Manage Your Energy: Experts Say it Could Change Your Life

The ever-growing demand of 24/7 performance is daunting and debilitating, but simple steps to manage your energy could help combat that and lead to a bigger paycheck.

When demand persistently exceeds capacity, negative consequences are inevitable to your body, home life and work performance.

Increasingly, U.S. employers report a consistent decline in engagement measures among workers. According to a recent Mercer Whats Working survey, 1 out of 2 U.S. employees is set to leave or has mentally and emotionally checked out.

Whats more, persistent fatigue, suboptimal performance, disengagement, low tolerance for stress, low resiliency, work/life imbalance, loss of focus, judgment errors and leadership failure manifest.

Characterizing these negatives as an energy crisis, Drs. Jack Groppel  and James Loehr co-founder The Human Performance Institute in 1991 to address the problem.

The Hard Push

Today, business people are pushing human capital so hard, and it is not biologically sustainable, says Drs. Jack Groppel , co-founder of The Human Performance Institute. The brain and people need recovery, a time when the brain is at its best.

People spend several hours a day in meetings. If you take a break, they say youre weak.

According to Groppel, the business world has got to pay attention to the body. Without physical energy, the body is not going to do what either people or companies want them to do.

Groppel and his coufounder James Loehr  applied their work with elite athletes to areas like law enforcement, military personnel and business, and developed the Corporate Athlete Course to help people achieve high performance, improve their health and achieve greater happiness.

This triad mostly happens when employees manage their energy well, says Groppel.

 Soft Words Produce Results

Using words like happiness or hope might provoke nonbelievers to term HPIs mission as soft. Ive heard: Thats all well and good. It wont work here, he says.

But his results show that the more the alignment, the more people can be engaged in their work.

[The energy management process] gives people a sense of purpose and aligns it with daily behaviors. It allows you to understand your navigational coordinates, and coordinate work and the mission of the corporation with what matters most to you.

Johnson & Johnson gets it. The health care behemoth acquired HPI three years ago, adding it to its wellness and prevention organizations, seeing it as a key component to its long-standing commitment that a healthy workforce leads to a more productive organization.

Across industries and firms, corporate athlete training participants reported they experienced higher feelings of being fully engaged with their work and personal lives post-training.

Here are some pointers to help become more physically energized, emotionally connected, laser-focused and mission-aligned with what matters most in your life.

Keep the home focus. You cant do well at work if youre not doing well at home. Performance at home with a spouse, partner or as a parent crosses all aspects of your lives and aligns your personal mission with the mission of the corporationa connection vital to engagement.

Manage energy, not time. Time is a tool to manage energy and give the brain recovery, but how a human being operates is human performance biology and is centered on energy management.

Train like an athlete. Align your energy across all four dimensions: body, heart, mind and spirit.

Increase your capacity. Human beings are multidimensional. Call on all your resources to develop resiliency--youll listen and communicate more effectively.

Get out of your comfort zone. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone and seek out stress-- which is a stimulus for growth.

Recognize that downtime is a productive interlude. Taking a breather helps keep you revitalized. Plus, theres more to life and work than self discipline.

Establish and keep rituals. Align energy investments to your deepest values and beliefs. This represents a critical component to skillful energy management

Move at intervals. Humans are not meant to be sedentary. Staying seated at the office can even undue the positive benefits of an early-morning workout. If youre in a meeting that lasts for more than 30 minutes, try moving around or suggest a quick break and climb a flight of stairs. Movement gets oxygen to the brain; hyper oxygenation allows you to refresh and think more clearly.

Be laser-focused. Either the brain is engaged or its not, says Groppel. When you multitask--a skill that many people value--youre only partially engaged, which results in being scattered.

Avoid multitasking. When important projects, A, B and C await you, consider tackling A then C then B and return to C. This type of sequential processing enables complete focus for each individual task. But there is a caveat:  For unimportant tasks  (e.g., reading the newspaper while watching TV) multitask away, says Groppel. Theres no harm in that circumstance.

Pause, dont panic. Stress is an emotional hit in the face. Instead of panicking and flailing in different directions, stop to think about and connect with what matters mostyour family, your kids, a pleasant memory or something important that lies ahead. This allows you to recalibrate and becomes a powerful tool for taking action.

Make opportunistic connections. When you access opportunistic emotions, it emotionally connects us with colleagues and others we interact with. Seeing the glass half full is a more positive platform for business and social intercourse than engaging with others using the survival emotions of impatience and defensiveness.

Establish boundaries. Be intentional with your schedule and focus on what matters most. Being home means leaving work at the office; youll get much more satisfaction out of family relationships, and feel refreshed and perform better at the office the next day.