Today's Reading

This is not a book about time management or productivity. This is not a book about not hitting goals or not aiming high. In fact, it's the very opposite. It is a book about how we can set our energy clocks to drive daily connection between where we spend our time and what matters most to us. It's about learning to manage our energy to move our lives forward with purpose, not just stay on schedule.

Setting our energy clock is simple, but it isn't easy. No matter your gender, age, level of wealth or education, skin color, ethnicity, or job title, you have an energy clock, and it's up to you to set it. You control your energy—no one else does.

In the hour it takes to read this book, you could change the rest of your life. Setting your energy clock will change your relationship with yourself and with others. It will change the way you lead at home and at work.

Because here's the truth: there are lots of things in life we can't control, but one thing we can control is where we put our energy.

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PERFORMING AN ENERGY AUDIT

"Where your concentration goes, your energy flows, and that's what
grows." — Tom Brady NFL Quarterback
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TOM BRADY WILL GO DOWN AS ONE OF THE GREATEST

NFL players in history. It's easy to credit Brady's success to his immense talent, but that would only tell a sliver of the story.

One of the big reasons for Brady's success is that he is intentional about managing all aspects of his energy. Brady is known for his disciplined approach to health (the man considers avocado ice cream a treat) and fitness (hasn't missed a game due to injury in the last ten seasons), but he places an equal emphasis on the need to stay mentally focused and connected. "When you play professional sports," Brady said in a 2017 interview with Peter King, "you subject yourself to a lot of criticism. What I've learned from myself is I don't want to give my power away to other people by letting my own emotions be subjected to what their thoughts or opinions are. So if someone calls me something, that's their problem. It's not my problem. I'm not going to give away my power." 

He understands that results aren't an accident, but a byproduct of a conscious decision: Where will I focus my energy?

Like Brady, great leaders ask this question too. So do great teams. They are intentional about who and what they give their energy to and why.

Compare your energy audit to the audits technicians run on heating and cooling systems—there is a balance for both functions to create efficiency. You might think of heat as the energy you need to get things done, and cooling as the energy replacement time (down time) needed in between those bursts of energy. Both are important, especially in avoiding burnout.

The importance of energy management is magnified in endurance sports, where athletes have to compete over extended time periods and long distances. It's what Olympic marathoner Steve Spence calls "managing your energy pie."

He remembers the advice that physiologist David Martin gave him during training: There are always going to be runners who are faster than you. There will always be runners more talented than you, and runners who seem to be training harder than you. The key to beating them is to train harder and to learn how to most efficiently manage your energy pie.

All the things that take time and energy make up your energy pie, and there's only so much room in the pie. What are the pieces that make up your energy pie? Do they all belong in the pie? Or do you need to make some changes?

For Spence, running was his priority. He made the tough decision to quit graduate school and run professionally. He went on to compete in the world championships and made the 1992 Olympic marathon team.

That's the major difference that refocusing our energy can have on our performance.
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