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The gist: when it comes to productivity tips, almost all of them talk about your time or to-do list, but the most important component is energy. Here’s why energy management matters most.

why energy management matters more than time management

In Mindy Kaling’s first book, she says “There is no sunrise so beautiful that it is worth waking me up to see it.”

And that line is just one of the reasons I love Mindy Kaling – the woman knows her energy management.

Mornings aren’t worth it to me either, but it has less to with sunrises and more to do with productivity. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Because I know a quick scroll through Instagram or a walk through the bookstore’s personal development aisle might have you thinking you can’t be productive without waking up at 5am. 🙄

But waking up early because a book told you to, is classic working smarter. And if you’re new around here, this community is founded on the idea that you can do better than working smarter.

We’re all about going beyond working smarter to start working brighter instead. Because productivity alone isn’t enough if you’re not paying attention to things like mental health and self-care too.

Literally, we’re called Work Brighter, and if you are new around here, make sure to subscribe if you like the sound of this.

Because this video is only the first in a whole series on energy management, which is hands-down the easiest way to be more productive.

Today, we’re talking about what energy management is and why you want to pay attention to it.

Later in the series, we’re going to talk about things like how to track your energy so you know how to manage it better, tools for managing your energy, and some of my favorite books to help you moving forward.

Now let’s dive in.

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What is energy management?

So, what is energy management?

Energy management is exactly what it sounds like. It means prioritizing your energy over other things you can manage, like your time, calendar, projects, or to-do list.

Not because time management and stuff aren’t important. But because all of those things are WAY easier to manage and control once you understand your energy throughout the day.

And that, my unicorn friend, is different for everyone and depends on so many things that no one productivity strategy could work for everyone.

My example: Un-miraculous mornings

For example, I have a chronic illness that makes mornings pretty difficult when I’m flaring like at all, even a little bit.

So trying to base my morning routines off some book that promised to help me work “more miraculously”? (Which, by the way, I *have* done in the past)

That actually made me WAY less productive.

And I learned this this the hard way, from years of trying to do my most important work during my objectively “worst” time of day.

But once I started getting a better handle on my chronic illness and mental health, I realized how much that didn’t make sense. I finally realized, “why was I making things harder than they needed to be?”

It would literally take twice as long to do things like content creation in the morning, compared to when I waited until the afternoon.

And it turned out, I was really really freaking creative at night. Like, a fantastic night owl, really. 🦉

But when I was waking up early, I’d be too tired by then to harness that creativity.

By managing my energy before I managed my projects and to-dos, I started actually working at my most productive times of day, and work got soooo much easier. 🙌

I was able to work less while getting the same amount of work done and get it done better at that.

THAT, my friend, is the difference between working smarter and brighter. 🦄

Why energy management matters

And why is this so important? Why should energy management come first?

Like I said, it’s not that time management or project management aren’t important, it’s just that they’re not as one-size-fits-all as you might think.

No one else can tell you the best time for you to wake up, the best time of day to do your deep work, or the best time of day to exercise. (Even though a lot of people might be trying to. 🙄)

They’re only thinking about your productivity, but I’m challenging you to think about more.

By managing your energy before, or in addition to, your time and thinking about your energy before thinking about your to-do list, you can be more productive without sacrificing your self-care or health.

Unlock your unicorn energy 🦄

Like I said at the beginning of this post, this is part of a whole series on how to understand your energy better. The next part will talk about how to start tracking your energy.

But if you don’t want to wait until then to learn, go here for a free template for the energy management tracker that I use myself.

We also have an energy management challenge inside the Work Brighter Clubhouse, my membership community to help you work brighter and balance productivity with self-care in your own life.

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why energy management matters more than time management