You feel the pull from every angle. Your home life demands your time. Your work life demands your time. Managing time can feel like the right solution. But if you're mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted, more time won't help.
So how can we become more productive without risking both our mental and physical health?
Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy's Harvard Business Review article titled "Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time," shares four simple pillars to manage your life better. Focusing on how you cultivate more energy, instead of obsessing over your time.
Stop drinking during the week. I should tell you to get to bed earlier, but I think stopping drinking during the week needs to happen first.
If you don't have a glass of wine in you, it will be easier to say to yourself "don't watch that episode of West World, and get to bed." If you do have a few glasses of wine, your inhibitions are down, and your judgment is off.
You'll be more likely to think "I deserve another episode of Westworld." While this is a normal thought to have (especially considering how hard you work), it won't help you tomorrow. We need your nighttime personae to help out your morning personae. So save the wine for the weekend and get more done this week.
Meditate. Start with an awareness of your breath. When you breathe in make sure your belly expands. Not the other way around.
If you have trouble clearing your mind, make sure you at least have a mantra. When I began meditating I would say this to myself over and over while breathing deeply. "You are whole, happy, harmonious, powerful, unique and thriving."
Sometimes clearing your mind can mean simply controlling what you're thinking about. Simple mantras can help too. Some like to think of one word. Maybe it's the name of your child. If you can push your brain to "say" that word, you're effectively quelling the chatter. Which can creep up and create anxiety and depression.
Reduce interruptions during your day by only checking emails at designated times. Here's the key. Make sure your team knows those times. If everyone knows that they won't hear from you until 6pm, you've created a buffer for deep work.
The more long stretches of deep work, the more you'll be able to get into flow, and create higher quality work.
Protecting your spiritual life starts with self-awareness. Knowing what you're good at helps. I like to think of the things I'm good at as my super powers. Once you understand your super powers, focus on doing more of that.
If there are edges of work that you're not good at, delegate, or as for help/reassignment. The more super power work you can get to, the more spiritually aligned you can be at work. And, yes, it is possible to be spiritually aligned at work. It's called "doing what you love."
Bringing it all together:
How can your company help team members bring this all together so they can be more productive?
Allow team member to have down time for meditation or quite contemplation. My business partner and I allow us mid day mediation sessions.
Get to the gym to renew your body. If you can't get to a gym, get outside for a walk. Renewing your body renews your mind and fuels your spirit.
Recommend a company wide policy to reduce the amount of time you spend checking emails. I know this can be a challenge in a service industry, but if you set a precedent you can save the lives of your employees.