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  • Writer's pictureacoachsdiary

Maximizing Your Energy Buckets | Mindset Monday

Updated: Jun 10

Some days, weeks, and months, I feel like I have all the energy in the world, and others I feel like my battery is completely drained.

In their book, The Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz say Energy, not time, is our fundamental currency of high performance. The better we can manage, maximize, and leverage our energy, the better we can perform.

How we manage and use our energy is more important than how we manage our time. 

The more energy and enthusiasm we bring to the things that matter, and the more we take responsibility for the energy we bring to our jobs, life, and the world, the more empowered and productive we become. We can’t get more time, but we can bring more positive energy to the things we do - especially to the things that are most important to us and our success.


We have a limited amount of energy to use, like a battery. When our battery runs out, we have nothing left to give. But unlike batteries, we can grow our personal energy supplies. When we use more energy than normal, we stretch ourselves. If you stay stretched for too long, you burn out, but if you recover fully after stretching, you expand your energy supply. When you are starting to feel stretched, think that you are growing. But you have to take the time to fully recover or you run the risk of stretching yourself too thin, leading to burnout.


We tend to avoid stress, but stress helps us grow. Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension; it is your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. In short bursts, stress can be positive and help you grow. It can help you move faster to avoid danger or meet a deadline. But if you stay under stress for too long, it can cause damage to your health and also cause you to burn out. Like with your energy supply, learn how to manage stress in a healthy way. When you are starting to feel stressed, know that you are growing, but also know that it might be time to step back and fully recover to avoid damage and burnout.

The most productive workers know how to bring their best energy to their most important tasks each day. They know when they are the most energized and engaged, and they schedule their days around those moments.

They know that we can’t bring 100% to everything we do or we will burn out, so they know when and how to take a step back and allow their mind, body, and spirit to fully recover.

Leaders are stewards of energy - they inspire or demoralize others first by how effectively they manage their own energy and next by how well they mobilize, focus, invest, and renew the collective energy -of the people they lead.


There are 4 key takeaways to remember from The Power of Full Engagement:

1 - Full engagement requires drawing on four separate but related sources of energy:

physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

2 - Because energy diminishes both with overuse and with underuse, we must balance

energy expenditure with intermittent energy renewal.

3 - To build capacity we must push beyond our normal limits, training in the same, systematic way that elite athletes do.

4 - Positive energy rituals—highly specific routines for managing energy—are the key to

full engagement and sustained high performance.”



Fueling the Fire

Our physical energy is the fundamental source of fuel. It is the raw field for igniting and maintaining our skills and talents. It is at the heart of our alertness and vitality and affects our emotions, concentration, and creativity.

It is probably the most obvious energy source, but it is often the most neglected.


Transforming Threat into Challenge

In order for us to perform at our best, we must access positive, uplifting emotions like enjoyment, challenge, adventure, and opportunity, and avoid negative energy drainers like fear, doubt, complaining, anger, frustration, and sadness.

Learning how to understand and manage your emotions is important to success.


Appropriate Focus and Realistic Optimism

To perform at our best, we have to be able to sustain concentration on the task at hand while also managing the different things that come our way.

Mental preparation, visualization, positive self-talk, effective time management, and creativity all impact our mental energy.


Connection to a Bigger Purpose

The spiritual bucket is the connection to a deeply held set of values and to a purpose beyond our own self-interest. Anything that ignites the human spirit serves to drive full engagement and to maximize performance.

The key muscle that drives spiritual energy is character - the courage and conviction to live by our values.

The key to sustained success and avoiding burnout is knowing when you are at your best, knowing when you are being stretched, knowing when you are drained, and knowing how to fully recover. Remember that stress and being stretched is good - it is how we grow - but we burn out when we are stretched too far or for too long.


1 - What time of the day do you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually feel the best?

2 - During what tasks/activities do you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually feel the best?

3 - What time of the day do you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually feel drained?

4 - During what tasks/activities do you feel physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually drained?

5 - What do you do/can you do to refill your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energy buckets?

When you know when you are at your best and when you aren't, you are able to make sure you are giving your best time and energy to the things that are most important. When you know what drains you and how you recover, you can maximize and even grow your energy buckets.

For a printable PDF version of this post, click here: Maximizing Your Energy Buckets For a printable one-pager, click here: Maximizing Your Energy Buckets 1-Pager


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