While each of us are working hard to create our new and temporary routine, it’s important to find ways to keep our energy, passion, and creative juices flowing! Hear from our energy expert, Senior Learning and Development Specialist, Brian Germano, on how to maintain energy and productivity while working from home.
Q: What is energy management and why is it so important?
Brian: Energy management helps you be productive both personally and professionally by increasing positivity, mental focus, and creativity. Productivity is when we successfully execute tasks and work towards our goals, all while managing the change that we’re going through right now. There are so many things that are going differently right now that we couldn’t predict so managing your energy properly gives you the physical endurance to keep things going. It helps you stay focused even when you’re not working and builds your emotional stability when your environment isn’t changing. By adapting to our current way of living, we’re equipping ourselves with the skills to be prepared for change.
Q: Can you talk about the importance of reframing your mindset and ways employees can practice this habit?
Brian: When it comes to reframing your mindset, especially in times of change, we often ask ourselves, “Why is this happening?” and seek to understand. Build on that curiosity. With a little more time on our hands, we have the opportunity to reframe our mindset on not what we’ve lost, but what we’ve gained. We’ve gained time and with that extra time, we have the chance to learn something new, check something off our to-do list, strengthen our bodies, our minds, build something, etc. Change your perspective. Can we give back to ourselves or to others? Continuing to connect and grow drives curiosity and an open mindset. Remember that social distancing doesn’t have to be emotional distancing.
Q: How can your environment set you up for success while working from home?
Brian: There are things you can do to manage your environment. What’s happening? How am I feeling? Where am I? The actual physical environment can dictate your level of performance and level of energy. We need to be aware of the physical environment or the psychological environment (the space, level of distraction, etc. – whether they’re self-imposed or something that isn’t your fault like a child, dog, neighbors, birds chirping, etc.).
Prepare your space for maximum productivity and set your environment up for success. Do I move things into the space that help me think the way I want to think? How can I limit distractions? Can you use a sticky note or whiteboard to tell your household or roommates what’s going on? If we’re mindful and we just spend 2-3 minutes setting an experience for ourselves about what’s working and what we can reposition, it can really make a difference. Be flexible and figure out what works best for you and your situation.
Q: What are some ways to stay motivated during the day? For example, taking a 15-minute dance break, doing a sudoku puzzle, etc.
Brian: At its simplest level, you’re setting your day up like an interval training workout. Sprints of work and intermittent times of break. Mentally and emotionally, you’re putting energy out and then mentally and emotionally recharging. These breaks look different for everyone: doing a puzzle, reading, meditating, exercising, etc. We must have breaks to have a continuous flow of energy and motivation. It helps to set a daily goal when it comes to work and do it early on in the day. This creates little wins that motivate you to keep going. Write them down. Plan what you’re going to look forward to the next day, whether it’s personal or professional: making a new meal, watching a new show, playing a game, etc. Keep your mind focused on the future.
Q: What are some of the most effective ways to exercise your emotional muscles?
Brian: It comes down to practicing gratitude, strengthening your emotional relationships, and exhibiting compassion to yourself and others. Take time to relax and breathe. Know that this time will pass. Lean on those people that you care about and let them lean on you. Breathing is huge because it gives you time to reset. It all comes down to these three things: Gratitude. Compassion. Breathing.
Q: What are your top 3 favorite tips for energy management while working from home?
- Understand and set up your environment for success.
- Practice the 30+30 Ritual: Start the first 30 minutes of your waking hours with no technology and spend 30 minutes a day doing some type of physical movement or exercise. This could be deep breathing, meditating, yoga, playing a board game, etc.
- Try the Ready Ritual: Before work, have some type of signaling mechanism that it’s time to work. This could be walking into your workspace, making your bed, getting dressed/ready for work, making your favorite cup of coffee or tea, etc. Then in the evening, do the exact opposite with the Escape Ritual to disconnect and transition from work to social/personal. Find a way to close that world off at the end of the workday or workweek. This helps keep your energy high!
New working environments and situations are challenging our personal energy, creativity, and focus in ways like never before. Meeting these challenges with the “right energy” and a focus on wellness can give us the fortitude to “do more with less” and approach our work and the world with empathy and curiosity. To learn more about maximizing your personal and professional wellness through energy management, check out Brian's training session below.