Forget Time Management, Manage The Way You Spend Your Energy Instead

Bob is a young executive at a fast-growing tech company and he recently had been promoted to an assistant manager. Before the promotion, he was working 8 to 10 hours a day.

Now, he works at least 12 to 14 hours easily. On top of his responsibilities at work, he is happily married with two beautiful girls.

Needless to say, the quality of sleep Bob has been getting has been poor and he feels exhausted most of the time. His performance at work is deteriorating and he finds himself being actively disengaged whenever he is at home with his family.

Considering the pace of life here in Singapore, Bob’s story isn’t an uncommon one. In fact, we may actually find the above scenario deeply familiar when our colleagues complain and whine about it.

It’s a natural response that we usually have; when the demands in the workplace increases, we react by putting in more hours.

The problem is that our hours are limited and pushing ourselves harder and stretching our limits can only go so far.

While our time is a finite resource (everyone has only 24 hours), our energy varies. The good news here is that our energy can be expanded and our bodies can be recharged at any point of the day.


Here are 3 sources of energy that we can draw from and also, how we can constantly recharge them.

3 Main Sources of Energy

1. Body

The easiest component to build up is our body’s physical energy. It’s pretty obvious that having inadequate nutrition, exercise and rest will cause our energy levels to decrease and thus, affect our ability to manage our emotions.

Even so, many people still do not find ways to lead a healthy lifestyle. Before we are able to know which areas to improve on, we need to conduct a review to see whether our behaviours are healthy.

Find out how much time do we take to work, rest and exercise. Make a note of our eating habits; do we often skip breakfast? Are meals taken on time? By listing down these in detail, we will find it sobering that all the bad habits are actually sapping away our energy.

Make some changes and with more energy, we will be able to get more things done.

Tip: One way that you can keep your energy levels throughout the day high is to take brief but regular breaks. After sitting at the office desk for 90 to 120 minutes, our bodies starts to give off signals that we need a break. These signals include physical restlessness, yawning, hunger, and difficulty concentrating, but many of us ignore them and keep working. The consequence is that our remaining capacity diminishes exponentially as the day wears on.

Taking regular breaks will renew your energy throughout the day and thus, will allow you to perform more sustainably.

2. Emotion

We all have heard this phrase at some point: “Don’t let your emotions control you. You control your emotions.” By taking control of our emotions, we are able to better improve the quality of our energy.

Firstly, people need to be more aware of how they feel at different points throughout the day (at the start of work, after lunch) and how these emotions affect the way they work.

One way to maintain a high level of performance is to have positive energy. The problem is that we can’t always feel positive energy for long periods of time as external disruptions are bound to happen. They become irritable, anxious or overwhelmed and very soon, negative emotions will creep back in.

Tip: Deep breathing is one way to do that dispel one’s negative emotions. Inhaling and exhaling slowly for five or six seconds induces relaxation and recovery. It also reduces the amount of stress chemicals that are in play when a fight-or-flight response is needed.


3. Mind

With the advent of technology, people now live in a world whereby they are distracted and overwhelmed by the devices that we carry everywhere. While many view multitasking as a necessary evil for being productive while meeting the various demands around them, it actually ends up undermining their production. The takeaway here is to concentrate on a single task at any point, for an extended period of time.

Tip: Put away devices whenever one meets a task that requires concentration. By reducing the amount of distraction, executives will be able to focus more on the task at hand rather than bounce back and forth between multiple tasks which may hinder their overall productivity.


While we do need to keep our time in check, it is a finite resource that will run out at the end of the day. What people can do is to focus on managing their energy.

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Marcus Ho

Marcus has started investing since 2012 on the NYSE and enjoys spending time scouring the markets for new ideas. Most people think that he sits in front of the computer all night looking at stocks. In actual fact, he is usually out with some friends or just chilling at home with a cuppa hot choco.

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