“Energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of high performance.”
– Jim Loehr
This week we attack a topic that is critically important yet rarely – if ever – taught in business schools: managing your energy and attention for peak performance. Most of my source material comes from Dr. Jim Loehr’s pioneering book, The Power of Full Engagement. For over 30 years as a sports psychologist, he has worked with world-class athletes to help them perform consistently at the highest levels under intense pressure. Many of these insights on performance can be applied to our working life.
Is energy management really more important than time management? When does peak performance occur? What must we do to achieve it?
Conclusions & Actions:
1. Performance is grounded in the skillful management of energy, not time.
2. Zealously guard your Biological Prime Time (BPT) and save it for your most important work.
3. Identify your top work-related performance barriers. What positive energy rituals (habits) – grounded in your deepest values – can help you improve your performance?
4. Our time off – and what we do during it – is just as important as our working time. Scheduling and guarding our recovery time is crucial to peak performance.
5. Schedule your work day into “ultradian sprints” of 50-80 minutes, with recovery periods of 10-20 minutes.
6. The hardest part of achieving flow is starting. Use attention dashes – shorter sprints of 10-25 minutes – to overcome the initial inertia of getting into the zone.
Dr. James Loehr, The Power of Full Engagement
Neil Fiore, The Now Habit
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
Daniel Pink, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Josh Kaufman, The Personal MBA
Paul Graham, Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule