In the last post, A Leader’s Most Valuable Asset, we talked about Bill Hybels insightful quote that “A leader’s most valuable asset is not their time but their energy and ability to energize others.”
I am a fairly low key, low energy guy. I can’t just go go go for 18 hours a day like some people. So for me it’s extremely important to manage the energy I do have well. I am by no means an expert on this; but I know that my success as a leader depends on my ability to bring more energy to the things I’m called to move forward. This is the strategy I’m using to do that.
7 Tips to Maximize Energy
1) Create High / Low Lists. Make a list of all the things you do on a regular basis. Then mark next to each whether it is a high energy tasks (H) or low energy task (L). From that create a high energy list and a low energy list.
2) Create Draining / Invigorating Lists. Each of us has certain things we do that drain the energy out of us and others that energize us. Create a list of each. Some of the things on your invigorating list may be tasks you have to do, but others may be things like going for a bike ride, listening to music, talking with a friend.
3) Delegate… the things you hate. The more time you spend working in your areas of your strengths and giftedness the more energized you’ll be. So, whenever possible try to delegate things are draining or not within your strengths. Obviously though, there are limits to this. There are some draining tasks you just have to do.
4) Schedule your day wisely. Go into each day with a plan. Start by scheduling the tasks that require the most energy for the times of the day when you have the most energy. Fill in low energy tasks for low energy times of your day. Also try to schedule things that invigorate you before and after the tasks you find most draining so you have the energy for them.
5) Live healthy. Eating well, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep can all have a major impact on the amount of energy you’re able to pour into your leadership. If you smoke, drink or are overweight, consider the ways these impact your energy level. My Achilles heal is the temptation to “just stay up a little later to get a little more done.” I end up staying up too late, not getting as much done because I’m tired, and then my energy level the next day is seriously diminished. It’s completely counterproductive.
6) Invest energy in good relationship. Bad relationships are draining. Good relationships are energizing, but good relationships take work and intentionality. Putting people on the back burner, assuming everything is fine and then fixing problems when they arise is a bad strategy. Invest the energy up front in your marriage, kids and close friends. It will pay off in spades long term.
7) Rely on God for strength and energy. Jesus told us, “I am the vine; you are the branches… apart from me you can do nothing.” Other parts of scripture tell us, “Look to the LORD and his strength” (1 Chronicles 16:11) “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
Which of these tips resonates most with you? Are you going to implement any of them? What other advice do you have for making the best use of your energy specifically in leadership?