There is a leadership framework that can be useful here. Put simply it offers a way to think about how you manage your physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual energies. Leaders often assume effective time management is what underpins high performance, leading to a preoccupation with tasks and ‘doing’ that can and often does lead to burnout. But it is the effective management and intentional use of your energy that really matters because – unlike time – energy is renewable if you invest in it (Loehr and Schwartz 2003)1 .
This idea seems especially important for leaders organising the response to Covid-19, which may well feel huge and energy-sapping. Using the simple framework below, try to reflect honestly on what you do, don’t do, and could do to routinely renew and manage your energy.
Good nutrition, exercise, sleep, and rest are the foundation of physical energy, but they are also vital for managing emotions and focusing attention. Is your body getting what it needs to properly restore itself each day?
This is about the mental ability for sustained concentration and attention; for data, for memory, and for speed, flexibility and creativity of thought. What do you do to relax that gives your mind the time and opportunity to recover throughout the day?
Emotional energy is central to how effectively you understand and regulate your emotions, as well as how you connect with others. What coping mechanisms do you use to process your emotions and develop your self-awareness? Who or what in your life helps you experience positive emotions?
We all have and feel a connection to something bigger than ourselves. What that is will be deeply personal but could include things like values, connection to culture and community, the natural world, and/or to faith and our beliefs. Spiritual energy is ultimately about motivation; it ensures congruence between who we are and what we do (authenticity). What really matters to you?
- 1Loehr J, Schwartz T (2003). The power of full engagement. New York: Free Press.