Have you ever felt drained of all energy by mid-day? Did you even notice that some days you feel energized at this same time of day, perhaps on weekends? Do you have particular activities, perhaps a particular meeting, that wears you out more than others?
There are so many tips out there for preserving battery life on your phone, but what about preserving our own energy? Like a phone, we charge overnight, and like a phone, we run processes that can drain our battery. Let’s take a look at what gives us energy and what sucks it all out.
I set an intention this year to avoid things that suck my energy, and move into things that give me energy. It required some real focus to sort through and find where my energy was leaking out. Then I had to figure out how to eliminate or reframe the energy suckers.
Here’s what I tried:
- List the things that give me energy. I was so caught up in my day-to-day that I lost my awareness of things that gave me energy. At this early point in my journey, it was specifically about how I would spend my evenings. I had been committing to very worthy evening activities that I came to dread as the day wore on. For me, creativity and learning are important in the evenings. And I decided that it really has to be stellar for me to give up evening time with my kids.
Then I started wondering, well why only evenings? Why can’t I do energy-generating things all day? That’s when I started putting more emphasis on creativity at work. And here I am blogging.
- List the things that suck my energy. I call things that drain your energy, “Energy Vampires.” For me, as an introvert, large groups of people can drain my energy. The real challenge was saying no to worthy causes. It was also a new skill to figure out how I would feel in the future. New things are always so exciting! I had to ask myself how I will feel when I am actually doing them?
- Eliminate Energy Suckers. I started by eliminating energy suckers first. This left me with some space. I learned that space isn’t so bad. I played ball with my son more. I breathed. It was nice.
- Reframe Energy Suckers that I can’t Eliminate. There were some things that I was dreading but couldn’t eliminate. Do you hate one-on-ones with your boss? You might have to keep that. I dug deep to discover what it was about those activities that were draining my energy. I found what it was inside me that was so affected, and shifted my perspective. For example, there was a meeting that was just so draining. Everyone would talk at once, everyone was positioning, I felt like no one was hearing each other, it was a series of soliloquies. Why did this wear me out? Because I felt that I needed to fix it. When I let go of my need to fix the meeting, I was able to move into deep listening and curiosity which ironically, ended up improving the dysfunction.
Do you struggle with your personal battery life? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!