I’ve recently read an article in the Harvard Business Review titled Manage your energy, not your time, that caught my curiosity.

Energy has insistently returned as a topic in my life in recent times. I think that a vital energy lies in us all, an inner strength making us face life in a more constructive and passionate way. I associate energy to the concept of “positivity”. Even this idea fascinates me. I am deeply convinced that a positive approach to life leads to positive attitudes letting us deal with everyday adversity more constructively. In short, positive approach is contagious.

But what did the article in the Harvard Business Review say? It started from companies today accomplishing their resources to higher and higher levels of performance. This often results in long hours at work, dilated and impossible timings making people increasingly tired, exhausted and not performing.

Thus, if you can’t indefinitely expand time, you can always work on energy, the authors say. You can do this through simple rituals that help, on one hand, the available resources recover themselves and, on the other hand, companies develop physical, emotional and mental resiliency in their employees.

The rituals consist in taking regular breaks as well as in creating a serene atmosphere among colleagues also by expressing appreciation one to the others, in reducing interruptions and investing more time in activities you enjoy. These behaviours help people top up themselves, and the benefits have a direct impact on the entire company. In short, they come out to a good atmosphere which applies to everyone and gives off positive energy – positivity, actually.

The article’s author, Tony Schwartz, is also the maker of a specific Energy Project, and recommends four best practices for making your batteries.

Physical energy

  • Go to bed early and reduce the consumption of alcohol
  • Reduce stress through physical activity at least three times a week
  • Eat smaller portions at meals and snack every three hours
  • Try to anticipate the moments of lack of energy, manifesting with difficulty in concentrating, yawning, hunger, restlessness
  • Make some breaks, getting up from your desk every hour and a half to two hours

Emotional energy

  • Combat negative emotions, such as irritability, anxiety and impatience by doing deep abdominal breaths
  • Give in to positive emotions by verbally appreciating your colleagues, in conversation or via email
  • Consider complex situations from different points of view, giving yourself questions like: What could I learn from this situation?

Mental energy

  • Reduce interruptions trying to stay as focused as possible without getting distracted by phone calls or email messages
  • Respond to email messages only at scheduled times
  • Think every night about the most important challenge for the next day and make sure it gets to be the priority when you enter your office tomorrow

Spiritual energy

  • Select the activities you carry out effortlessly
  • Devote some time and energy to what you consider important, such as relaxing activities turning your mood good and not distressed
  • Live in harmony with your values ​​and put them in practice in your workplace

Probably we won’t be able to apply these suggestions on a daily basis, but we can start off with some of them. Surely we’ll thus begin to live and work more in harmony with ourselves, we’ll be feeling comfortable with those around us and we’ll build up a more serene and positive working environment – because positivity, I believe, generates just positivity.

 

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