In conversations about productivity, the topic of time and time management get a lot of attention. Productivity is typically rooted in a calculation of output per unit of time.
Perhaps this makes sense if you’re running a factory producing widgets on an assembly line.
If you’re not doing that type of work, output per unit of time is less relevant, even though it’s a metric we often use in other contexts. Lawyer charge per hour. Many service professionals also charge per hour. In that model, time is a commodity that is bought and sold.
If you pay attention to cultural language, you’ll notice how we equate time with money.
Time is money.
What’s your time worth?
And, if you’ve ever had a free day to accomplish things and gotten nothing done, you know that productivity is not just a function of time.
It’s primarily a function of energy.
You can have all the time in the world (in fact, you do) but without the energy, you’ll struggle to get things done. When you have the energy, things flow and you don’t need as much time.
And yet how often do you ask yourself what’s the energetic cost of this activity? or what’s my energy worth?
Everything you do — every appointment on your schedule, every task, every project — either fuels you or drains you.
Things that feel like a burden cost more energy to do; also the anticipation of those things occupies energy even when you’re not doing them.
When your energy is drained, things generally take longer.
When the energy is there, time management ceases to be an issue. The time takes care of itself.
Beyond that, energy contributes to the quality of your time.
If what you’re doing is fueling you, the quality of your time will feel better. And isn’t that what you really want?
After all, the quality of your days is the quality of your life.
If you want a higher quality life, follow the energy.