Sunday, July 12, 2009

Manage Your Energy for Peak Performance

Manage Your Energy for Peak Performance and Personal Renewal

The book, The Power of Full Engagement, by authors Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, is about getting more energy. Who couldn’t use a bit more energy? Obviously we are looking for it. Check out the plethora of "Energy Drinks" on the market now. I don't think caffeine and chemicals are what the doctor ordered for true, sustainable energy. Since we are in the age of renewable energy, why not take a serious look at how to materialize more energy into our personal lives? Loehr and Schwartz make a clear case that managing energy, not time, is the key to peak performance and personal renewal.

They write about three basics: health, happiness and balance. Their sound advice is the same for athletes, workers, and CEO’s.

“You learn how to stay focused, stick to a routine and eat right. We learned from these athletes you needed a certain kind of energy to perform well,” says Schwartz.

I’ll be writing a series based on Loehr and Schwartz’s book, The Power of Full Engagement. To be honest, I’ve had this book for nearly five years. I look at the cover all the time, knowing it has very important lessons for me (and others). I peak into the text now and then, but have never really committed myself to an action phase. Sound familiar? Right now in my life, having had major change and routine disruption to the max, I’m not managing my own energy properly and I’m getting tired. How about you? Are you tired? Are you feeling physically vital, spiritually fed, emotionally and socially connected, mentally focused? If you, like me, have some “less-than-yes” answers, let’s do this!

What can I say that might possibly get you on board with me in joining this new energy experiment? Here’s what I know – see how it is going for you. My life is good. I have many loving people in my life; I golf with a fantastic group of women every Wednesday evening (and being on green grass really does something for me!); I just attended a really fun jazz event at City Park with a new friend and the atmosphere was a delicious taste of summer ease; my work is exciting and going very well; I have the sweetest gray cat, Jack, on the planet; I enjoy great office suite mates and the weather in Denver is amazing. Expressing gratitude is a very powerful energy boost! This is definitely a must on any energy boosting prescription.

Here is what I also know – see how it is going for you. I’m spending the majority of my days (and evenings) working, thinking about work, planning my work; I’m not getting enough sleep – an age old behavior of mine; I’ve developed some new habit of “down time” with CNN; I’m not feeling rested upon waking; I am mostly separated from the stimulation of intellectual and social conversation since moving to a new city; and I am missing the joy and energy of exercising daily that I consistently had in my life and has been gone since a knee problem six months ago. Phew! That is a lot of energy disruption!

I’m “fine” but it’s not good enough. I want energy and balance and satisfaction in a life well lived. So – I’m on board. I hope you will join me. We can learn and experiment together in applying Loehr and Schwartz’s sage advice in all the areas of life to achieve The Power of Full Engagement.

Here are a few things from their book to bear in mind regarding Physical Energy. Take small, baby steps with me. Let’s set this up for success. Consider 1 or 2 things and do them. See how it goes. I’d love to hear from you! Maybe with you doing this with me I’ll get back to where I was accustomed to living – with physical vitality, spiritual aliveness, mental focus and social/emotional connection! Sounds good, yes?

Below segment excerpted from The Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, page 71:

Physical Energy: Bear in Mind
• Physical Energy is the fundamental source of fuel in life.
• Physical energy is derived from the interaction between oxygen and glucose.
• The two most important regulators of physical energy are breathing and eating.
• Eating five to six low-calorie, highly nutritious meals a day ensures a steady resupply of glucose and essential nutrients.
• Drinking sixty-four ounces of water daily is a key factor in the effective management of physical energy.
• Most human beings require seven to eight hours of sleep per night to function optimally.
• Going to bed early and waking up early help to optimize performance.
• Interval training is more effective than steady-state exercise in building physical capacity and in teaching people how to recover more efficiently.
• To sustain full engagement, we must take a recovery break every 90 to 120 minutes.

Yes, I will repeat that one! We must take a recovery break every 90 to 120 minutes to sustain full engagement!

For these next two weeks, I'm picking the water and getting more than 5-6 hours of sleep per night. Remember, baby steps! I'll let you know how it goes. I hope to hear from you too! Here's to your energetic and more productive, satisfied day!


Maggie said...

I've been working on the sleep issue myself. I catch myself still up and around at 11:30 p.m. far too often.

I'm curious about what "interval training" vs. "steady-state exercise" means.

bhunter said...

Hi Maggie! Glad to get your question and thank you for tuning in.

Interval training is doing a series of more intense/shorter duration routines of exercise. For example, one might do 10 minutes of intense cardio on the stair stepper, then do 10' of squats, then 10' of treadmill, then 10' of upper body weights, etc. I am not a fitness expert (used to teach aerobics classes back in the old days!) so best to get the real skinny from a trainer. "Steady-state exercise" would be what most people do: stretching and then going out for a 20-30 minute walk or run. It is sustained activity, versus the more intense and varied exercises of interval training. Hope this answers your question, Maggie. And I encourage you to tap on the going to bed earlier for more sleep challenge. I know you know about EFT tapping, so be sure to do it! Happy Tapping!