More than ever, our attention is pulled in a thousand different directions and it’s easy to mindlessly move through each day. We all have a finite level of energy. Think of your energy as a magnetic field that informs your perspective in every aspect of your life. It is the lens through which you view the world and your perspective and attitude. Understanding how your energy affects your engagement in life and how you show up is key to being more productive, increasing your overall well-being, and being more effective and engaged in your personal and professional life. You may not be in control of the external things that are going on in your life, but you can change the energy, or perspective, with which you experience these things. This is where your power lies. Your power lies in your ability to change the lens through which you experience life.
Energy management is a process of learning to identify and manage your energy so that it works for you rather than against you. When you understand your personal perspective, your triggers, and your energy, you can show up with a clear, neutral understanding in each situation and experience. Managing your energy requires self-inquiry and an honest assessment of the perspective with which you experience your life and relationships. When you spend a lot of energy ruminating about work or personal relationships or engaging in negative self-talk, you are depleting your energy because you are giving it away, leaving little energy to invest in yourself and the things that truly matter to you. This can often lead to burnout because when you go through the day mindlessly giving your energy away to people and tasks that deplete your energy, you end up feeling exhausted and with little to no time or energy to enjoy yourself. Once you understand how your energy affects your engagement in life and how you show up, you can consciously shift it.
The goal of energy management is to become aware of your personal perspective and of how you’re spending your energy. You can start to create awareness by simply noticing where your mental and physical energy levels are throughout your day. Ask yourself what you habitually notice in your day-to-day experience and what your attention is frequently drawn to. Pay attention to how you react to people, places, and interactions. When you have a more intense reaction, get curious about what you need to work on within yourself to release any negative reactions or feelings. Notice when you feel discouraged or when you are optimistic. Notice when you are in a state of flow and feeling energized and fully engaged. What are the things that create flow and engagement for you? Notice when you are operating on autopilot and just trying to finish your to-do list and feeling stressed because you’re running out of time. What are the things, people, and places that create stress and make you feel drained of energy? How often are you feeling this kind of energetic depletion? This self-inquiry process can be challenging but it’s worth it. Take at least one conscious moment each day in which you spend time refueling your energy tank. When you notice yourself in an energetic slump, ask yourself why you’re feeling the way you are at that moment. What thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are happening at that moment? Then take a moment to shift your energy. It can be as easy as noticing the negative self-talk and changing the inner narrative from negative to positive. Or perhaps you need to step away for a moment and move your body to shift your energy. When you harness the power of energy management, you will start to notice an improvement in your work performance, personal relationships, and overall well-being and happiness. You’ll also have more time and energy to enjoy your day-to-day experience of life. Energy management is all about how you motivate yourself to show up as your best self in work and life. The goal is not simply to survive each day, but to enjoy your experience of life. Remember, what you concentrate on, you increase and strengthen and where your attention goes, your energy flows!