A little story that may sound familiar to you…
The other day, over coffee I was telling a friend that every morning before I begin my work I want to carve out time for exercise.
She responded with a smile, an eye roll and…”Do you know how many times I have heard you say this recently?”
No. I didn’t know how many times, but clearly more times than she wants to hear.
It became clear at that moment that my seemingly harmless procrastination was draining my own as well as the energy of those poor souls listening to me.
If you are spending your precious time and attention in ways that drain you rather than fill you with energy, your life has holes and it may be time to fill them up.
Consider the following questions:
- How long have you been thinking about organising your closet, junk drawer, eating healthier or going to the gym?
- How many activities do you do in a day that you really don’t like to do?
- Do you have toxic people or unfulfilling relationships in your life?
- Do you busy yourself doing the things you ‘should’ do with no time for the things you really want to do?
If you are spending too much of your time and energy in ways that leave you feeling drained, it can really suck the joy from life. Instead…
Make room for what fills you up and brings you more joy.
There is a way you can do all of the things you think you have to do (that drain you) AND have room for the things you really want to do (that fill you up).
Take charge of where you focus your time and energy using this 3-step method.
- Make a list, call it ‘energy drainers’ and empty your mind of:
- All of the things/tasks you have been thinking about doing but haven’t managed to get to yet. eg. Household or clothing repairs, cleaning, business related tasks, volunteering, exercise etc. (this could be a long list and go back years!).
- Activities you currently do but don’t like doing eg. Housework, favour for co-worker.
- Unhealthy behaviours you engage in eg. Gossiping, overeating, negative self talk, over drinking etc.
- Unfulfilling situations you are in eg. Relationship, career, obligations etc.
- Toxic people (energy vampires) in your life eg. could be someone you feel pressure to be with but don’t enjoy their company.
- Anything else that comes to mind.
Whatever it is, it goes on your list if when you think of it you feel a drain of energy.
- Put at least 25 items on your list and be as specific as possible. eg. Get more exercise is vague. Run for 30 mins 3x/wk is specific.
- Start with the easiest entry and devote just 15 mins per day to doing what you can during that time period to complete or work toward completing the task, resolving the problem, putting a plan in place or whatever you need to do to get the entry crossed off the list.
Your joy and happiness is something you can design and have control over!
- If an item on your list is something others can help you with and/or you really don’t want to do it at all … delegate where you can! Call in some favors if you need to. eg. If you hate doing housework, hire a housekeeper. The cost is more than worth it.
- If one of your energy drainers is a person(s), and they are important to you I am not suggesting you toss them from your life but rather set boundaries and/or limit the amount of time you spend in their company eg. If being around Susan is an energy drainer, spend your 15 mins. problem solving how you will establish boundaries around your interaction with her. For example you may choose to limit your time with Susan to once per month for 1 hour over coffee.
- As you remove items from your list you will notice how good it feels to complete and cross off an item. You may feel lighter, relieved, and even good about yourself. Your mind becomes clearer without the energy drainer to focus on and you will have time and energy for more enjoyable pursuits
- Slowly and methodically clearing away the clutter that drains you also means clearing away the negative thoughts about the clutter.
You have made the room… now you can fill your life doing those things you have being longing to do and with people you enjoy doing them with.
Spend your time in ways that fill you with enough energy that you can more freely share with others
- In the comments section below, tell me one thing you have removed from your energy drainer list, and the positive impact to be free of it.
- If you like this article, make my day and share it with someone you think will benefit from it.