Do you suffer from that afternoon energy slump? You know that moment when your energy levels dip and you could really do with a nap. Except, you can’t because you have piles of work to do and a family to look after.
Back in my early corporate days, as the energy crash hit around 2:30-3pm, I found myself gravitating towards the vending machine. Staring at the chocolate selection, wondering which one will give me a boost to get me through the afternoon.
It turns out getting that sugar kick was a false economy. In fact, it made things worse.
When I started my coaching practice, being at my best throughout the day, every day was vital.
So, I spent time researching and experimenting with different ways to achieve that.
Two key aspects became apparent.
1. You can do things to BOOST your energy levels.
2. You can do things to PRESERVE & PROTECT yourself from energy suckers.
From speaking with clients and hundreds of attendees of my talks and webinars, most people look for ways to boost their energy and are often oblivious about what they can do to protect it.
This is a false economy.
I believe that it’s smarter to first look at how you can protect and preserve your energy levels.
Think of it as first fixing a leaking petrol tank instead of continuously pouring gallons of petrol and always having an empty tank.
Today, I want to share with you my top three most powerful ways to protect and preserve your precious energy.
1. Put an end to multitasking
Does this ring a bell? You are writing a proposal to a client…
When an email pops up, it contains a link to an article and you click on it to read it…
As your browser opens up, you see a LinkedIn or a Facebook notification so you check it out…
Before you know it, you are watching an intriguing video…
And then you realise “Hold on; I’ve got to get back to my proposal!“
What has just happened is this: Your brain has been forced to change from one gear to another, multiple times in a short period of time.
As a result, returning to complete the proposal will now require you to spend extra time and energy. This is because your brain needs to re-calibrate itself and remember where you were up to and what you were going to do next.
When it comes to cognitive functions, your brain switches quickly between different tasks when we imagine that we’re juggling different tasks simultaneously.
Did you know that this type of task-switching increases your stress levels and exhausts you unnecessarily?
If you want to reduce your stress levels, stop attempting to multitask (i.e. switch quickly between different tasks) and focus on one activity at a time.
✓ You will get more done
✓ You will accomplish it quicker
✓ It will be of a higher quality
✓ You’ll have more energy
Review & Reflection Tip:
Think of areas where you often attempt to multi-task.
Given what you’ve just learned – does it still make sense for you to continue this way?
What changes will you make as of today?
2. Nip interruptions & distractions in the bud
Interruptions and distractions to your flow = Leakage of Precious Time & Energy
How often does your attention gets pulled away from what you’re currently focused on by:
Various notifications popping up on your phone?
A family member/pet barging into your home office space to announce something? (Guilty as charged! 😬)
Going on social media to follow-up with a contact, instead, you end up scrolling through your feed?
Sometimes, these are inevitable.
Still, they can also be managed and reduced.
To truly appreciate the impact of interruptions and distractions and their volume, try keeping a log for a day or two.
Write down what distracted or interrupted you.
Against each entry, note:
✓ Is it relevant?
✓ Is it necessary?
✓ Could it wait?
Review & Reflection Tips:
What do you notice? What patterns can you see?
What’s the most impactful change that you could make this week?
3. Get rid of energy vampires
It’s an unfortunate fact of life, that despite your best intentions, there may be various things that drain your energy, erode your enthusiasm, dwindle your determination or paralyse your plans.
The first step is to understand what are the energy vampires in your life?
These could come in various forms – Activities, People, Places, etc.
👉 WHAT activities or tasks drain my energy?
Consider mind-numbing work tasks as well as personal commitments (that you really wish you could get out of) or domestic chores (e.g. the hoovering).
👉 WHO drains my energy?
Yes, you’re your own boss. Still, are there any clients, associates, people with whom you work, who are draining your energy?
What about outside of work, any family dramas or bickering?
Or perhaps, a highly negative friend?
👉 WHERE are the places or which are the events that drain my energy?
Maybe there is a particular networking event that you attend, and as soon as you enter the room you feel your shoulder begins to stiffen?
What examples of energy vampires can you think of?
Over to you
What is your main takeaway from reading this article?
Share in the comments below one specific action you’ll take to protect and preserve your energy.
I personally respond to your ideas and questions.
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Photo Credit: Seth Doyle – Unsplash