What I’ve learnt in all my years of coping with mental health illness is that energy is mental, physical and emotional. And when you become energy-poor, it affects your wellbeing in many ways.
Do you often feel like you’re constantly catching up with things? I’ve been there many times over. I used to get to Sunday evening and finally feel rested – only to get up on Monday and start over.
So, when you get into a cycle of desperately trying to preserve your energy then something needs to give. When your energy becomes depleted, your motivation also breaks down. It’s a cycle that becomes an unresourceful pattern hence the feeling that you’re falling down a rabbit hole. But what can be done about it?
First, Locate The Source.
A good question to ask yourself – and answer honestly – is ‘am I busy being productive, or am I busy being busy?’ Having a full diary during the week does not necessarily make you productive – it just zaps your energy.
Efficiency is not the same as effectiveness. Efficiency is about getting lots of stuff done. But effectiveness is about getting the right stuff done. So if you are effective, then the efficiency takes care of itself, right?
Know your energy zappers.
These are usually habits or things that you can ditch or make a few adjustments to. Trust me, it makes a difference.
Here are 10 ideas as to what could be zapping your energy (these aren’t always obvious) and how to deal with it:
#1. Procrastinating over that ‘big’ task or project. Solution: Just start. Somewhere. Anywhere. Research suggests that we are better off doing the ‘hard stuff’ first too. Break it down into a step-by-step actions.
#2. Rushing around pleasing everybody. Solution: Know when to say ‘no’ and when to say ‘yes’ – Highly successful people say no far more often.
#3. Drowning in lists – like, lists for the lists. Solution: Re-work your to-do list and re-wire your expectations. Instead, ask yourself, what’s one thing I can get done really well today?
#4. Not sticking to what you’ve decided to do or being flaky. Solution: Put your big girl/boy pants on and just be accountable – having an accountability buddy works well too.
#5. Feeling overwhelmed just looking at your desk or house. Solution: Change your environment once in a while. Step outside for some fresh air at lunch. Schedule some time to have a de-clutter.
#6. Struggling to stay focused. Solution: Use some meditation or mindfulness techniques. You can factor this into a morning or evening routine.
#7. Smart phone addiction. Solution: Set some boundaries that work for you or you could even give a ‘digital detox’ a go.
#8. Needing to be on the go. A lot. Solution: Do nothing. Literally, do nothing for just a few minutes a day.
#9. Falling asleep in meetings or in front of the TV at night. Solution: Practise the art of power napping (20 minutes) and get a good sleep routine going.
#10. Finding a surplus amount of holiday / leave left at the end of the year. Solution: Start using it! You can break it up and take a few days here and there or some late starts / early finishes.
Finding It Difficult To Get On Top Of Things?
Sometimes we need a more long-term strategy for dealing with unwanted behaviour patterns and limiting beliefs. Overwhelm exists in both of these things.
It’s ok – I’m here to support you. We can have a chat about whether coaching is a way to help you.