Don’t fall behind with your goals, control your energy levels
We talk a lot about “energy levels” …
”I feel so unmotivated! My energy levels are too low!” we argue…
Or “my energy levels are bursting!” others say…
“Can’t understand what happens in winter! It’s impossible to recover the energy levels I felt in summer!” we tend to complain…
But do they really exist these so called “energy levels”?
Can they be measured?
And most importantly, can we manage our energy levels to achieve our personal and professional goals?
Yes, our energy levels are neither science fiction nor the invention of a sweet-talking guru.
Our energy is our fuel, the result of a whole series of cyclical physical and emotional processes that take place in our person.
What about measuring them?
Can our energy levels be measured?
Not only can they be measured – they must be measured!
Because, like everything else in this life, when you measure something actively only then can you improve …
I think there’s no better example of how important the act of measuring is than the beautiful anecdote told by that Stephanie Cohen in her invigorating TED Talk “Channel your energy and finish your projects“.
Stephanie tells the story of a small Panamanian village where drinking water used to run out every day at 4pm.
Outraged by the local government’s poor water management, the residents of the village demanded a solution that would effectively distribute the water to all houses at all hours.
Before taking that step the authorities decided to install water meters in each house.
That the residents – now aware that their water consumption was being measured -, made sure they turn off their taps once they finished using the water.
Soon, and with that simple change of attitude, there was water 24 hours a day.
The same applies to energy levels.
It’s a matter of being aware that:
- a) Your energy levels exist
- b) They are cyclical
- c) They can be measured
- d) And managed to get you to achieve your goals in a much more effective and undoubtedly much happier way.
How do you manage your energy levels to achieve your professional and personal goals?
Measuring and being aware of their cycles, influences and changes.
And how do you measure them?
Start by asking yourself the following questions:
At what time of the day do you feel you have the highest energy levels
And please beware!
You are probably thinking you know perfectly well at what time of the day your energy levels are higher based on your previous experiences, but in this case, it is important to follow a certain scientific rigor.
No, it’s not complicated – an Excel table will do the job!
Divide one of the axes from 1 to 10 and the other in fractions of half an hour or an hour.
Every 30 or 60 minutes, depending on the division you have made in the table, mark how you feel.
Do you feel your energy levels are high, are they falling or are they plummeting?
Keep doing this exercise for a week and in the end, the graph will perfectly reflect the fluctuations that your energy levels go through. That way you can organise your work according to the time of the day when you feel more energised.
What drains my energy levels?
It’s important that you try to answer this question as honestly as possible because only when you understand what obstacles and situations are preventing you from being the best version of yourself, can you minimise them or eliminate them from your life.
To do this, ask yourself questions like:
– What kind of people drain my energy?
– What kind of tasks drain my energy?
– What kind of habits drain my energy?
Once you have identified them, you can begin to reduce their impact on your life. In some cases, you will be able to eliminate them completely, in others you will be able to reduce the frequency with which you have to deal with them.
The following questions can help you identify those energy vampires even more:
– Of the tasks that drain your energy levels, which ones can you stop doing?
– Of the tasks that drain your energy levels, which ones can you delegate?
– Of the tasks that drain your energy levels, which ones can you do less often?
– Of the people who drain your energy levels, who can you eliminate from your life?
– Of the people who drain your energy levels, who can you reduce frequency of contact with?
– Can you change the method you use to communicate with those people who drain your energy?
– Of the habits that drain your energy levels, which ones can you replace with others that don’t drain them that much?
You’ll be surprised to see that with just a few adjustments you can achieve your goals much more easily while feeling a lot happier in the process.
- When you feel you have energy, is it negative or positive?
If you have high energy levels but these are mostly negative, you are constantly in reactive mode, rather than in an active and positive mode.
People who are constantly focused on negativity end up wasting their time on things that are not important.
If your energy is positive, you stop focusing on distancing yourself from that something that is affecting you (or you think it’s affecting you) and you can dedicate yourself to the wonderful goals you can achieve.
Obviously, there will always be difficult times, but it’s important that you look at “the bigger picture” or that you have a broader vision of your goals.
- Are you using your energy to succeed or just to survive?
Are you trying to do things in a hurry and act in pure survival mode?
Or are you trying to opt for long-term performance over immediate solutions?
When you are in survival mode, you use energy constantly, but almost never replenish it. To manage your energy levels properly, you must be able to replenish your energy levels throughout the day.
- Focus on the positive …
- Plan effectively …
- Meditate …
- Pause and be mindful (try to be present in your actions) …
- Connect with nature …
- Eat well and hydrate constantly …
- Exercise …
- And if necessary, take a good nap!
- Is the way you manage your problems consistent?
Going through all those energetic highs and lows makes you react to the various daily events according to your energy levels. If your energy levels are high and you feel good, you will surely react to a situation in a positive way. But, if you feel lethargic, you may react in a totally negative way.
This makes you use a lot more energy than that situation warrants.
I recommend that you try to manage each problem according to its importance, not according to how you feel at that moment. Reacting consistently to the problems you encounter on your way each day, will help you manage your energy levels much more effectively.
These are my “tricks” to manage my energy levels:
- Every day I make sure I move – I run, I bike, I walk to as many places as I can … an active body is a happier body and so is the mind that inhabits it!
- If my thoughts are not giving me energy but subtracting it, I try to distance myself from them. I prefer this than to fight against them which, personally, drains all my energy.
- If I notice that my energy level is low, I meditation, even if it is just briefly – even if it’s just a breath!
Still having difficulty managing your energy levels?
Let’s discuss how mindfulness can help you channel your energy so that you can achieve your personal and professional goals.
I look forward talking to you!
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