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75 - Use Your Schedule to Increase Your Energy Level
When you do what you do matters!
Use Your Schedule to Increase Your Energy Level
New studies show our mental energy and willpower are not finite resources - which has long been the pervasive wisdom.
If your mental energy gets low try an energy building activity to boost your energy.
Whether you call it willpower, self-control, or just your general mental energy level, the prevailing wisdom for quite a while now has been that our ability to self-regulate these all important facets of our existence are based on finite resources. Some newer studies are pointing to this not being the case. I’ve been testing out the new research on my laboratory of 1 and I agree with the change. Here’s how my personal experiment has been going.
The Benefits of Time Blocking
The research above was a happy coincidence with my recent adoption of the habit of time blocking. As I’ve done for years, each weekend I make a list of all I want to accomplish in the next week. I then compare that to my calendar just for a quick reasonableness check. For many years, that was the end of it.
However, because we’re doing the clean slate habit change thing around here with a new house, I decided to add a step to this process and schedule those things into my calendar in priority order. I’ve also added in some global blocks for things like administrative tasks, home maintenance tasks, writing, learning, and wellness.
The time blocking has made me feel so confident - even on days when things completely blow up - that I can simply move blocks around to other days and still get all the planned work done.
Moving Blocks To Maximize Energy
Generally speaking, my best times of day are from 8 - 11 in the morning and from 1 - 2 in the afternoon. At other times of the day, I’m far, far less energized. With the time blocks though, I’ve realized that how I schedule the blocks matters to my overall energy level. Here are a few things I’ve changed:
I put the highest mental load task I have for the day first in the morning.
I always put a writing or creating block next in the morning. Whether it’s for client work or my own writing or creating I like to do this when I’m fresh.
Kona gets some added play and walk time blocks in the afternoon. My energy is pretty depleted by about 2 p.m. so I’ll put something on my headphones and take Kona out to play, train, or walk. We both get some extra exercise and my brain gets to rebuild some energy.
The other thing that builds my energy back up is learning something new. On the Gallup StrengthsFinder assessment, Learner is my top strength by a LOT! It’s no surprise that learning something new would rebuild my energy level. So, if I need to watch videos for a class, test out/learn new software, or research something, I’ll do that later in the afternoon. This often gives me a boost of energy AND has the added bonus of adding at least some sense of accomplishment and completion - even if all I can say I did was watched a video - right at the end of my day.
Could This Help You?
I’ve started putting this idea to the test with some of my coaching clients too. There are three big things most of them have said they have to overcome and/or figure out to give this a try.
Figure out where you have control over your schedule and what you can’t control. As an independent contractor, I have a load of control over my schedule. Old working me would have said I “had” to be at a full day of meetings. I’ve got a post planned for the Monarch Strategies LLC blog this week to help you reclaim time even if others are taking it over with meetings all the time.
Identify your best times of day. Are you a morning bird like me or should we not call you until after lunch? Identify your best times of the day and, if possible, block them on your calendar as your own “Get Stuff Done” blocks - even if they aren’t for a specific purpose yet.
If you don’t already have a process of figuring out your list of tasks for the week, give it a try for a couple of weeks. Use getting my newsletter as your mental trigger if you need that. Then, just for this week, block out the time on your calendar when you’ll do those thing (even if it’s before 8 a.m. or after 5 p.m.). If you don’t have enough time blocks, figure out what you can renegotiate.
Know someone who might benefit from Executive, Career, or Life Coaching sessions with me. Please have them book a free, no-obligation consultation at https://www.monarchstrategiesllc.com/schedule.
REMINDER - Expires September 30! Circle Community Launch
Time is running out to take advantage of the free discount for my community!
I’m moving from my current online course host (Podia) to a new host (Circle). The full move won’t be done until
the end of August the end of October, but the community is open to newsletter subscribers! As a newsletter subscriber and one of the earliest supporters of my work, I want to extend a lifetime of FREE access to you if you’d like it.
You can sign up to pay for access or you can get LIFETIME free access by using coupon code NEWSLETTER. The coupon is only redeemable until September 30, 2023.
This will give you lifetime free access to the community including all courses and communities I offer now as well as into the future.
If you do choose to pay for access now and change your mind at some point in the future just drop me a note and I’ll move you to a free membership. Several of you ask for ways you can support me and paying for monthly or annual membership is certainly one of the ways you can support me now and in the future.
New Projects In The Works
In addition to moving my community over to Circle, I’ve got some fun new projects in the works. I mentioned in last week’s newsletter that I’ve been working on an overall content strategy. I’m still not “there” yet - whatever the heck that means - but I’m getting closer. In the coming weeks, watch this space not only for what I published in the previous week but some fun things happening in the near future. The fall will hold lots of good things!
Would You Be Interested?
Two of the workshops I’d like to launch are AI For Educators and Password Management Made Simple. These would be a little different than my typical online class. They would be 1 or 2 hour live seminars where we go hands on and practice using both of these tools. If you’re interested in one or both of these, please respond in the community or just hit reply and let me know.
Some Things You Might Find Interesting
What I published this week: Article publishing remains on hiatus - part of the overall media rebranding. I’ve got classes planned on some topics and want to start putting out articles related to each of those on a regular basis. What that looks like remains unclear to me.
Art Hanging Tool: Gayle and I have art in a wide array of shapes and sizes just sitting behind us in the great room. Part of that is because we haven’t decided what the overall “mood” of each space will be. However, the other part of it will be the challenge of hanging pictures. I stumbled across this tool - the Go Hang It! - this week. I’m seriously considering buying one when we get ready to hang a home full of art.
The Lincoln Lawyer on Netflix: Gayle and I binged this starting last weekend and I absolutely could not wait to sit down each evening this week and watch an episode. Seasons 1 and 2 are now available to binge if you enjoy legal thriller/dramas. Here is the trailer if you want to check it out.
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