December Reading Recommendation: The Power of Full Engagement
The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz is one of my favorite books to recommend to my coaching clients. Why? Because the prescriptions offered for becoming more engaged with your life and work are life-changing. I’ve used them personally, and they really work. Years ago, at an Association for Training and Development meeting in Broward County, Florida I had the opportunity to share the stage with Jim Loehr who shared many great ideas from his book including the following:
- The number of hours in a day is fixed, but the quantity and quality of energy available to us is not. You determine how much energy to put into your day, as well as how you use that energy to your advantage.
- To achieve great things we must manage our energy, not just our time. When we develop routines that give us energy (e.g., taking breaks after 90 minutes, eating a healthy breakfast, scheduling downtime and focusing on one task at a time), we can get so much more accomplished in the same amount of time.
- It’s much better for us psychologically and physically, if we think about our work as a series of sprints, rather than as a long distance run. Through research at their company LGE Performance Systems, Schwartz and Loehr found that after 90 minutes of intense activity we need a break. So if you’ve sat in meetings that have lasted over 90 minutes, this explains why you may have “checked out.” Those who don’t take a break will see a decrease in productivity, whereas those who do take a break will see increased productivity. Year’s ago while working at NASA, a NASA scientist told me, “If you don’t take a break, your body will take a break for you.” This fact is backed-up by scientific research and case studies that Loehr and Schwartz conducted by working with Olympic-level athletes and world-class performers in a variety of fields.
- To be fully engaged, we must be physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused and spiritually aligned with a purpose beyond our immediate self-interest. According to the Gallup Organization, less than 30 percent of workers in America are fully engaged. In addition, a full 19 percent are actively disengaged, which not only means they are not working, but they are actually participating in activities that are working against the organization
If you, or someone you know, is disengaged, or searching for more meaning, purpose, pleasure and connection in life, this book offers some great tools and strategies to get you started.