Do you ever feel tired? Between work, family life, and hobbies, as well as keeping up with chores and other responsibilities, it’s easy to feel like life is just too busy. Right now, while life looks different for most of us in light of COVID-19, disrupted schedules and priorities which need to be juggled have added to stress levels for many of us. As well as managing your time, it’s important to understand how to manage your energy. After all, energy is what keeps us going.
At Pfizer, our collective energy is crucial as we work towards breakthroughs that change patients’ lives. Our work in pharma often takes years to come to fruition – it can feel like a marathon, and we pride ourselves on maintaining the energy to keep on going even when the pressure is on. It’s a key component of our culture, as one of our values is ‘Excellence’, which we achieve by focusing on what matters and making sure the right people are working towards the right goals. In that way we also focus our energies, building on our momentum together.
But as well as maintaining our collective energy, we realize that every individual can face challenges in maintaining and building on their own energy reserves. And it’s only human for those reserves to sometimes feel depleted.
So what can you do? What works for you might not work for everyone, but there are some rituals that can help you to get the most from your energy. Here are some of our recommendations.
Develop morning rituals: The morning can be a rush to get ready for the day ahead. Especially now that many of us aren’t leaving our homes to commute to a workplace, your brain and body might still be waking up as you sit down at your desk. Developing a set of morning rituals can help you get your mind and body ready for the day, and maintain your energy levels throughout. What you do is up to you, but exercise and meditation can be very effective at setting energy levels up for the day. Whatever you do, make sure it’s a sustainable routine.
Keep an energy diary: Keep a simple log to evaluate how your energy is affected throughout the day. Make a note of how you feel, what you’ve done, where you’ve been, what you’ve eaten, and anything else of interest. After a while you might see patterns emerge – perhaps you have more energy after a morning run, or when you have plans in the evening. You can then work to incorporate those activities into your routine.
Create work rituals: Productivity does not mean spending as much time as possible on work tasks – it means managing your energy to get things done as efficiently as possible. You can help yourself achieve this by creating some work rituals. These don’t need to be time-consuming. It could be as simple as getting up from your desk and walking around once an hour, or making a ‘to do’ list every morning that you check off throughout the day. These habits help to keep us focused and – over time – signify to our bodies that we are ready to focus, and actually hardwire that intent into us.
Find what works for you: What works for your colleague won’t be identical to what works for you, but it’s still worth asking different people what helps them to manage their energy, to hear different perspectives and ideas. You might find some inspiration, and different things to try. While you are trying them, consider whether these rituals work for you and your lifestyle. You want to find a routine that doesn’t just resonate with you: it augments your experience throughout the day.
Eat – Sleep – Hydrate: It may sound like common sense, but make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating nutritiously, and drinking plenty of water. That might mean adding some new rituals, perhaps around meal prepping or setting yourself a consistent bedtime.
Try some of these tips and see if they make a difference. The more aware you are of your energy, the more you can do to harness it.