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Bring your best self to work with these energy management tips

Here, we’ll offer practical steps to help you effectively manage your energy so that you can bring your best self to work and kiss those days of exhaustion goodbye. 
Courtney Norton, Content Writer

Picture this: it’s been a really long day at work. You’re absolutely exhausted after attempting to tackle what seems like a mountain of work, not to mention attending multiple meetings that definitely could have been emails. You’re looking forward to home time and know it’s coming soon.  

You look at the clock to plan the last few minutes of your workday, only to discover it’s barely lunch time. Four hours of the typical workday still to go. Heartbreaking. You’re so tired.  

There’s no way you can work to your full potential for the rest of the day. However, there’s also too much work to complete for you to stop.  

While you could just push through the tiredness, that may not result in your best work. Never fear, there is a way around this; energy management. 

No, we don’t just mean an extra cup of coffee to get a boost of caffeine (though that’s not necessarily a bad thing). Energy management is about tackling exhaustion before it hits, or at least before it affects your ability to work to your full potential. 


Here, we’ll offer practical steps to help you effectively manage your energy so that you can bring your best self to work and kiss those days of exhaustion goodbye. 

Take advantage of your Ultradian rhythms

For those unfamiliar with the term ‘Ultradian rhythms’, it may sound like something a dodgy local psychic would tell you to ‘tune into’. We’re happy to report that it’s much more than that. There’s real neuroscience behind it that you can use to optimise both your workplace productivity and energy. 

Ultradian rhythms are 90-to-120-minute cycles where our bodies slowly progress from a high-energy state to a low-energy state.  

You can recognise when you might be entering a low-energy state if you begin to experience signs like hunger, restlessness, and yawning.  

When you approach the end of an Ultradian cycle, and therefore a low-energy state, your body starts to crave a period of recovery. During these low-energy states, you may not feel complete exhaustion and decide that you can push through it. While this might sound like a good idea to get work completed sooner, it can have detrimental effects on overall productivity. 

If you ignore the signs of entering a low-energy state, your energy reservoir ends up more depleted overall. However, by paying attention to your Ultradian rhythms and recognising when you may be entering a low-energy state, you can recognise when it may be time for a break. 

If you’re unsure about recognising these symptoms before they impact your day, scheduling intermittent breaks every 90 to 120 minutes can help renew your daily energy. 

Taking regular breaks with the purpose of energy renewal results in higher and more sustainable performance overall.

Buy yourself extra time 

Okay, we hear you. There’s only 24 hours in a day and even fewer in a typical workday. Buying extra time is simply not possible. While that’s technically true, there’s a way to give the illusion of having extra time in the workday. It comes down to something everyone does all the time: breathing. 

Taking a deep breath in and then breathing out for 5 to 6 seconds not only helps to induce relaxation but can also help turn off the brain’s fight or flight response, which takes over during periods of stress.  

While the brain is in fight or flight mode, it's nearly impossible to think clearly and logically - so of course it’s also nearly impossible to make the best decisions at work. If subpar decisions are being made, that can unintentionally create more stress and problems down the line, thereby taking up unnecessary time during the workday. 


By using breathing techniques to consciously turn off fight or flight mode, you are buying back the time that would have been lost to panic, stress, and unclear decision-making. You can then use that time to get more work done, network with peers, or even plan for the days ahead.

Going for a walk 

Going for a walk is probably a tip you’ve heard before. It sounds cheesy and may even make you roll your eyes a little. Before you dismiss it entirely, going for a walk does way more for energy management than just helping you to ‘calm down’.  

Just like ‘Ultradian rhythms’, there is genuine neuroscience to back up the effectiveness of taking time out of your workday to go for a short walk.  

When you go for a walk, your brain is no longer actively thinking in the same way it would while you’re sitting at your desk at work. This allows for the dominant left hemisphere of the brain to take a bit of a break and allow the right hemisphere of the brain to have more input. The right hemisphere of the brain is more focused on the bigger picture and allows for more creative thinking than the left hemisphere. 

You never know what incredible new ideas may come to you while on a walk that may have gone undiscovered otherwise!  

What can workplace leaders do to help? 

Like anything else in the world of work, workplace leaders set the example for energy management in the workplace. Arguably, workplace leaders are some of the busiest people in a business. If you are a business leader, you may be thinking, “I don’t have time for all this energy management stuff.” Some of these tips we’ve mentioned take only seconds out of the day but can add hours of value and productivity. They are absolutely worth doing from both a business and emotional wellbeing standpoint. 

When other employees see that their leaders are committing to managing their energy effectively, they’re more likely to follow suit.  

Even if workplace leaders can’t commit to all these energy management tips, simply encouraging employees to follow them and commending them when they do will have positive knock-on effects throughout the business. Employees will be able to complete more work. At the same time, they can decrease their stress levels and therefore increase their psychological safety at work. 

For more insights on energy management and other L&D news, subscribe to the Go1 newsletter to stay on top of all the latest L&D trends. Or, you can book a demo today to find out how Go1 can help with your team’s learning needs.  

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