The Productive Person’s Daily Energy Plan

Photo on 12-1-15 at 7.59 PM #2Our last two podcast episodes were about how busy working professionals find time to train.

Each runner we interviewed has discovered the energizing power of a morning workout. Without it, they would not be as focused and productive in their work.

This reminds me of a book I recently finished reading called, The ONE Thing by Gary Keller.

There’s a section in the book that will give you a helpful framework for managing your energy.

Thoughts from the Book ‘The ONE Thing’ by Gary Keller

noun_26441_ccIn The ONE Thing Keller makes the case for finding the one action that will bring the greatest results and make everything else you have to do easier. Focusing on the ONE Thing is like pushing over the lead domino in a domino chain.

There are thieves, however, that can cause us to lose focus of our real priorities. One thief is mismanagement of daily energy.

We all have a limited supply of energy and focus for each day. I’ve heard this described metaphorically as bandwidth.

I know personally that I don’t do quality work at night because I’m running low on mental bandwidth. In the evening I find myself doing things that require only passive attention like watching movies, reading, or scrolling through my Facebook feed. Angie’s brain starts shutting down around 8:00 p.m.!

The Power of Mornings

We have are greatest amount of bandwidth after we wake up from a good night’s sleep. As you’ve probably read, most people need around six to eights hours of quality sleep.

Here’s why the morning is so important as it relates to energy management.

Keller says,

When you spend the early hours energizing yourself, you get pulled through the rest of the day with little additional effort. You’re not focused on having a perfect day all day, but on having an energized start to each day. If you can have a highly productive day until noon, the rest of the day falls easily into place.

To help you structure the early hours of the day and create momentum Keller offers the following plan,

The Productive Person’s Daily Energy Plan

  1. Meditate and pray for spiritual energy
  2. Eat right, exercise, and sleep sufficiently for physical energy
  3. Hug, kiss, and laugh with loved ones for emotional energy
  4. Set goals, plan, and calendar for mental energy
  5. Time block your ONE Thing for business energy

I like how the author has broken the energy plan into spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, and business categories. This recognizes the different types of energy we humans need in order to be successful.

Notice that there is at least one key activity that relates to each type of energy. The good news is, most of these activities do not require much time. How long does it take to hug and kiss a loved one?

So, read through the above list again and think about how you can create a plan for charging up your spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, and professional energy each morning. Let’s put this idea to the test.

Keller says,

Structuring the early hours of each day is the simplest way to extraordinary results.

The beautiful thing about running is that it pumps you up with amazing physical energy and even spills over into the other four categories.

Unlike most of the runner’s I’ve met I’m not a early morning person. I wish I could spring out of bed bright and chipper at 4:30 a.m. and run 10 miles before breakfast but that only happens in my dreams.

My early hours of the day probably look different (not as earlyish) than yours. Whenever you start your day the important thing is to focus your energy in a positive direction. I usually take out a piece of paper, after I’ve had a few sips of coffee, and draft a list of what will make my day feel like a success. These are basically to-do items for the day.

Today will feel like a success if I get the following things done

  1. _______________________________________________________________________
  2. _______________________________________________________________________
  3. _______________________________________________________________________
  4. _______________________________________________________________________
  5. _______________________________________________________________________

What would your list look like?


Other posts on how running and productivity:

How Busy People Find Time to Train
How to Beat a Motivational Slump in Your Running
Harnessing the Power of Habit in Your Marathon Training

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