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The 4 Elements of Physical Energy and How to Master Them

“Manage your energy, not your time” – Tony Schwartz

This is the quote that made Tony Schwartzfamous. And it is one, that I believe best represents a truly efficient lifestyle in the 21stcentury the best.

And yet, living “manage your energy, not your time” is incredibly hard, at least for me. It probably took me around 1 year, to just fully grasp its meaning. Since then, I’ve turned my life upside down and changed my routine dramatically.

As one example, here at Buffer, we use an informal line to help us make better decisions. It goes something like this:

“Working more is never the answer.”

Whenever we are struggling under more workload, the first thing is to stop what we’re doing and think about a better way to manage our energy, not to add more work hours to our days.

Schwartz famously proclaims in his book, that most of us are chasing the wrong resource: hours in the day. Instead, we should focus on something entirely different: our energy.

Our energy can be broken down in 4 different elements:

  • Your physical energy – how healthy are you?
  • Your emotional energy – how happy are you?
  • Your mental energy – how well can you focus on something?
  • Your spiritual energy – why are you doing all of this? What is your purpose?

The order of how these energies are written down is not random by the way. But Tony gives them this specific order to guide us through developing our energies in the right way. And in doing so, your physical energy comes first, because it is naturally our base and foundation for any other energy or focus we want to develop.

So for this article, I wanted to break down all elements of physical energy as our most important foundation. Let’s dig in:

Your physical energy – how healthy are you?

Your physical energy naturally serves as the base, says Schwarz. It is going to be very tough to build out your other energies without taking care of your body first. What’s most interesting is that up until now, your physical energy is the most discounted element in our day to day lives.

To break it down further, how you arrive at optimal physical energy is through these 4 elements:

Nutrition – Do you keep a sustainable glucose level in your blood stream?

We’ve talked before about the importance of nutrition when it comes to productivity. After all, nutrition is your fuel. And yet, so many of us neglect what they eat every day gravely. Here is a typical graph of our glucose level, showing the difference between eating more sugar and less. From first sight it is clear that most of us base too much of their diet on the 3 big meal times throughout the day and get a similar spiky pattern of ups and downs:

Read More via The 4 Elements of Physical Energy and How to Master Them – The Buffer Blog.