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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Cheah

Time Management Vs Energy Management

How useful is time? The response to that may well be, ‘very useful!’ as we often feel we’d like more of it. Yet how often do we get a period of time and think, ‘Yes, now I can get so much done!’ and by then end of that period of time, feel like we’ve done nothing at all?

Perhaps we need to think about time differently. What if we need to reframe ‘time management’ as ‘energy management’?

If you have time, but no energy, do you really have that time?


If you have time that you are unable to use because you’re exhausted, then you do not have that time.

If you’re exhausted, the only thing you can (and really must) do with that time is rest.

Now, that’s fine – we need rest – and rather more rest than we tend to think; but the question of whether or not time available to us is usable for ‘doing stuff’ always comes down to energy.

Some people seem to have an inexhaustible supply of energy, while others do not. As one decidedly in the latter camp, I am familiar with the need to constantly measure the tasks I need to do against the energy supply available.

I would also argue that nobody really has inexhaustible energy. It just seems that way – until they burn out.

In the interest of a sustainable lifestyle (in which we do not burn out), it’s important to prioritise what we use our energy doing.

Of course, we all have responsibilities, such as work or caring for those dependent on us. Some of these take up a certain amount of time that isn’t particularly negotiable. Yet there is usually a certain amount of wiggle room with other things.

Take the time to work out what is important to you. What gives you energy, and makes you feel recharged? What do you love doing? Perhaps it’s taking time out for yourself, spending time with a loved one, a hobby, doing an exercise class or a going for long walk in nature.

There’s a surprising truth when it comes to prioritising rest and/or things that energise us. If we put aside the time to truly relax and allow ourselves to recharge, we have more available energy.

When we have more available energy, and feel more rested and recharged, we are more productive in the time we spend ‘doing stuff’.

This greater energy in some ways equates to having ‘more time’ - that is, we are more effective in the time we have.

Prioritising things we love doing also makes us feel better about ourselves and our lives. We are not just slogging away to try and keep on top of things; we are enjoying our lives. We balance responsibility with sweetness, the 'must-dos' with the 'want-tos'.

It’s all about the balance.

This article is for information only. For further information, please consult your healthcare professional.


The Health Hazard by Alison Coughlan

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