As per encyclopedia Britannica, Energy, in Physics, is defined as the capacity to work. This means that if humans, animals or even machines exert greater energy, they would get more done in their lifetime. Take for example a rowing boat versus a speedboat. If both are given 2 hours, a speedboat would be a perfect choice if we want to go at a higher speed. The reason is that it is designed to exert greater energy. It has certain built-in design and engine components that make it move faster.
We moved into an industrially revolutionized world because we tapped the vast store of energy that the earth contains, both renewable and nonrenewable. Progress was accompanied by energy creation and management. Our abilities to harness energy has made us achieve so much and moved us towards a modern and equipped society.
Our greatest resource is not time or money, it is our energy. The most distinguishing difference between time and energy is that the latter is a finite resource, it cannot be created or multiplied. Everyone gets the same 24 hours in a day. From a clerk to a CEO, from a farmer to a student, from a child to an old man and so on. Sadhguru, a very famous spiritual guru once said, “time is slipping away for all of us at the same pace. You cannot manage time, but you can manage your energy”.
Time becomes irrelevant when you don’t have energy.
A 70-year-old man would have had lots of money and time, but if he doesn’t have energy, would he be able to enjoy life? And we have a live example to prove this point. As per 2015, national census study, the number of elderly people in Japan aged 65 or older accounts for 26.7 percent of the 127.11 million total population. The government there is worried over health-care costs, and a decreasing proportion of their respective citizenries active in the workforce. Many of these people come under the working category but they work at a decreased capacity and energy levels. The countries that have a younger population have an advantage over others. It is the same reason that organizations prefer and need young people. People with older age offer their unique advantages, but the energy and enthusiasm level in young people are specifically valued.
Research says that beyond a certain number of hours, our productivity starts to drop, making us automatically feel worked up. A study in 2014 by Stanford University examined the laborer from world war I. The research saw that productivity was proportionate to time up to 49 hours. Beyond that, it rose but at a decreasing rate. The static that came up was that productivity was equal for people who worked 49 hours and those who worked 56 hours.
Hence, organizations would prosper more if they don’t concentrate on strict timelines for employees rather enable them to put greater energy into their work and life so they can put more on the table while also maintaining their life balance. This is the reason why companies are offering workplace benefits like flexible hours, remote working, etc. Investing in human skills, knowledge, and expertise is important but if the employees would be lacking in energy, no skill and competence could make them come to work and give their best. Companies have realized that the commute takes up one’s energy and if someone’s jobs permit such a facility without affecting overall work, companies are happy to offer that today.
A very interesting research study was done in the year 2014 at the Centre of Effective Organizations (CEO) at the USC Marshall School of Business by researcher Theresa Welbourne. Though the energy of business leaders is on the rise, the research found that a majority of business leaders are working below or above their optimum energy levels and this explains their loss of productivity.
540 business leaders participated in the study were 61% reported that they work below their optimum production levels, 21% above their optimum energy levels and 18% at their most optimum level. Theresa Welbourne said “These findings are a cause for concern. We have over 15 years of research from hundreds of thousands of individuals showing that optimizing and directing energy positively drives high performance and growth.” She also said that working at both above and below your optimum energy levels is harmful to productivity, where people working above the threshold make more mistakes and leads to burnout. While in the opposite case, people below the level avoid challenges and get bored.
Energy is the prime basis of life. With proper use and understanding of energy creation, preservation, conservation, and channelization, energy can be seen as a source of vital power that can transform communities and organizations.