Why Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to ProductivityBy Homaira Kabir
It’s a new year and millions of us, determined to make a fresh start, are busily filling out productivity planners and feeling motivated to reach our goals by year’s end.
Except…we’ve been here before. This time last year, and perhaps the year before that (and maybe even the one before that) and we felt exactly the same. Many of us have been setting the same New Year’s goals for a while now, unable to carry that initial excitement and motivation all the way through.
Here’s why. Our desire to live fully is often based on our ability to manage our time. If only we woke up earlier, or exercised more efficiently, or planned and cooked our meals for the week ahead during the weekend—if only we made efficient use of every moment available to us, then we’d finally be able to master all our goals. Right? Well, not really. While making the most of our lives is certainly a worthwhile endeavor, trying to be productive all the time is inconsistent with the way we function as human beings.
Wharton professor Adam Grant says that we all have periods of productivity and periods of procrastination. It's normal and it's healthy because slowing down allows our bodies to recover physically, mentally, and emotionally, so we can be at our peak performance during the next period of productivity. When we attempt to defy this basic principle, productivity declines, motivation wanes, and we fall behind. We then judge ourselves harshly, raise the bar higher, or compare ours