The key to high performance and long-term sustainability is managing your energy. How productively you spend your time depends on your given state. If you are sleep-deprived, hungry, angry, and burnt-out you won’t be as productive as when you are rested, energized, happy, and focused.
The book breaks down what affects your performance into four categories (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual) and the steps to get these in an optimal state. Energy is like a muscle and while you can build capacity by pushing past normal limits, you need time for recovery and renewal. If you consistently expend more energy than you recover, you will eventually burn out, atrophy, lose passion, get sick, and die early.
- Physical Energy: Fuel source to stay alive
- Emotional Energy: self-confidence, self-control, social skills, empathy, patience, openness, trust, enjoyment
- Mental Energy: concentration, broad/narrow, internal/external, creativity
- Spiritual Energy: purpose, character, courage, conviction
- Physical Energy: Get enough sleep. Eat healthy. Spread out your meals. Stay hydrated. Exercise.
- Emotional Energy: Do something you enjoy, spend time with friends, give to a cause
- Mental Energy: Challenge your brain, take breaks
- Spiritual Energy: Reflect on your values, work towards your purpose
- Defining Purpose involves understanding our deepest values and why we do things.
- Facing the Truth requires us to accurately assess how we are currently spending our energy and what that says about our priorities. It is difficult to change what we fail to recognize.
- Taking Action means creating a plan to close the gap between who you are and who you want to become.
Building positive rituals, habits or a system is the key to success. Making choices expends valuable energy so make them automatic. Specificity and timing are key. Practice, practice, practice. If you can’t keep to your routines under relaxed circumstances, how will you keep to them under adverse situations? Start small and measure yourself to stay accountable.