“Taking on too much and not getting enough rest.”
“Balancing energy and output.”
“Maintaining energy to focus and work in an environment where I am surrounded by extroverts”
“It’s been hard this year to get enough quiet time for focused work because my spouse and dog are always here with me.”
“Overcommitting to work, and then conversely not being able to concentrate due to stress and burn out, making the work burden even heavier.”
These are just some of the things people have told me they struggle with when it comes to managing their energy.
Many of us think that lack of time is our biggest issue but for most introverts a bigger problem is that they're not getting enough rest and quiet time to focus. Sometimes we have big energy drainers that we're not aware of in our lives: Certain activities or, unfortunately, certain people, that leave us feeling especially tired.
An example from my life is: I get stressed when plans suddenly change. It causes physical discomfort and rescheduling plans repeatedly is one of the most draining experiences in my life. Most recently, we've been trying to arrange a visit with family. A lot of my family lives oversees and they've been able to travel to Europe again this year. So, the idea was to visit them with our boy who they haven't seen since he was a few months old. Knowing that they'd be in the country only a short while, I want to make the effort to travel to go and see them. But trying to set a date with them has been painful: 2 weeks, a call, and 10 whatsapp messages later, we still don't have a date. I sent along our availability in the first message and gave 2 options: These dates with our son or otherwise I'll come by myself to see you. But the plans kept changing. "What about then?" Okay, that's fine. "No, wait, won't work, how about then?" Fine, but then it's just me. "O, but we'd love it if your son could come too, can't you do another date?" No, I sent you the available dates for him. "Okay, let me get back to you." This 'unfinished' thing is lingering on my mind and it's like part of my brain is always thinking about it.
The past year of forced solitude came with plenty of challenges but having to deal with other people's plan changes wasn't one of them. Now that things are slowly opening up again, this energy nemesis has re-surfaced in my life...
Do you have something that sucks the energy right out of you? Maybe it's not a plan-changing allergy but maybe it's that dreaded zoom meeting that just goes on and on. Or maybe it's that client who keeps asking for more and more edits weeks after the project has been handed off.
It's also possible that you're not aware yet of big energy drainers in your life and you just generally feel tired all the time. That's exactly where I started too. I used to call myself 'a low-energy person': I was convinced that other people just had more energy than I had and that it wasn't something I could change. I would tell people too: "No, I'm gonna pass on the party, I'm a low energy person, you know." Like some kind of apology.
I don't call myself a low-energy person anymore. Actually, I seem to have more energy than most people I talk with these days. One thing I did was to become aware of big energy drainers in my life. I set boundaries around my energy and made more space for quiet time in my daily schedule. The difference is staggering, even to me. Not only do I have enough energy to do my work and for play-time with my son, I'm actually more productive and I feel more at ease throughout the day. It was a long road and it took a while to get here. But it all started with that awareness.
Wishing you a lovely flow today,