VARS* score:


3.5 / 5







The book


















* VARS: Vixabs Amazing Rating System

The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal


Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz

I recently read this innocuous sounding book and was pleasantly surprised by its perspicacity, its structure and presentation and the message it conveys.

This book starts off with a startling observation that the key to high performance is not managing "time" as is commonly perceived, but managing "energy", i.e. one has to be fully "engaged" in order to peak perform.

The examples the authors use are beguiling. They say we should look at our life as a "series of sprints" and not "a marathon", i.e. put in a 120% effort when working, but equally put in 120% effort into disengagement/ chilling, rather than constantly "plodding" along. In other words, expend maximum energy and then recover it. Its the same concept as maintaining the heart's health through physical exercise - in this case, the authors recommend that we adopt this along all energy dimensions.

What is full engagement - it means skilful management of energy along all dimensions:

       Physically energised - quantity of energy

       Emotionally connected - quality of energy

       Mentally focussed - focus of energy

       Spiritually aligned - force of energy

Apparently most of us are under-trained physically and spiritually and over-trained mentally and emotionally. We can build on all fronts systematically by starting off the physical dimension (exercise) which in turn gives emotional well being in terms of giving a more positive outlook to life as opportunity rather than a threat. This in turn builds a positive mental attitude and improves concentration, which then leads on to the spiritual dimension (honesty, integrity, persistence, etc.)

So it all boils down to the physical. How to manage physical energy?

1)       Go to bed early and wake up early

2)       Go to sleep and wake up consistently at the same times

3)       Eat 5 to 6 small meals daily

4)       Eat breakfast every day

5)       Eat a balanced healthy diet

6)       Minimise simple sugars

7)       Drink 48 to 64 ounces of water daily

8)       Take breaks every 90 minutes during work

9)       Get some physical activity daily

10)   Do at least 2 cardiovascular interval workouts and 2 strength training workouts a week.

Stay healthy, happy, connected and aware.


Hong Kong



February 2008




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February 29, 2008