Managing Your Energy


Last week we started our nine-month old son in ISR classes, Infant Swim Resources Self-Rescue. Differing from traditional swim classes, ISR teaches a float – swim – float method to survive in the water. At our son’s age, the goal is for him to float on his back allowing him to breathe and conserve energy indefinitely until help arrives. After 12 months of age, children will learn how to roll to their stomach, swim a few strokes but never until out of breath, then back to a floating position to breathe and rest. They will repeat this method until they safely find the side of the pool to climb out or until help arrives.

As I was watching classes this week I was reminded of a tool I’ve taught so many of my clients through coaching. It’s a tool on energy management.

While most people would say time is their most precious resource, it is actually energy they need most. Without energy we would never have the ability to perform, regardless of the time we have available.

So how do we manage our energy better? Like what ISR teaches, we need to learn to identify when we need a moment to stop and catch our breath. Studies show that we can only optimally perform for 90 minutes at a time. And it only takes about 3-5 minutes of doing something enjoyable to feel refreshed. Therefore, we can learn to structure our days to perform tasks in 90-minute increments with a 3-5 minute “float” after each. Allowing ourselves to float for 3-5 minutes does not completely rejuvenate our energy; however, it does provide enough refreshment to allow us to hit our next task hard for another 90-minutes. Together, this equates to a more effective and efficient day.

What kinds of tasks could you do for 3-5 minutes that would bring you enjoyment, essentially giving you a boost of energy? Some things that come to mind would be read an article, take a walk, grab a snack, call or text a friend, surf the internet, sit outside. The key is to keep the task to 3-5 minutes and it must be a task you enjoy: something you look forward to doing.

Try structuring your day with these simple “float” breaks and see what a difference it makes with your energy. Are you better able to navigate to the side of the pool?


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