Written by Ashley Olafsen, Co-founder of The Wildflower Company—a planner company and supportive community that helps you cultivate a thoughtful and meaningful life.
Energy Management is one of the most useful concepts I’ve come across and one that has helped me design a life that’s more balanced and ultimately more fulfilling.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is Energy Management?
Energy management is the practice of managing your physical, mental, and emotional energy levels throughout the day. This means understanding when you are at your most productive and energetic, and recognizing when you need to take a break and recharge.
Why is Energy Management Useful?
Well, when you learn to manage your energy levels, you can improve your overall well-being, productivity, and happiness. You'll also feel less stressed and more in control of your life.
Energy management is important for everyone, but it's especially crucial for women in their 20s, who are often navigating the demands of work, relationships, and personal growth. When you're trying to juggle so many different priorities, it's easy to get burned out. That's why learning to manage your energy levels is so important!!
In sum: When you can effectively manage your energy, you can effectively balance all of your competing priorities.
How Do I Get Started with Energy Management?
Here are a few ideas to help you out:
1. Identify your energy peaks and valleys
When do you feel most alert during the day? Pay attention to that. Observing when you’re feeling energized will help you schedule important tasks during times that you feel good. On the flip side, also note when you tend to feel tired or unmotivated so you can plan for some rest or relaxation.
2. Identify Your Energy Drainers
In addition to identifying your energy peaks and valleys, identify the things that drain your energy, such as physical, emotional, or mental stressors. For example, perhaps you notice that you feel drained by a certain group of friends. Once you've identified what drains you, make a conscious effort to reduce or eliminate those activities or people from your life….i.e. if social media drains your energy, try reducing your screen time.
3. Schedule breaks
It's so important to listen to your body and recognize when you need to take a break. If you're feeling tired or overwhelmed, it's okay to step back and take some time for yourself. In fact, taking breaks can actually help improve your productivity and focus in the long run. Even if you’re not burnt out — it’s still important to take breaks throughout the day to recharge your energy levels. Whether it's a quick walk outside or a few minutes of stretching, find what works for you and schedule it into your day.
4. Get Enough Sleep
Adequate sleep is crucial for energy management. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night, and try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule. This will help regulate your body's natural rhythms and improve your energy levels throughout the day.
5. Stay Hydrated
On that note, drinking enough water is essential for energy management. Try for at least eight glasses of water per day to prevent dehydration, which can lead to fatigue and decreased energy levels.
6. Incorporate Regular Self-Care into Your Schedule
Self-care is an essential part of energy management. When you take good care of yourself, you'll have more energy to tackle the challenges of daily life. Incorporate self-care into your life by establishing a daily routine that includes time for relaxation and rest. This routine should include activities that help you recharge, such as meditation, yoga, or spending time in nature. You can also add activities that bring you joy, such as reading or painting.
7. Learn to say no
Setting boundaries and learning to say no can help you conserve your energy for the things that truly matter to you. When you say yes to everything, you risk spreading yourself too thin and burning out. By saying no to things that drain your energy, you can focus on the things that bring you joy and fulfillment. This can be challenging to do, but it's an important skill to develop.
Remember, energy management is a process, and it may take some time to figure out what works best for you. Don't be afraid to experiment and try new things until you find the right balance.
Also, when it comes to energy management, it's important to remember that everyone's needs are different. What works for one person may not work for another. That's why it's important to try different things and see what works best for you.
We hope these ideas are helpful in designing a life that is happy and aligned! Ultimately, when you listen to your inner voice, identify your energy drainers, and begin to develop healthy habits, you can live more intuitively and manage your energy more effectively.