Tony Schwartz, Founder of The Energy Project, is an expert on managing his energy. He speaks often (including at 99U), advising creatives to take breaks and recharge. But recently, he found himself exhausted. So what does an expert on energy do when he has none? From his post on The Energy Project company blog:

I woke up one morning about four weeks ago and realized in a flash that I’d hit a wall. Most days I can’t wait to get to work. On this day, I struggled to get myself out of the house.


One of the primary principles of the work we teach at The Energy Project is that the greater the performance demand, the greater the need for recovery. I needed a vacation, but what I needed most of all was a period of total digital disconnection. My brain felt overloaded and I needed time to clear it out.

Tony’s struggles should serve as a reminder to us all: knowing what to do and doing it are miles apart. Even Tony, who thinks about his energy levels everyday can get caught up in the busy trap. Luckily, he was able to take a break and get back to feeling like himself again with a slightly new routine:

Twice a week — including this morning — I’m spending the first several hours of the day at home, working on projects that require focused attention, with my email and internet turned off. At the end of each work day, I’m going to spend at least a half-hour reading — and savoring — a book. The key to being more fully absorbed is to regularly and fully disconnect.

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