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Worn out at work?

Or, perhaps you wish your day had 48 hours. Do more in less time by managing your energy.

Anumeha Chaturvedi | Print Edition: April 18, 2010

Back-to-back meetings, endless brainstorming and missed deadlines. Is there time for much else, you wonder? Well, you couldn't be further from the truth, if authors Jim Loehr and Tony Shwartz are to be believed. In their book, The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal, they emphasise the basic premise that performance, health and happiness are grounded in the skillful management of energy. The number of hours in a day is fixed, but the energy waiting to be tapped upon is not. And fuelling the fire requires physical fitness.

"It's imperative for people to stick to regular fitness routines. And it's not always about an hour," says Vikram Bhatia, Managing Director, Fitness First. As the MD of this global chain of health clubs, Bhatia's work involves frequent travelling, too, but there's no missing the daily workout. "I didn't have much time to spare today, but I just got done with a 22-minutes Cross Fit Marine workout. Can people not spare 22 minutes in a day?" Bhatia goes on to say that both the benefits and ill-effects of workouts are often underestimated. "Consistency is important. Try to be regular with your workouts, but it doesn't have to be time-specific. The important point is not missing it." If you're regular with exercises, you're bound to get more results in the same time.

Even 30 minutes of exercises three times a week, should suffice. "You look fitter, feel better and energetic and are able to do a lot more. It could be working out at the gym or a walk at the park," he says. Equally important is setting realistic measurable, goals and routines and sticking to them. What about diet? "Fried, fatty foods are bound to sap you of all your energy and they make you sleepy and lethargic," says Dr Jyoti Arora, Team Leader (Nutrition and Dietics), Artemis Health Institute, Gurgaon.

"Skip high calorie desserts in summer and opt for lemon juice, coconut water and buttermilk to cool down instead." Arora also suggests lighter post-lunch snacks like steamed idlis, dhoklas and pasta salads to keep you going. "Don't be wary of big brand chains. Most of them maintain stringent quality control measures and it's always advisable to opt for Subway sandwiches and Tetra Pak juices over roadside joints." With some basic dietary and fitness plans in place, managing your energy could be a cinch.

SEVEN STEPS TO MANAGING YOUR ENERGY

  • Get up early and broadly plan your entire day.
  • Set realistic, measurable goals. Create a priority list.
  • Start your day with regular walks or jogs.
  • Exercise. Putting in 30 minutes three times a week would suffice, too.
  • Have a good breakfast. Foods rich in nutrients will see you through the day.
  • While at work, take a 15-minute walk outside to soak in fresh light and air.
  • Drink lots of water. Even slight dehydration can slow you down.

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