As I was cleaning & organizing my apartment today, I thought about how much easier I make it for myself by doing it a little bit each day. Instead of waiting for a bunch of stuff to pile up, I organize & clean up whatever I did that day. Not saying everything in my home is exactly perfect all the time but for the most part, I don’t leave myself a lot of responsibility to have to do later. It adds unnecessary work to my life.
I bring this up because I think the same can be applied to managing our energy. Burnout is sometimes a part of life. But should it be the norm? I don’t believe it should. There are times when things get hectic and we just can’t control it but I don’t think it’s something one should be dealing with week after week after week. Eventually, that causes even bigger problems – health (mental, physical, emotional).
A little bit of energy management each day goes a long way.
- A 15 minute nap – believe it or not, it really does help. You might be a little groggy at first, especially if you’re already tired but after a bit, you should feel the boost.
- A brief walk outside – with no technology, if possible.
- Only focusing on what’s necessary that day – not trying to do too much & going to bed early.
- Necessary dialogue only – sometimes, silence helps with energy levels, at least for me; speaking & engaging only if I absolutely need to; unnecessary dialogue can be draining.
- Planning – what needs to be done today? Making a list & not getting side tracked.
- Saying no – you can’t do everything & be everything
Just to name some. Life happens in cycles. Some days we do a lot but some days, it’s ok to take it easy. A balance of high productivity & regular productivity, in my opinion, should be the norm with an individual – for energy management.
I still get the same amount of work done (if not more – since I have more energy, through managing it).
Months ago, I posted on this blog about taking 24 hours, 1 day a week from life. It has been archived but I’ll talk about it briefly.
I used to expend myself & my energy 6 days a week & then on Sundays, I would turn off my phone and sit in silence, sleep, eat, read, & not do anything with my work, technology or talk to anyone. I needed the quiet, I needed the time away. It’s very radical & very extreme. It worked for a while, until it didn’t.
It didn’t work because 1 day is not enough time to deal with burnout. Especially not having managed my energy throughout the week. After months of this, burnout became normal (yikes!) & my Sundays no longer helped. Being radical is fine, being extreme is fine – if it is something that is truly helping to better your life – but in this case it did more harm than good.
Fast forward to December 2019, I set up a new process. When it’s time to work, it’s time to work – same goes for studying, my class, and sleep. When it’s time for a break – take it. Every single day, I turn my phone & computer off at a certain time – I have even set an alarm just in case I forget to look at the time. Once they’re off, they don’t get turned back on until it’s time to wake up the next day.
Alarm clock, you ask? I have another phone. And on this phone, it has no service. It’s my old iPhone that I no longer use and it has only a few apps that do not interfere with my process – i.e. my books & music.
After everything is shut down, I have 1 cup of chamomile tea. My lights go out. I open my patio blinds to let in some beautiful, natural night time lighting and I put meditation music in my ears until I fall asleep.
During the day, I get away from the screens when I need to. I don’t care what I’m doing. If I need to finish a task, I finish it and then I walk away.
There is nothing so pressing that you have to consistently be burnt out. What is…is. And as long as you manage your time & organize your life – everything will get done. You will reach your goals.
My creativity has soared as well as my productivity & clarity. Add exercise & healthy eating into the mix and it’s even better.
I also feel like I have more time in my days because starting January 1st, I replaced Netflix with reading. Instead of getting distracted by a tv show, I read. Reading also helps my creativity, in a sense. I feel that it adds a lot more to my life as a whole. I’ll be doing this for now at least, as I’m in goal reaching mode right now & it’s what’s best for my life in this moment.
We adjust with how we need to adjust in whatever we’re doing in this moment of our lives. What worked 6 months ago, may not work today.
I remain flexible in my approach to life. Change is inevitable.
I’m sharing this because I see it on social media a lot … about burnout. About overwhelming tiredness. Feeling foggy & not clear. Lacking clarity. Lacking energy. A lot of that is the brain & the body telling you – “hey, look…I need a break or something needs to change cause this is not working!” The body will let you know what it needs & it’s just your job to listen.
I know that some people have more responsibility than others so everyone has to go about things differently. I just wanted to share what I have done and what works for me. This is the perspective I take whenever I’m sharing with others.
So, in conclusion. What has worked for me now is time management & energy management. A phenomenal combination!