What do you do when you run out of energy before the race ends?
The year is almost coming to an end. I have encountered many leaders who have expressed that they are experiencing diminished energy levels.
The fatigue is real. Many leaders have had a lot of grapple with responding to a once-in-a-generation economic crisis, not forgetting that we just came out of COVID-19.
While the holidays are around the corner, there are a couple of weeks left before the year ends. How do you find the energy to continue when the year has not ended?
One leader admitted, “My energy is a reflection of the energy in the room.” Leaders must set the right tone for the kind of energy that is needed to finish the race. You do not want to run out of energy at this crucial moment when you need to finish strong.
You must be sharp, focused, not grumpy, clear thinking. Your energy is a sum of what happens in your body, mind, emotions and spirit.
Every leader must have routines that enable them to nourish these essential components of their energy levels. Leaders get into a disturbing rut when they manage their energy poorly. There is a need to refuel all the time.
Slow down to accelerate;
You may think there is so much to do and there is no way you can slow down, take a rest and be able to finish up all the projects that are waiting for your attention.
This mindset does not support effective energy management. Indeed, no human being has the capacity for continuous exertion of energy without taking any meaningful rest.
You cannot continue 24/7. Top performance is based the principle of breaking and accelerating. It is the breaking that allows leaders to accelerate. This idea is demonstrated in the field of motor racing.
Many attribute the speed achieved by motor racing cars to the aerodynamics, tyres, and engine horsepower.
These are true, but the engineers will tell you that the most critical element is the extreme breaking capabilities of the cars.
Engineers can add more speed when they improve the breaking capabilities of the cars. In the same way, professionals can achieve superior performance when they punctuate acceleration with extreme breaks.
What do you do when you find yourself in a difficult situation where your phone's battery is almost dead, and there is a dumsor (power outage)? You can avoid this by being mindful of your phone's battery level and charging it regularly.
Sometimes in life, we encounter this scenario. What do you do when you have your energy level at 5 per cent and have critical projects to complete before the year ends? I have a couple of ideas for you:
1. Find time for recovery, no matter how busy you are:
Find opportunities to slow down and work at a pace that allows you to recharge your energies. Make the time to sleep at least 7 hours, have appropriate nutrition and exercise. You can take 15-minute walks every day.
These are the first aids you need at this moment. You will continue to haemorrhage if you ignore this simple advice. You must pay attention to your energy needs since you are at a critical minimum.
2. Reflect and reschedule:
Consider how you can be more productive and achieve more with the energy resources you have available.
Spending time to reflect on your work routines provides opportunities to improve actions. Which projects require your optimum energy level? Which times of the day are you most energetic? Answering these questions will help you to allocate the projects you have according to your energy resources.
3. Take away stuff that drains your energy:
It may be your commuting time. One leader has decided to work from home on Mondays and Fridays. He says commuting time can be used for rest and recovery activities. Avoid going for lunch with that colleague who continues to give negative energy.
4. Find routines that keep you energised:
Getting your mojo back will require engaging in activities you enjoy. These activities have nothing to do with your work. Whatever activity you pick should offer you a complete change of pace.
5. Design your work environment to inspire:
Your work environment affects your mood and energy. Any effort to improve your work environment will have a significant impact on your energy levels. Clear your workspace, and introduce elements to inspire you. For some, it may be family pictures, messages of motivation, inspiring artwork, flowers, etc.
6. Establish order with a plan:
I have always found that just laying out a plan for all the projects that are coming up makes it easier to manage. Planning enables me to get my energy back. After all, the workload is not as terrible as I envisaged. I become more confident that focusing on my plan will enable me to finish all projects on schedule.
7. Participate in an inspiring experience:
You can join me at the CEO Breakfast Retreat for all business executives. The retreat provides an opportunity to connect with other successful leaders and be energised by their stories. Celebrate all the ups and downs and create new pathways for growth in 2024.
8. Keep to your routines:
Everyone leader gets tired. You must pay attention to your body and respond appropriately. Act before you run out of energy and everything comes to a halt. You may be at 10% now, but that is better than 0%. Stick to your routines, and you will find your energy back at the level needed for accelerated performance.
…..be of good cheer!
The writer is the Founder of the CEO Accelerator Program and Chief Learning Strategist at TEMPLE Advisory. He specializes in leadership development, executive coaching and strategy consulting. The mission of The Leadership Project is to harvest highly effective leadership practices and share them in a manner that other leaders can easily incorporate into their leadership practice. If you have an idea or leadership practice to share, kindly write to