Personal Energy is a Priority for Leaders
In our article Helping managers focus on the important priorities we discuss the ways we assist managers and leaders cope with the increasingly complex and demanding workplace. An additional strategy that we cover in our workshop – Managing Your Energy at Work is asking people to focus on how they grow, maintain and conserve their personal energy levels. The reason energy is so important is that people are responding to pressures in a faster than ever workplace by working longer hours. The end result of working too hard can be energy depletion.
In our work with thousands of managers over the past decade at Full Circle personal exhaustion is an increasing problem for middle and senior managers. We ask our clients to consider the four main sources of energy.
1. The Mind
The modern workplace is especially taxing on the mind. It can be extremely challenging to gain opportunities to quietly refresh our minds with factors such as open plan offices, continual email and back to back meetings. Many people respond by not only working longer but by trying to focus on too many tasks at once and to run faster. The end result is distractibility and a sense of being rushed which lowers focus and productivity. Simple strategies such as only dealing with emails a couple of times a day and putting your phone on message bank can make an enormous difference.
2. The Body
Working hard requires a fit, healthy body. Many of our clients cope with the demands of work by dropping important priorities such as exercise, sleep and rest time and good nutrition. Simple strategies such as short breaks in the fresh air during the working day, paying attention to blood sugar levels and integrating exercise into a daily routine keep people on the right track.
When people work too hard it is very difficult to maintain a positive energy and outlook. Whilst we prefer to feel positive ,a demanding environment can wear us down and emotions such as irritability and anxiety start to become more commonplace. Negativity is also contagious so it is important for people to find strategies to stay positive before they infect others. We ask people to focus on the power of giving positive feedback to others as one example of a simple strategy to keep their emotions buoyant.
4. The Spirit
It is important that there is a good match between our own personal values and what our workplace is asking. We focus our clients on examining what is truly important to them; what really nourishes them. Spending time on what is most important to us is one strategy that can ensure that we are happy at work. We all need to work in ways that ensure that we will be remembered for the contribution we really wanted to make.
In summary, we focus on assisting people identify and remove behaviours that are energy depleting and to discover and apply energy enhancing ones.