Who is responsible for your energy? Silly question of course, you know it’s you, but what are you doing to protect yourself and your energy from the daily drains and life overload. Being the guardian of your positive energy is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Learning to monitor how you’re feeling and what pace you are working at is a key part of self-care.
Then developing resilient thinking, where you have a strategy to reduce or avoid the things or people that deplete your energy will bring benefits that you will see and feel very quickly.
Sometimes when we’re under pressure at work, unhappy in our job or embarking on career change we can’t always spot the things that are sapping our energy. Take this quiz to check your energy levels….
On your way to work you stop to pick up a drink. Do you choose:
- A super green detoxing, energising and rejuvenating smoothie plus a banana for later
- A caramel machiatto with an espresso chaser and a chocolate croissant
- A skinny latte with one shot – it’s your only coffee of the day
Its Monday morning and your diary for the week is already pretty full when another big piece of work arrives in your inbox. Do you:
- Feel excited by the new piece of work, realise it’s a priority so cancel and reschedule some non-essential meetings
- See this as the final straw – you’re not sure how much longer you can go on like this
- Resign yourself to another week of late nights and working at home in the evening
You’ve just completed a project and you were hoping to finish early when a colleague catches you for a ‘chat’ which you know will involve her moaning about everything and holding you up for at least half an hour. Do you:
- Tell her you’ll see her tomorrow at the staff meeting but explain you’re on your way out having worked late the night before.
- Sit and listen to her for 45mins by which time your good mood has completely evaporated
- Explain you would love to chat but you’ve got an important meeting to go to then sneak off and feel guilty all evening.
You notice that you’re meeting work friends for lunch and also in the evening 3 times out of 5 this week. Do you:
- Cancel and reschedule 2 of the arrangements but keep the one with the friend who makes you laugh so much you always feel great after seeing her.
- Cancel everyone you’re so tired you can barely keep your eyes open at work anyway.
- Go ahead and meet everyone as planned, after all you don’t want to upset anyone plus ‘you can sleep when you’re dead, right?’
You’ve been invited to attend the manager’s meeting which has a reputation for lasting more than 2 hours. Do you:
- Ask if you can only attend the slot that is relevant to your area of work.
- Attend and spend the whole time worrying about what’s on your to do list
- Tell them thanks for the invite but you’re too busy and can’t fit it in.
A colleague has invited you to a lunchtime yoga class which she feels has really helped her stress levels. Do you:
- Book your first session straight away
- Laugh hysterically – ‘lunchtime’ what’s that?
- Think yoga’s a bit new age and know you’d rather spend your lunchtime checking out Twitter and Facebook
You’re very aware of protecting your energy and make choices that will preserve your energy levels. You’re assertive and can manage demands on your time well while avoiding energy drainers. You have a good appreciation of nurturing health, mind and body in order to have energy in all areas of your life.
Watch out! You’re close to burn out and so energy depleted that there is no room for self care. You are being sucked into activities and being with people that have negative energy or take energy from you. You need to find a way to make some time for yourself, to think about how you can work differently and engage with things that give you energy – think about what you enjoy and what makes you feel good. Be aware of your physical needs too – substitute coffee and chocolate for some healthy alternatives.
You think you’re doing ok energy wise but could be allowing negative feelings of guilt or anxiety to eat away at your energy levels. Be clear about what actually saps your energy and avoid those things. Be open to trying new things to make you feel good and experiment putting your needs first and saying no assertively.
Please do leave some tips in the comments on how you manage your energy levels – we can all learn from each other!