Work Tips: Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time

Michael Rozbruch - Work Tips for Tax Resolution ProfessionalsThese time / energy management tips are great for tax resolution practitioners!!

Time is Money. It’s an age-old proverb that drives us to map out and control every moment of our time. However, an overemphasis on paying attention to time may actually prove to be harmful to a productive business day. Teresa M. Amabile, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, suggests an over-focus on time hinders a person’s problem-solving ability and their aptitude for thinking up imaginative solutions.

The Harvard Business Review insists that truly productive individuals attempt to manage their energy over the abstract, overwhelming concept of time. Doing so isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Here are a few great tips for managing your energy in a way that can become second nature:


Getting caught up on the latest news, playing with your kids, enjoying a snack — the things that give us energy are the same things we want to sacrifice when we feel like there just isn’t enough time. In reality, these are the things we should be falling back on when we start to feel overwhelmed.


Ultradian rhythms are the cycles that occur throughout the day in which our bodies move from high energy to complete burnout. They tend to last from 90 to 120 minutes, and when we start to feel sluggish, we’re wired to think the answer is powering through with a cup of coffee. It’s not. At the end of 90 to 120 minutes of solid work, it’s time to take a break. Do one of those things that gives you energy. You’ll come back refreshed and ready to dive back in.


The human brain is designed to truly focus on one task at any given time. While we can catch up on Netflix while doing the dishes, trying to finish your tax returns while in a planning meeting with co-workers is a disaster waiting to happen. Give complete attention to one task before moving to another. You’ll feel less overwhelmed, you’ll finish quicker, and you’ll find your work is better than it would have been otherwise.


Once you’ve started focusing on your energy over your time, don’t let yourself fall back into bad habits. Work, relax, work, relax. The longer you stick to a new method, the easier it becomes. Soon you’ll find managing your energy is second nature, and your productivity will reap the benefits.