For most of my career, I didn’t block out times on my calendar. I thought being the best servant leader I could be meant my time was my team’s time.
Then a couple of years ago, I went into a meeting as drained as I could be. And it was infectious — I could feel the whole leadership team’s energy levels just dissipate.
By not managing my energy, all I did was suck all the energy out of the room. At that point, I promised myself I wouldn’t show up like that again.
Being a leader means managing your energy.
And… I get it. Sometimes it’s hard to do. Luckily, Molly Fletcher came on the show with some amazing tips on how we can better manage our energy.
Molly took lessons learned about energy management throughout her long career as a sports agent and, later, CEO of The Molly Fletcher Company and turned them into the awesome new book The Energy Clock.
What inspired The Energy Clock?
Molly: As a sports agent for almost 20 years, I saw the way the greatest athletes prepared and leaned into what really is a unique window of time.
They knew their performance was directly related and indicative of their ability to accurately and effectively manage their energy. And the best ones knew how to say no to the things that weren’t important for them to execute while saying yes to the things that were.
They were incredibly intentional about managing their energy, not just their time. As I got more into the business world, I began to see a gap.
People could take the same mindset athletes have about performance and energy management and deliver better results in their own field.
That was the impetus for creating the book.
What is an energy clock (& how do I manage it)?
Molly: The reason we call it “the energy clock” is because there is such a tight correlation between energy and our calendars. So, the big idea is getting people clear on the things in life that lift them up.
What gives you energy? Mentally, emotionally, relationally, spiritually — all of those things. Then we get people to gather those things and write them down.
Next, we take a look at the things that are energy neutral. The things that exist in your life, but are just a necessary part of the way you show up and live in the world.
Finally, we look at the energy drainers. These are the things you maybe see on your calendar and think: Just kill me; I do not want to do those things.
We take these and we color-code them. Greens lift you up, oranges are energy neutral and reds are the things that drain you.
Then, we help people get intentional about how to actually schedule their days and their lives to ensure they have more green on their calendars than anything else.
What about relationships?
Molly: Salespeople and marketing can relate to this: I had a client who called me all the time and she was absolutely exhausting. She called 2 or 3 times a day. Every time she called, it was a total grind.
And, what I found, was the amount of energy I was putting to that particular relationship was significant.
So, I thought about what Tom Izzo, head coach at Michigan State, tells his players every season: You better be better than your problems.
In other words, you’ve got to be so good, you’re worth the trouble. And I’m not sure she was better than her problems.
So, I let that relationship go.
And when you look down at your phone and want to hit decline, that’s someone taking you to the red. Being more intentional about managing our energy around those relationships is key because I believe, at scale, they’re not sustainable over time.
How green should my calendar be?
Molly: We want to make sure that 75-80% of our calendar days are green. That is sustainable.
That is a life aligned with putting our energy against our values. I believe that it’s important to align our values with where we put our energy. It’s just important we pause and be intentional.
At the end of every week, look back at your calendar, do an audit on how you did and how you felt.
We can’t sell if we’re exhausted. We can’t get on the phone or walk into an office with the kind of energy and presence that we need if we’re fried.
Managing our energy is controllable. I mean, there are things in life we can control and things we can’t.