Are you tired of being tired?
Are you tired of being tired?
Most people I talk to are tired. More importantly, they are tired of being tired. With all the time management tools, programs, and methods available, we still have more to do than time to do it. Here’s the thing – managing time isn’t your problem, it’s managing your energy.
You have an energy tank, much like your gas tank. Everything you do either adds energy or depletes it. Energy management is more than reducing negative energy, it’s about increasing positive energy as well. Doing things that make you smile, bring you joy, and support your physical and mental well-being fill up your tank. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that empty it.
I did a quick mental audit to identify where I’ve been wasting unnecessary energy, and I was surprised by what I found. What depletes my energy reserves?
Trying to get people to change their mind
Beating myself up
Worrying about what other people think
Taking things personally
Passing blame or judgment
Worrying about things I can’t control
Being critical of myself and others
What empties your energy tank?
If the last 22 months have taught us anything, it is that life is short, time is precious, and our energy is limited.
If you are feeling depleted, here are 3 ways to manage your energy, improve your focus, and build resilience:
1. Identify what drains your tank.
Make a list of things that deplete your energy. It could include people, situations, or your own thoughts. It’s hard to protect your energy if you aren’t sure what causes you to lose it in the first place. Anytime you feel depleted, write down what you were doing or thinking that led to it. This helps you identify patterns and allows you to build awareness of your energy levels.
2. Set clear boundaries.
Comedian Amy Schumer jokes that she took her mom to a soccer game, just to show her what boundaries look like. Think about the things you complain about to your co-workers, manager, kids, spouse, etc. It’s probably time to set a boundary there. Rather than tell people what you don’t want, tell them what to do instead.
For example, if colleagues are emailing you after hours, a boundary might be adding this to your signature line:
Note: In the spirit of balancing work, life, and my mental health, I do not check emails after 6pm or on weekends. I am sending this email when it’s convenient for me; please respond when it’s convenient for you.
I find humor can go a long way, so I add: If this is an emergency, please hang up and dial 911.
Another boundary might be creating some alone time. If the bedroom is the only room in the house where you feel you can escape, a clear boundary would be: When I am in my bedroom with the door closed, it’s because I need a moment alone.
Boundaries are a kind way to express what you need and protect your energy.
3. Identify activities that increase your energy.
What are some of the things that help you to feel refreshed? A walk, time with friends, a long bath, reading a good book? These don’t need to be big things. When you feel a wave of energy, keep track of what you were doing right before it. Make a list of these things so that you remember to take time to do them. When you’re tired, these things can be hard to remember, so it’s helpful to keep this list handy.
And don’t forget to increase positive energy by scheduling time in your daily calendar to engage in activities that bring you joy. These are often the things that fall to the bottom of our to-do list, but cultivating joy provides the mental energy to get everything else done.
Take time to refresh, recharge, and respect your mental and physical health and well-being. Your energy tank will thank you!
Stay brave and resilient,
Anne Grady is a Speaker, Author, and #TruthBomb Dropper.
Anne shares practical strategies that can be applied both personally and professionally to improve relationships, navigate change, and triumph over adversity. And she’ll make you laugh while she does it. Anne is a two time TEDx speaker, and her work has been featured in numerous media outlets, including Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Fast Company and Inc. magazines, CNN, ESPN, and FOX Business. She is the best selling author of 52 Strategies for Life, Love & Work and Strong Enough: Choosing Courage, Resilience and Triumph.