Untangling Time & Energy

Somewhere along the way you’ve probably been asked a question along the lines of ‘where are you spending your time & energy right now?’

You may have asked it yourself.

Time and energy are often paired together.

The answer to this question may contain a few elements, or it may contain one.

If we take a moment to think this question through, there are almost definitely multiple answers.

Time and energy may be connected, but knowing where the differences are is important.

And even if on face value the answer is the same, splitting these apart allows something else to appear that we may not expect.

A simple metaphor for thinking about this (albeit imperfectly [1]) is food.

Some foods give us a lot of energy.

Others less so.

There are we have to push ourselves into eating, and others we have to work hard to stay away from.

We can choose to spend our time on all manner of things, and we can also choose what cadence and intensity to apply to them.

Energy and time are both finite resources, but energy is a little different.

It’s a lever.

It’s worth considering:

  • Where do you spend your time?
  • Where do you apply your energy?
  • What do you want to put your time into?
  • What do you want to save your energy for?
  • Where do you gain energy? And what depletes it?

And next time you ask or answer this question, make it two.

You may notice something interesting happens.

 

[1] When Seth Godin told a story that he felt wasn’t quite yet aligned and in concert with the point he was looking to make, he described the feeling as ‘a story I’m not friends with yet’.

As it turns out, he recommends trying out these ‘stories you’re not friends with yet’ more than you’d think.

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