DRIVEN’s First Energy Management Workshop: The 3 Big Takeaways

The first in a series of four DRIVEN Personal Energy Management Workshops, held at the offices of our corporate supporter RSM on April 28th, had the intended effect of energizing its participants by opening their minds to all the possibilities afforded to them. Evidence in renewed energy was apparent: Their feedback was abundant, hitting enthusiastically on many techniques we discussed. Among them, there were three that we kept hearing about. Here’s a little summation.

Time Quadrant 2Slide1

The Franklin Covey “time chart” was used to analyze the energy we expend while going about our daily tasks, separating them into four quadrants. During our session, we looked at such tasks in respect to urgency and importance. It soon became clear that much of what we get caught up in indeed constitutes as “urgent and important” (Quadrant 1). However, these tasks are clearly NOT within our control. Many of us also get stuck in “urgent but unimportant” (Quadrant 3), which means that if these tasks don’t get done, it wouldn’t really matter in the greater scheme. While we’re there in Quadrant 3, we feel busy but don’t accomplish anything. Once we’re mindful of becoming lost in this sort of work, we can stop the cycle of meaningless work rewarded by a hit of dopamine. Participants echoed the sentiment that they would instead carve out more Quadrant 2 time. This means blocking out time in their schedule for NON-urgent, nevertheless very important work. Quadrant 2 was embraced as the golden quadrant, representing the type of work that eventually mitigates our Quadrant 1 needs. This is also the type of work that is energetically restorative. Ahhhh!

The Out-Of-Office Message

Quadrant 2 is certainly the place more of us should want to work. The great modern challenge is that we are plagued with incoming information and numerous, perpetual distractions. Considering today’s profound diversion paradigm, it’s more important than ever to eliminate disturbances to preserve mental and emotional energy. Closing down your email tab is a great place to start, as it keeps your eye and your mind from wandering over to your inbox. This is a huge step towards greater mental focus, since it has been shown that the temptation to read a newly-received message is as addictive as Oreos and even cocaine! To maximize this technique, many participants agreed to use their Out-Of-Office auto response as a way to alleviate an emotional “slow drain”. The unconscious stress of feeling like you have to respond right away to received email eats away at your emotional energy. The O-O-O alert enhances one’s focus, knowing that no one is expecting a response right away at the other end of those incoming messages.

Celebrating Successes

You might say that DRIVEN is obsessed with success. I’m not necessarily referring to the huge milestones of one’s life, but rather the baby steps we achieve many times each day. Once our workshop participants understood that the brain can’t tell the difference between small successes and game-changing ones, the majority decision was to commit to giving themselves ‘at-a-girls’ throughout the course of the day. This emotional energy boost allows us to acknowledge progress while simultaneously building confidence. The more we succeed, the more confident we are that we will succeed again. This amounts to a nudging of our momentum to perpetuate each success. Furthermore, the group then requested that we share our successes with each other monthly, as a form of accountability, support and an overall feeling of group success. With such passionate follow-through, I’d say the 28th was one successful event! If it sounds like something you’d like to be involved in, we are offering 3 more workshop sessions through July 2016. Find out more HERE.