The range of what we think and do
Is limited by what we fail to notice
And because we fail to notice
That we fail to notice
There is little we can do
Until we notice
How failing to notice
Shapes our thoughts and deeds
• Psychiatrist R. D. Laing (quoted in The Power of Full Engagement)
I spoke at the second Take Your Brain to Lunch session today in Dallas, hosted and organized by our blogging colleagues Sara Smith and Cheryl Jensen. I presented my synopsis of The Power of Full Engagement, (The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz). It is a book that I have not revisited for quite some time. It is quite a book! A good book – useful helpful, clear.
Here’s a key quote:
We live in digital time. Our rhythms are rushed, rapid fire and relentless, our days carved up into bits and bytes. We celebrate breadth rather than depth, quick reaction more than considered reflection. We skim across the surface, alighting for brief moments at dozens of destinations but rarely remaining for long at any one. We race through our lives without pausing to consider who we really want to be or where we really want to go. We’re wired up but we’re melting down. We survive on too little sleep, wolf down fast foods on the run, fuel up with coffee, and cool down with alcohol and sleeping pills. Faced with relentless demands at work…, we return home feeling exhausted and often experience our families not as a source of joy and renewal, but as one more demand in an already overburdened life.
We walk around with day planners and to-do lists; Palm Pilots and BlackBerrys, instant pagers and pop-up reminders – all designed to help us manage our time better. We take pride in our ability to multitask, and we wear our willingness to put in long hours as a badge of honor. The term 24/7 describes a world in which work never ends.
As productivity rises even as unemployment rises, more and more people are having to accomplish more and more in essentially the same amount of time as before. Using time well is truly a survival skill. But the authors of this book argue that energy management is really the secret behind good time management.
The authors recommend that we all seek to become “corporate Athletes.” Here is what such a person focuses on:
• YOU MUST BECOME A CORPORATE ATHLETE®
1. Principle 1: Full engagement requires drawing on four separate but related sources of energy: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
2. Principle 2: Because energy capacity diminishes with overuse and with underuse, we must balance energy expenditure with intermittent energy renewal.
3. Principle 3: To build capacity, we must push beyond our normal limits, training in the same systematic way that elite athletes do.
4. Principle 4: Positive energy rituals – highly specific routines for managing energy – are the key to full engagement and sustained high performance.
If you are feeling a time squeeze, it is likely that you are actually experiencing an energy squeeze. Check out this fine book – it could be quite helpful and useful.
You can purchase my synopsis of this book, with audio and handout, from our companion web site at 15minutebusinessbooks.com.