Are You Draining Your Own Energy?

6253806401_9a9cd9a555.jpgYou may pride yourself on being the one person who says they’re going to get something done, and you don’t rest until it happens. But this can be a huge drain on your own energy reserves because you’re likely dancing to the tune of someone else’s agenda rather than your own.

One way to check and see if you’re constantly working on someone else’s “to do” list, check and see how you feel after you complete a task. If your energy is up and you feel like you could do it again, then make a note of that activity. If you’re left feeling drained and non-motivated, make a note of that as well. A list with a two-sided column next to it will suffice. When your energy is up, note it on the green side. If your energy is down, not it on the red side.

After a week, evaluate the tasks that you routinely do and check it against how you feel.

The idea is to spend more time on the green-column activities rather than on the red side. And I’m going to let you in on a secret, this is how your choices determine whether you live a life of obligation or of fulfillment.

Another way to stop the constant draining of your energy is to evaluate your internal clock. Are you a night owl? Or are you a morning person? The world seems to command that everyone become a morning person, and you are judged at work by how well you resemble a natural early riser. The problem comes in when you aren’t. Never have been. Never will be. Your entire body, all the way down to your cells is a night owl and by forcing yourself to get up earlier, you are not performing optimally.

Every single person has an optimal performance window, and it is up to you to discover what it is. While you may not have the natural instincts of a morning person, but work requires that you attend to tasks in the morning, see if you can shuffle things around so that you’re working on more difficult, cognitive tasks when you are more awake and functioning properly. You may never change your boss’s mind about when you ought to show up to work in the morning, but you can know you’re reassigning the important work for when you’re mentally capable of doing it.

Pay attention to your energy levels. When you are feeling high energy, then attack those tasks that are more challenging. Allow the less important tasks to wait for the times when you are less sharp and need the opportunity to coast a little bit. Your life will take a turn for the better when you manage your energy rather than allowing it to manage you.