Do you have too many energy drainers and not enough fillers?
You might if you feel like you just don’t have the energy to get stuff done.
Or even worse the energy to participate in and enjoy all the fun things in life.
It’s no wonder if you feel that way. I bet you have a to-do list as long as your arm and not enough hours in the day to tackle it all.
It can be a vicious cycle – you aren’t are productive as you want to be which makes you stressed and that ends up draining even more energy.
Let me share a positive approach to managing your energy.
Think about your energy stores as water in a bucket.
Some things draw water out and some things fill the bucket up.
If we spend too much time drawing out the water and not enough time filling it up, something happens:
The bucket gets empty.
If you are feeling stressed, unmotivated or simply tuckered out, chances are your bucket is dry.
What is an energy drainer?
All kinds of big and little things can be energy drainers:
Saying yes when you want to say no
Unproductive or purposeless meetings
Multi-tasking (yes, really)
Trying to be all things to everyone
Too many commitments
Biting your tongue
Being surrounded by Negative Nellies
Reading this list
The point is there are no shortage of things that can suck the life out of you.
Some things take a giant scoop out of your energy bucket, leaving you feeling drained all at once.
Other things have a more subtle impact – the drip drip drip leaking of your energy bit by bit.
Often our drainers are simply bad habits. We are on auto-pilot as we go through our busy days and unconsciously we allow thoughts and tasks and people to drain our bucket.Often our energy drainers are simply bad habits. We are so busy we function on auto-pilot a and unconsciously we allow thoughts and tasks and people to drain our bucket. Click To Tweet
Try making a list of your drainers – those things, thoughts, actions or people that drain your energy. Think of tasks that leave you exhausted, people that zap your energy, habits that add to your fatigue.
Managing your energy drainers takes a two-pronged approach.
You need to be aware of the drainers, but you also need to pay attention to the fillers.
That’s because you can’t remove all the drainers.
You need to tackle energy equation from both sides.
Refilling your bucket is a continuous process.
It doesn’t work well if you take a hit and miss approach:
“I went for a walk today so that should hold me for the week.”
In the meantime all those drainers are working away at your energy stores.
What is an energy filler?
That’s a subjective question. What works for you might not work for me.
I know someone who loves scrapbooking – it fills her up.
That would be a big drainer for me.
You have to decide what fills YOU up. Just like the drainers, big and little things can boost your energy:
A good book
Eating mostly healthy food
Watching a sunset
Cleaning your closet
Dancing to that music
Taking a nap
Try making a list of the things, thoughts, actions or people that revitalize your energy. Think about activities that energize you, people that inspire you and encourage you to take positive actions, and daily routines that help you maintain your health and vitality.
You might already know what your energy fillers are. But if you are not sure or need a longer list, here’s a clue to figuring it out:
Energy fillers have a sound.
They make you say either ooh or ahh.
Ooh is the sound of delight.
Like “Ooh isn’t that gorgeous!”
Ahh is the sound of relaxation.
Like “Ahh let it go.”
Knowing your personal energy drainers and fillers is important if you are going to proactively manage them.
Energy drainer & filler activity
Give this a try:
Be an observer for a week. Notice which things drain your bucket and which things fill it up. Add them to your lists of drainers and fillers. You might be surprised by what you find.
I suggested this activity to a client who was interested in boosting her energy.
She certainly got clearer about what impacted her energy stores.
But she also discovered that drainers and fillers were dependent on the situation.
For example, eating healthy was a filler but thinking about it and planning it was a drainer. She realized that the drainer actually caused her to avoid the filler.
Now that you have your drainer and filler lists, take a moment to reflect on them.
Are there lots of items on one list and not on the other?
Do you tend to spend more of your time with the drainers rather than the fillers?
Which energy drainer would be the easier to release?
Which energy filler would be the simplest to do consistently?
Which energy drainer, if you gave it up, would create the greatest energy boost in your life?
Which energy filler, if you choose to commit to it, would have the greatest positive impact in your life?
Reflection and awareness is great, but it’s not sufficient.
So this is your life coach speaking:
Take the awareness you now have about energy drainers and fillers and turn it into action. Put your AHA to work.
Knowing isn’t doing.
Change requires action.
The good news is that it is possible to manage the water level in your bucket.
Choose more consciously about when and how and for whom you draw water out.
Choose more consciously about when and how and why you fill the water up.