A friend of mine works for friends of hers at the Southern California Renaissance Faire every spring.
For seven weekends straight.
Just the idea makes me tired, but for her it’s energizing.
She admits it makes her life a little hectic, but she wouldn’t miss it for anything. “The booth I work in sells magic wands,” she told me, “so whenever I need a little extra time, I just wave a wand and there it is!”
Of course the reality is that we all get 24 hours each day, 60 minutes per hour, 60 seconds per minute (that’s 86,400 seconds per day, if you were wondering). There’s nothing you can do to change that.
But you can choose where you focus your energy in each of those seconds, minutes, and hours.
Most people plan their days by estimating how long it will take to do each task on their list instead of how much energy it will take. And that’s a good way to reality-check your time expectations.
But it leaves you with an incomplete picture and that’s because there’s not a direct relationship between the amount of time something takes and the amount of energy it requires.
We’re all familiar with how completely exhausting it can be to do the simplest task if you don’t want to do it – but have you ever noticed that you sometimes have more energy after doing something you really enjoy?
If I have a day filled with coaching calls, I end the day completely energized. However, sit me down at my desk and tell me I have to write all day … my head will hit the desk with a thump four hours in. (Not literally but that’s how it feels!)
Next time you sit down with your schedule and your to-do list, consider how much energy each task is going to take, not just how much time.
Is it an energy drain, or an energy boost? If it’s an energy drain, can you choose not to do it – or choose to delegate it to someone else?
If you simply must do it, what can you do to make it more fun and energizing? That might include putting on music, calling a friend for encouragement, or sandwiching it between more enjoyable tasks.
When you maximize your day with activities that boost your energy, you’ll get more done and you’ll feel a whole lot better. My RenFaireing friend’s schedule looks insane to my eyes, but those weekends in full costume, dealing with dust, heat, and sunburn, leave her energized and ready to start her week.
You may not have a magic wand, but you’ve got something better: the ability to choose.
And when you choose consciously, it’s just like magic … because you’ll be living your day the way you want to live your life.
“Energy is eternal delight.” ~ William Blake