It’s never been about the time

We all get 24 hours of time in a day. No more, no less. And how we spend those hours is usually split up between a few competing things, family, work, friends, exercise, spirituality. These are outlined clearly on my website. But what if I told you that there is another way to calculate your day, and it doesn’t have anything to do with a clock. 

It’s your energy. You can never give someone 100% of your time, but you can give them 100% of your energy. 

About a month ago I started really watching my energy management throughout the day. This was part of my social media break, I just didn’t have the energy to spend. 

Energy can not be split equally between things, or something suffers. Think of the main 5 areas of life … family, health, career and money, social and spiritual. If you gave 20% to each part, every day and if you get what you give, you would only get 20% back in each area. Which isn’t enough to see any real growth or success.

For myself, I spent 20% of my energy responding to social platform DM’s, or posting reels, or just scrolling through the gram … that’s 20% less that I have to spend on family, my career, my clients. It’s math. There is no arguing it. I have 100% of my energy to spend at the beginning of my day. How I spend it is up to me. 

So, I decided to take that 20% during the day and use it elsewhere. For me, it’s been really good. 

According to Jay Shetty, energy management is “when a person brings the best of themselves to a situation, they are the most productive in what they are doing at that moment. Even if they spend less time on it, but apply all of their energy for a shorter period.” That makes sense doesn’t it. 

Just think about it, do you want 100% of my energy for 1 hour, or do you want 1 day of distracted time? Obviously you would want the energy, because energy multiplies time.

I’ll say that one again. Energy multiplies time. When you apply zero energy over a long period of time, you will have zero results. If you apply maximum energy over a short period of time you should get good results. This is all depending on the importance of the task of course. 

Just enough time multiplied by maximum energy multiplied by the importance of the task = the outcome. I had to read that one a few times, but once you understand it, you can apply that formula to so many things in your life. Work, family, exercise, whatever task requires your energy. Think of a time where you have spent a few hours working on a project, and it just didn’t feel like you got anything done. My guess, you spent time on it, but no energy. Or maybe you have read pages of a book, and then realize that you don’t even remember what you read. Again, time spent but no energy spent. 

Now, spending energy means you need to replenish your energy. By stepping away for a while. This looks different for everyone, so you have to do what works for you. Sometimes it is physical rest, or for some it’s exercise, or even just going for a walk and clearing your mind. I use meditation a lot throughout my day, in fact, I have meditated every day for 244 consecutive days. For me, that one has the most impact on replenishing my energy. Downtime is about replenishing and recharging your energy reserves. It is a necessary part of the day. Call it self care, call it an afternoon nap, call it whatever you want. It is a really important part of managing your energy for the day. What it is not is scrolling through instagram, or watching netflix, or online shopping. Think of it as time for you. No competing thoughts or sounds, just you time.

Reframe your thinking to be less about trying to have balance (with life, work, family, etc) and more about energy management. It’s always been more about managing our energy than managing our time. As I said above, you can’t get more time. But you can replenish your energy. 

Arianna Huffington said it best, “you can have it all. Just not all at the same time”.

Try switching your thought process to energy management, and see what happens with your day. My guess is that where you spend the most energy, you will see the biggest return.

After all, it has never been about the time.

Donita Fowler

Coach + Creator
Manage your emotions and you can navigate challenges with a balanced perspective.