New Year! New Energy!

First blog of 2012 and I am feeling like I am ready to rock ‘n roll!

Took a week off between Christmas and New Year to re-charge the ol’ batteries. Caught up with loved ones and friends, watched a lot of Anthony Bourdain and Jaime Oliver on Youtube, got up late, ate slow healthy food, worked out in the gym and didnt touch booze for 7 days (which is some achievement for those that know my resistance to a beer or vodka soda to curb the edge off). And because I was away from Singapore, I didnt have access to data on my iPhone, so wasnt checking my emails, twitter and facebook feeds all day, only once or twice daily when the curiosity got the better of me.

In today’s Sunday Times (Singapore’s main newspaper), there was an interesting article on a new modern social “curse” called ITSO. Inability To Switch Off. We are connected 24/7, addicted to the tiny screen in our palms for new info and updates and the compulsive need to reply, update, tweet, post as if our lives depended on it. This has lead to burn out and exhaustion. So much so that Volkswagen in Germany has vowed to switch off the email server 30 mins after quitting time and only turn it on again when work begins the next day. Another example of burn out was the CEO of Llyods Bank, Antonio Horta-Osorio, he recently had to take a leave of absence after going 5 days without sleep because of his inability to switch off work.

So, we have been warned. We are pushing ourselves like machines whizzing at high speed for long periods of time, juggling multiple tasks. ITSO!

As always as part of new year tradition, I am setting my goals to cultivate a better self.

My focus for this year is not to work longer hours, I can’t, there is only 24 hours a day and I am already fully engaged in work, 9am to 630pm, checking emails after 10pm.

ENERGY! is my goal. Creating, renewing, focusing, intense, powerful. Check out the Energy Project by Tony Schwartz on Youtube. Some good advice on harnessing and working 90 mins stretches to maximise productivity by focusing your energy on a specific task.

Turn off all the distractions from the pings! and dings! of SMSes, twitter feeds and faceboook messages when you are focusing on a task or in a meeting. I constantly catch myself trying to do too many tasks at once. Humans are just not built for multitasking. Once distracted it takes more energy to get back to what we were doing before.

Also work on our physical, emotional, mental, spiritual fitness to maintain energy. Although this sounds pretty straight forward, not many of us get the right amount of exercise, sleep, thinking/meditation time as we should.

Now, how to manage those energy zapping constant stream of bloody emails. I have started to cut down on sending internal emails, especially those with 1 word “thanks” and “ok” replies. Also I have told my team if possible to use Google chat to get quick responses for non important issues. That would cut down on the number of emails clogged up in my inbox.

So that’s my “thing” for 2012, and I will need every bit of energy for the mountain of challenges ahead of me.

What’s your new year resolution? Please share any tips you have on how you boost your energy levels.


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