Interval Training at the Office?

Do you ever tell yourself: “If only I had more time in the day”? Here’s a shift for you:  forget about managing your time, and start managing your energy.

Energy is our most precious resource.  The number of hours in our day is fixed, but the quantity and quality of energy is not.

Here’s the bottom line:

(1)              Each day, you start with a full cup of water. When you expend energy (working at your desk, managing a tough client, losing your patience getting everyone out the door in the morning!), you drink from your cup.  To stay energized throughout the day, you must continually fill up the cup.

(2)              Think of it like interval training – expend and recover, expend and recover.   If there is no recovery, we go into overdrive and burn out.  The result? A chocolate bar, an extra glass of wine, getting angry with your kids or spouse, and doing whatever it takes to “just get by” at the end of the day.

It doesn’t have to be this way…..

Here’s one thing you can do right now:

Map out tomorrow in 60 minute time intervals (start small with 3 intervals).  After each interval, take 5-10 minutes to recover (glass of water, healthy snack, walk around the office, sit ups and stretching – no electronics allowed!).  Even if you don’t want to break, do it anyway.

I challenge you to take one week, consciously fill up your cup at least six times per day, and learn what recovery methods work for you.   Authors Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, in The Power of Full Engagement, remind us that it’s not the intensity of your energy expenditure that causes burnout, it’s the duration of expenditure without adequate recovery.

While you are at it, remember to do the most important thing first each day – this is a great way to energize yourself!  A weight will be lifted off your shoulders by 10:00am.  For a reminder of this daily planning tip, click here.

If you are exhausted before you get to work and struggle to make it through your long days, I can help you identify your stressors, create a plan for maximal energy, and implement a new routine.  Contact me at

If you enjoyed my thoughts in this email, please pass it along to other lawyers and corporate professionals who could use help navigating their careers.

I coach lawyers and leaders through transition and turbulence to:

  • Show up 100% at the office and at home;
  • Reduce daily exhaustion and stress;
  • Build in structure and accountability for career plans and business development; and
  • Make confident decisions and navigate relationships to achieve their professional and personal goals.

2 Responses to Interval Training at the Office?

  1. Amy December 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    Energy! What a concept! I often leave a ton on my to-do list until after kids go to bed and then cannot function. Go figure!

  2. Angie Black December 5, 2011 at 7:20 am #

    What a fantastic way to look at time and energy management. As a personal trainer I have found interval training to be a highly successful fitness tool and love the idea of using this to manage your energy levels as well – it makes so much sense!

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