Time might be finite, but your energy isn’t. Our energy comes from four main areas, the Body, Emotions, Mind and Spirit. This energy can be transferred, expanded or renewed by your actions. To nourish and care of yourself, increasing awareness of your Energy-depleting behaviours and understanding your natural energy flow is a great start. To get more quality output, you need to pay attention to what’s going on and in rather than simply seeking to do more with less.


The reality is you only have 24 hours in a day. For many, the workload and expectations of your role don’t match up to the hours you get paid. Unpaid overtime adds to the problem as it denies the reality of workplace pressures and burdens the individual who has less time to rest and recoup. Focusing on energy rather than time is a way of raising awareness about your most productive times and identifying the times and activities that require you to invest in intentional self-care.


The key is to manage your energy, not just your time. Pay attention to all four energy sources in your life, listen to the warning signs of depletion and be willing to accept your limitations. Even if you have infinite amounts of time, you won’t achieve things without energy. By harnessing your personal energy, you have more capacity to do things well across all domains of your life.


Increasing awareness about your four energy areas empowers you to act where and when needed.

Physical Energy – comes down to the foods you eat, the exercise you do, the sleep you get and the capacity to support your body’s needs.

Emotional Energy – involves emotional flexibility, accepting emotions, developing emotional regulation, and using emotions to support and enhance your capacity, not as barriers. Being emotionally responsive, not reactive.

Mind Energy – endurance to persevere and understand how you think, function, and thrive.

Spiritual Energy – aligning with your values and beliefs, following your moral compass, and aligning with your higher self.


Just because you have thirty minutes in your diary doesn’t mean you need to take on a new task or activity. Accepting your limitations is being aware and in control enough to recognise when your energy and capacity will limit your ability to do a task to the standards you and others expect. Your working role is only part of your life and depleting all your energy in one area takes an inevitable toll on the other areas of your life.


How many times have you come home simply too exhausted to deal with the challenges of your own family or even celebrate in the excitement of positive experiences? Energy management isn’t some magic way of creating endless energy. It’s about awareness of how to use, recharge and expand your energy to get the best from yourself and life. If you expend more energy than you replenish, you will eventually end up burning out.


Recovery loops form a key aspect of energy management—letting your authentic energy flow and not relying on adrenalised energy to push through. Dr Ela Mangda’s work on adrenalised energy highlights the fact that you increasingly turn to stress and adrenaline to force yourself through the necessary tasks of the day. Your body becomes addicted to this adrenalised energy as a coping mechanism. Still, authentic energy requires you to intentionally harness and replenish your energy rather than masking the issues with artificial energy such as caffeine.


How do you manage your energy?

To support energy management, you must focus on optimising the quality and quantity of your available energy for a particular task or situation.


Whilst it seems counterproductive, working less and taking more breaks can increase energy efficiency. Breaks from focused tasks enable you to recharge your energy and, in turn, help improve focus and concentration on a job making you more efficient for taking some time off.


Ideally, humans need to rest and recover every 90 to 120 minutes. Tuning into your natural energy rhythms and scheduling regular breaks to change tasks, take a walk and rejuvenate enables you to continue productively for longer without draining your required energy.


Drinking sufficient water during the day is key for energy management, as are nutritional foods that enable a slow release of energy naturally into your systems rather than stimulants like caffeine and sugar that create artificial highs. Dependency on artificial highs and the buzz of stress and challenges result in adrenalised energy.


Getting 7 to 8 solid quality hours of sleep a night supports you in maintaining physical energy, as does regular exercise, which also supports our mental energy.


Emotional renewal can come from activities you enjoy rather than those you simply need to do. Positive emotions, inspiration, joy and excitement fuel and replenish your emotional energy. Fitting in time for a joyful activity before the need to focus on a pressing work task might just replenish you enough to get it done.


Seeking to maintain a sense of Realistic Optimism can support you to remain fuelled and on task even when things go wrong. Accept the situation as it is, rather than how you would like it to be, and find the positives to keep focused.


Positive Purpose can serve as a powerful source of energy. If it’s intrinsically motivated, you’re more likely to thrive than if it’s externally driven. If you can live and work aligned to your values, you are more likely to be recharged energetically than if you’re fighting against your values and beliefs or trying to be something or someone you aren’t.


Maintaining authentic energy isn’t about denying negative emotions or challenges. It’s about being open to differing interpretations of the situation, being honest with yourself about aligning with your values and managing the elements you can control.


Daily self-care rituals enable you to balance your energy expenditure and renew and regenerate your energy supplies. They allow you to conserve energy, as thought and decision-making are reduced, and help you grow and extend your practices to support your needs better.


Which of your energy centres feels the most depleted?

What small things can you try, to manage and replenish your energy as you continue through your day?