Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Time for Energy

I posted the following question on the usual social media outlets and the number of responses caused me to peel the onion a bit further.

"Wondering what is more valuable: time or energy?"

The reason I ask is I've been wrestling with this for a while. Six months ago I would have said time, hands down. However, I was doing some research recently and was challenged to monitor my energy bursts throughout the day to see if there are other things like circadian rhythms that I could ride like a wave. I figure anyone can swim the tide of time but if I can ride a wave of energy, I may be better off and go a little further. 

It is the great equalizer, everyone gets the same 24 hours that every human has ever gotten. The president of the United States and the Pharoes of Egypt were all constrained by the rising and setting of the sun.

Time will come and go but its how we use it that matters. Most theories on time management end up with priorities, delegation and management as end games to make the most of time.  I think time rythyms should be considered too. Ben Franklin is said to have said if we have all day to write a letter it will take all day.

I suffer from several debilitating diseases each day: in the morning its chronic fatigue syndrome and after dinner its narcolepsy. I find that caffeine is a helpful drug but it only goes so far. So, some of that is not true but the part about caffeine is.  I find that there are those times of the day that are just more productive.  I like to think of these cycles as waves, I call them E-waves or Energy Waves.  Here is how my energy waves come:  they are not exact because there are so many variables. I find I usually have 4-5 waves but if I miss one, it is gone forever. 

  * First Wave - Early am
  * Second Wave - Mid morning,
  * Next Wave - Lunch. Sometimes my midday meal requires an energy wave and sometimes it is a rest before my early afternoon wave. It depends on the agenda and whom I dine with. I tend to save lunch time for people I really like.
  * Wave Early afternoon
  * Wave - Late afternoon
  * Last Wave is in the evening but if I'm really on it, sometimes there is another. For instance I may use my evening wave for my family but if i have a big project, I may be able to force another wave after I put my kids to bed. 

It is important to anticipate the wave and plan to catch it.  There are second chances to catch a wave, and once its gone its gone. But there is always tomorrow.

I find that if I plan my day by priorities but also by energy waves I'm not only way more productive but can track my hours and progress by them as well. The scary thing is I've become highly aware of the stewardship of my e waves; if i miss an opportunity to capitalize on one of them i get kinda bummed. 

Ok they are not really shortcuts but if I pretend they are they help me catch better E-Waves. Rest is where it begins. If I am rested, that first E-wave, one i reserve for reflection and spirituality is a food one. If I am groggy or sleep in, I lose. Replenishment is like sleep but it is more than sleep. It is having a full tank, it is being alert, it is having a stress free mind, it is having replenishing relationships, it is peace. Caffeine, yep, it helps, enough said. 

There are too many outliers to list, but these are the major detracting variables:
  * Not enough Rest
  * Poor diet
  * Stress
  * External stimulants, positive or negative (ie. yay, Disneyland tomorrow or, oh crap I have a meeting with that guy)
  * Attitude and personality and your general outlook on life
  * Time of year it really does effect things.
  * Number of kids hahah, but it really does.

Thanks to these guys for helping me think about this....
  The Power of Full Engagement
  Leading on Empty
  Dali - for the mental image of time meets energy

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