3 Techniques to Save Energy and Boost Your Productivity

Mar 10, 2021

Energy is the essence of life.

Energy: “the strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity”.

You have a limited amount of energy within each day. You start with your tank full and, little by little, you spend it.

That’s why you have to take care of it.

Depending on how you manage it, that’s how you’ll perform, the results you will get, and how you will feel about yourself.

Your life depends on the energy you dedicate to many things: your work, your kids, your family, your friends, yourself.

If you become a good “energy manager”:

  • you’ll probably have a life of fulfillment,
  • a calm one,
  • based on relaxation,
  • executing things with coherence,
  • and enjoying each of those great moments that make your life unique.

You should be focused on using your energy to execute things because it’s by doing things how you move towards your goals, how you prosper, how you evolve.

Here, I will share with you 3 techniques I’ve been using and polishing for many years to optimize my energy consumption.

First, let’s start with an important concept: running things on autopilot.

My “obsession”: running things on autopilot

Don’t take “obsession” as something related to mental illness, but a way to define something I pay close attention to (and you should too…).

Using “radical concepts” helps our brains to perfectly understand “the concept”. Later on, I’ll share another “radical” one.

One of my main goals has always been creating processes that run on autopilot. Why is that?

Easy answer.

Something running on autopilot consumes as little energy as possible.

Wasn’t our goal to take care of our energy? There you got it!

Running things on autopilot saves you energy for the important things, the ones you care about, those that will move you towards your goals.

That’s why you should pay attention to things that consume your energy, such as:

  • Planning.
  • Memorization.
  • Anxiety.
  • Concerns.
  • Insecurity.

The more you avoid those activities or feelings (energy wasters), the less energy you’ll consume.

The more you run things on autopilot, the more energy you’ll save.

My big utopian goal

Thinking about a big goal, even if it’s a utopia, is useful.

It indicates a direction, a way to follow. It makes an abstract concept something concrete.

My (your) big goal would be this: waking up and not thinking at all what I (you) should do. I (you) would start doing tasks sequentially without thinking “what’s next”.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to live like that (and I guess you don’t either).

It’s just a utopian concept I’m using to get close to it without achieving it because I don’t want to be a robot. I love anarchy moments in my life, improvisation, surprises, unexpected things, rest, enjoy, live…

Focusing on that utopian goal makes me think: what should I do to get there?

Creating a utopian goal lets you think about tasks that “look in that direction”, although you will never accomplish it, mainly because it’s a “stupid” scenario that you’re not interested at all to achieve.

I start listing tasks (with common sense) and, from there, I start implementing.

That’s how I arrive at techniques such as the ones I will describe below.

Techniques

1. Checklists

Checklists allow you to focus your energy on executing your main goal.

Following a checklist doesn’t consume energy planning or memorizing. Just the opposite: executing.

I have hundreds (maybe thousands?) of checklists.

Some of them for “stupid little things”, like all the items I have to take with me before leaving home.

Some others for critical things, such as all the accounting tasks I have to perform at the end of each month for our four different companies.

Checklists are an essential tool to perform critical activities in fields as diverse as aviation, logistics, or maritime traffic, for example.

Whenever you get used to them, you will never let them go.

2. Routines

You could consider a routine like a checklist, but I’ve decided to take it outside and make a difference because there are some interesting concepts to focus on.

Firstly, the concept of routine itself.

A routine is just that, a routine, something you do without thinking you have to do it. It’s something you execute on autopilot.

Secondly, I’d like to mention the concept of time. A routine should always be executed at the same time so that you don’t have to plan it. It’s placed in its time block.

I have several routines throughout all my day: my morning routine, my afternoon routine, and my end-of-the-day routine.

Each routine is a list of tasks I execute sequentially without wasting my time thinking about what I should do, what comes next, and so forth.

3. Procedures

You should always look for patterns in your daily tasks.

Whenever you find one, define a process, create a checklist, or integrate it inside any of your routines.

Procedures make it easier to execute things because you don’t have to think about the how. You just do the things the procedure defines.

I would even say more. A procedure is a candidate for automation. You can use software or apps to execute it. That’s the highest point talking about energy saving.

Even if you can’t use software to execute procedures, you can always try to create checklists and insert them into any of your routines. That will also be an “energy-saving movement”.

Takeaways

  • Pay attention to all the things that make you lose energy.
  • Dedicate time to find those energy wasters that are consuming your time, your life.
  • See if you can eliminate any of them.
  • See if any of them can be converted into a checklist, inserted in a routine, and executed on autopilot.

Whenever you pay attention to these types of things, you save energy, you enter a world of control and coherence. That doesn’t mean a lack of freedom. Just the opposite: is when you will truly feel free.

You will have the maximum amount of energy to dedicate to your projects, to the ones you love, to yourself.

That state of calm, relaxation, control, security, confidence… will lead you to the way of fulfillment that always ends up in happiness.

Photo at the top courtesy of Alex Knight on Unsplash.

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