I've always been told that I needed to manage my time, so I get up at the crack of dawn and work until dusk. I make a schedule every day, build agendas for my meetings, and I try to be physically present at each event that is important to my family and me. I always thought that scheduling everything down to the minute was an effective way to manage myself.
My son's baseball games are one of these events that are important to me. There's one particular game that I remember, where I brought my computer along to do some work. We've all done it before. But being a good father, when it was time for my son to step up to the plate, I would close my computer so I could watch him intently.
But once his at-bat was completed, my attention would immediately return to my computer. After the game, my son came up and said, "Dad, I know your work is important and you don't have to be here if you don't want to be." I asked him why he would say that! I always showed up on time and watched every play he was in. He said "Dad, it is not about you being here on time, it is about you being engaged while you are here. You are here physically, but not mentally." My son really made me think. Am I living life to the fullest and am I managing the right things?
As I started trying to find the answers to this question, I quickly realized that like many others, I was measuring the wrong things. The book that opened my eyes was The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz. This book discussed that managing energy, rather than time, is the key to high performance and personal renewal.
There are three main lessons in the book:
Now that I manage my energy and not my time I am more focused and engaged. I am physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually present in mind and in body instead of always focusing on the next "to do" on my list. Life is not meant to be measured in how many tasks we check off that list.
Philip F. Johndrow is a 33-year military veteran and a graduate of Trident's Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master of Business Administration programs. He currently serves as Trident's National Director of Military & Veteran Alliances.