Scott H. Young, the author of “Learn more, Study less”, felt that energy management and time management were independent of each other and that both should be used entirely. He also believed that time management was a superior philosophy for peak productivity rather than energy management.
However, he realized he was as wrong as Donald Trump releasing a range of hair products. Although Scott had a schedule, organized his priorities and achieved good results, Scott still felt like something was missing. I also believe, that time management is vital. However, many people fail to tell you about the missing ingredient for peak performance. After reading the book, “The Power of Full Engagement” by Loehr and Schwartz he found the missing link – maximizing your energy.
In the book, it outlines the idea that most people are expected to maintain peak levels of performance for eight hours a day. This simply cannot be done. Hence, many people are left stressed and burnt out. We have a cycle of maximum productivity and recovery that allows us to give off our best results.
Scott’s discovery of combining the best of time and energy management certainly helped him achieve outstanding results during his studies. In 2012, he decided to try to learn MIT’s 4-year undergraduate computer science curriculum in 12 months, without taking any classes. This superhuman was successful in passing the final exams for 33 classes and completing the required programming projects.
The key point in the book, “The Power of Full Engagement”, is that energy – not time – is the primary currency for productivity. Scott has combined the book with his experiments and research. These are some of his ideas to help you maximize your study performance:
Cycle of Energy
Energy is a cyclical process, while time management is linear (well obviously, time doesn’t speed up or slow down for you. Unless you are the “Master of Space and Time” like Hiro Nakamura from the TV show Heroes).
Scott explains the cycle of energy as: “one where you are fully engaged and using all of your resources for maximum productivity, followed by a period of intensive recovery where you regain all of your energy for the task ahead.”
Action steps to achieve maximum productivity and recovery:
1) Track your energy levels and allocate tasks accordingly
This may take time, but after a few days, you may have a fair enough idea. For example, I’m super productive in the morning, so I do the most important tasks then. By mid-afternoon, it dips and then I get back to high levels of energy at 3 pm. I then try to stop any work after 7 pm as that’s when I know I am the most unproductive. Everyone is different. Find the times that are best for you.
2) Practice constructive disengagement
This means doing something that has no relationship with the previous task that you were working on. You can speed up the energy recovery process by doing this. It can be simple as going for a light walk, exercising, sitting back for 15 minutes, painting or reading fiction. (As you can see, you will get far more rest by doing these activities instead of watching television or being on your phone).
3) Take a day off.
Did you know that 2016 Premier League champions Leicester City, took more days off than other premier league clubs? Their manager believes that more recovery time than the standard kept them sharper and fitter. This helped them define their odds of winning of 5000-1. Fun Fact: the odds of Kim Kardashian becoming U.S President were greater than Leicester winning the league.
4) Most importantly, revel in free time
Use it to relax, to socialize and to explore new intellectual horizons. You reserve the right to spend an entire afternoon reading some random book you stumbled across. Catch up with friends over a drink (only if you are 18 years or older) or water (for those of you who are underage). Use your free time to follow your passion or to find your passion. Do all of this even if it means looking slightly less impressive on your resume. Do it because this recharge of your batteries means a better long-term you..