Are there certain tasks you have to do but doing them leaves you feeling stressed and depleted? I call those things energy drainers.
Often we think that in order to get more done, we need to manage our time. That’s true to a point, but there is only so much you can do in 24 hours. We can’t create more time, but we can manage our energy.
Michael Hyatt said, “You will never be as productive as you need or want to be unless you have sufficient energy.”
As an example of what not to do, let me share how I spent my morning. I started out well by exercising and studying my Bible. But after breakfast, I scanned Instagram and Facebook, started responding to emails, got a call from my chiropractor and then had to look into my insurance benefits.
After wasting a couple of hours on all this, I noticed that I was feeling discouraged and depleted. That’s because I had spent the most energetic part of my day doing things that I find draining.
The best strategy for managing your energy is to identify your energy drainers, decide how to handle them, focus on your most important tasks first and add energy givers into your day.
Identify your energy drainers.
What are your energy drainers? Let me share a few examples that may help you identify the tasks that drain your energy most.
- Responding to emails
- Responding to texts
- Making phone calls
- Checking social media
- Too much noise
People can be energy drainers too. These are people who suck the life out of you whenever you are around them for very long. You don’t have to ban these people from your life, but it is helpful to know who they are, so you can limit the amount of time you spend with them.
Manage your energy drainers.
Go through the list of activities you identified as energy drainers, and decide which can be eliminated, limited or postponed.
- Eliminate. Some tasks like clutter or house cleaning may be eliminated by getting rid of them or outsourcing them to someone else.
- Limit. Spend less time with people who are energy drainers. You can also spend less time on social media, or choose to drive at times when there is no rush-hour traffic.
- Postpone. Let’s be real. There is no universe where I can stop responding to emails or making phone calls. But I can choose when to do these things. Some energy-draining activities can be postponed to a different time of day. It is best for me to respond to emails and texts, check social media and make phone calls in the afternoon when I feel less creative and energetic.
Tackle important things in your prime time.
Once you know what time of day you are at your best, do your most important tasks then. Keep the list small. I recommend only 3 per day, which I wrote about in this post titled Conquer Every Day Using This Trick.
The beauty of this technique is that if you have a busy day and you only get these 3 things accomplished, you have still done the most important things.
And sometimes, most important looks like playing a game with your child or making dinner. You get to define important.
Add energy givers to your day.
Part of managing your energy well is doing things that keep your energy level high.
So, now that you know your energy drainers, think of which tasks give you the opposite feelings. Which things give you energy, excite you, make you forget about time passing, put a spring in your step?
Add these things to your day when you are running low on energy.
On my list of energy givers? Working on this blog, exercising, being in nature, playing great music and listening to podcasts.
If you struggle with low energy, check out this post on 9 Ways to Boost Your Energy.
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