and processes are fit for purpose, working well and doing what they were designed to do. Having invested all this time on the non-human things, maybe it’s about time we turned our attention to the real performance differentiator – the energy of the people using the systems and processes!
While the human smart energy meter might not be around yet, if it did exist we’re pretty sure it would confirm that:
- Skipping breakfast does pretty unhelpful things to energy levels throughout the rest of the day
- Eating a sugary snack gives a short term energy boost followed by a sharp drop – which is rarely the kind of energy you need for long, hectic days
- Keeping your blood sugar levels pretty constant by eating slow energy release foods at fairly regular intervals would keep the energy meter at a good level throughout the day
- Physical activity would actually result in high energy levels later in the day (even though energy would obviously drop-off during that activity)
- A high percentage of people aren’t getting the quality or quantity of sleep they need to re-set their energy levels properly
- Taking short breaks throughout the day would result in better energy levels for longer during periods of activity
Seeing the actual impact on energy levels of these sorts of things might help people start making some better choices about how they ready their energy levels to step-up every day. We think you’d pretty quickly see people starting to think about creating energy to use up, rather than focusing only on replacing energy that’s just been used up .
We know the Human Smart Meter doesn’t exist right now (although there’s various devices you can wear which are getting very close). Until the time that you’ve got the bit of kit that does everything you want it to in terms of monitoring your energy levels, we’d suggest you start using the bit of kit called your brain and:
- Scan yourself regularly and pay attention to your energy levels and how you feel. Check for mental and physical energy. Keep an energy diary for a week or two, see what changes you notice within a day and across several days.
- Start thinking about managing your energy first, rather than your time. When do you benefit from eating, taking breaks, doing some physical activity in a working day or week? Perhaps put those things in your diary as appointments with yourself and see how consistently you can stick to them. See what effect these things have on your energy levels and stick the observations in your diary.
- Work out what your early warning signs are for slumps in energy and decide on some simple refueling tactics to use so you can return to high quality energy levels quickly when you notice the slump.
In the meantime, we’ll keep an eye out for that human energy smart meter!