You ever notice how after working long hours, the actual quality of your work begins to suffer? There's a reason for that, and it's simple: you're tired. This is why it's so important to focus on maximizing our effectiveness over maximizing our hours. I'm going to give you some tips on how to do this.
The big goal here is sustainability. That's what you want to aim for overall. If you use your time wisely, and know when you work best, you'll have a more successful career (be it at the tables or off) and life.
5 Ways to Efficiently Use Energy
1. Don’t Take on Unnecessary Tasks
While life is full of things we have to do that we don’t want to, there are things we can opt out of doing if we don’t want to. You don’t have to accept every invitation, or rise to every challenge. Conserve your energy so you can use it for what matters.
2. Create Lists
You’d be amazed at how much mental energy you can free up by simply writing out your goals. Not only will this help you remember important things, but by committing your goals to paper, you’re making a contract with yourself – a contract you’re more likely to honour.
3. Take Breaks
Your success isn’t measured by how long you grind it out at the tables, or slave away at the office; it’s measured by the quality of what you accomplish without sacrificing your health. Make sure to take frequent breaks from your tasks. These mini-mental vacations are like hitting the ‘refresh’ button for your mind and body.
4. Be Ambitious, and Realistic
You shouldn’t be able to accomplish your life goals in one day, then you’re probably not being ambitious enough. This isn’t to say that some goals won’t be accomplished in a day, but the big goals can take weeks, months and even years – and that’s OK. (Remember to right them down!) According to research published in the Journal of Consumer Research, individuals who set higher goals tend to more satisfied.
5. Sleep Well
Chances are you’ve been tired before, and chances are when you were tired, you weren’t using your time well. Chances are your decision making was shot. If you want to be able to implement your goals properly and use your time wisely, make sure you’re rested enough to do it right.
Don’t worry about getting it done fast; just focus on getting it done right.
When you do things right the first time, it usually means you don't have to do them. When you learn something correctly, and with a fresh mind that can retain it, it's yours for good.
If however you learn things the wrong way, then to learn them right requires the same effort it would have required if you did it right the first time PLUS you have to unlearn your bad habits, and this creates a multiplier effect. Paving over the old 'easy to follow/path of least resistance' pathways requires much more practice until the new, right way becomes the easiest path.
That ’21 days until a new habit’ ideology is bogus, friends.
Researchers at UCL conclusively showed that breaking bad habits for some people took as little as 18 days, while for others it took well over 200. Like I said, it depends on how (and how firmly entrenched) the bad habit was in the first place.
A Classic Illustration
Think of the process of moving toward energy efficiency and away from time efficiency as exemplified by the tale of the tortoise and the hare, with a few happy additions: not only does the tortoise win the race, he gets to stop, smell the roses and enjoy the entire ride, all the way to the finish line.