Rationing Your Creative Energy

I’ve spoken in the past in different places about time management and energy management, which is something I borrowed from the book “The Power of Full Engagement” where it says the purpose of time management is indeed energy management. As you get older, you understand more and more that if you’re not careful, you can find yourself with more time than you have energy, which is a weird feeling. From time to time, I’ve actually had that happen to me. 

What I’ve discovered lately is different categories of energy in your life. You can still have great physical energy and be able to go out and work hard or go do some exercise, but there just doesn’t seem to be a lot of juice upstairs mentally. 

One area of energy that I have become aware of lately, because I’m in multiple roles, is what I’m calling “creative energy”, which is the energy required to do creative work. Whether it’s something like generating this podcast, working on my Priority Pastor sales process, working on a sermon or working on a training, I’ve got these different roles I fulfill. Each of them has a component where creative energy is needed. 

I find that if I get tired in one area and I try to change gears to another area, that I will have used up my creative energy and there’s just not a lot left. What I’ve found is that even if my creative energy is down, I still have lots of energy overall. I have energy for meetings. I can have energy for administration. I can have energy for reading. I can have energy for research. Those are all things that do take some energy, but it’s like a different kind of mental juice that’s required. 

So what I’ve had to do as I’ve become very aware of the need, is guard my energy reserves. Good and bad stresses come into my life, both of which drain my creative energy in different ways, and I’ve got to be very strategic in how much energy I use, because I’ve only got so much of it in a given day or a given week. I’m finding I’ve got to use it for big ticket items and depending on what is on my schedule for the week, it will shift and change. I’ve got to recognize what’s going to take some creative juice. 

For instance, if I want to work on the sales process for my online items, my books and my priority pastor training, there is a high level of creativity needed there as I deal with writing, graphics and marketing issues. A lot of things come together, which takes a lot of energy. 

I’m finding that I’ve got to pace myself through all of those different forms of energy, which requires me to carefully lay out my week. This is really, I guess, a plug for the Dream Week idea where you lay out your ideal week, all the way through, and just plan it wisely and balance the flow of what you’re using your energy for. 

One recent change I did is now, on Monday morning right out of the gate, I work over some of my paid advertising because there’s some creativity needed. If I give myself to other stuff, I will just kind of squander not just the time, but also the money spent on that paid advertising. On Tuesdays, I have a staff meeting, which I put a lot of preparation time into that staff time first thing. Wednesday, the primary creative energy is sermon preparation. Thursday, my primary creative is webinars and podcast preparation. And Friday, I’m back to Sunday preparation and often board prep for the next week. 

So look at the flow of your week and make sure you space out the creative moments that you need so that you have prime creative energy for your big ticket items. Something I’m discovering at my stage in life is I don’t have all the energy in the world and I’ve noticed this particular category of creative energy is one I’ve got to use very carefully and wisely and strategically. 

Hope there’s a nugget there for you to chew on. Hope you’re having an outstanding day. God bless and press on!

2 thoughts on “Rationing Your Creative Energy”

    • For sure. Even though I am definitely a morning person and do most of my best work before lunch, I can often do some solid creative work in the evening. In fact I wrote the first draft of my first book in after dinner sessions.


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