7 Habits That Are Draining Your Energy
While time is finite and we don’t want to waste it, it is how you are showing up with the time that you have. Energy is life. Because if we have energy, we can accomplish our goals, keep ourselves in what Tony Robbins calls a peak state. We’re able to be more focused, we can think clearer. Sometimes more enjoyable to be around, right? (hahaha)
Protecting your energy, is protecting your time.
Have you ever attended a meeting, maybe a coffee meeting that was on 30 minutes long but afterwards you felt drained, uninspired, frazzled? While the meeting was only 30 minutes, it is now impacting your time and energy post meeting. On the flip side have you attended a 30 minute coffee meeting and afterwards you felt inspired, motivated, had more energy? What was the difference? It could have been the time of day you attended the meeting, who you attended it with, what was discussed, did you feel comfortable around that person? There are so many reasons why the experience was different. It is important to become away of what replenishes and what drains our energy so we can make better choices to keep our energy at a peak state in order to accomplish our goals and show up as the best version of ourselves.
Habit #1 - Switching from Task to Task
I’ve shared this on previous podcast episodes but switching from task to task is a sure fire way to zap your energy quicker. If one minute you’re working on your website and 15 minutes later you get distracted and start checking email, it scientifically takes your brain time to adjust between each task that is different. Find similar tasks and batch them. That way you can create flow and rhythm in your work.
Habit #2 - Constantly trying to please other people
Expending energy to go out of your way to please other people when it comes from a place of constantly wondering and worrying about what they think of you is exhausting. I know this because this was me. I am a recovering people pleaser. If I found out someone had an opinion of me that I didn’t think was fit, I’d go out of my way to prove them that they were wrong. It was exhausting. A few years ago a friend of mine told me that he had a meeting with someone that I went to college with and my name came up. During this conversation the friend from college said something along the lines of, “Oh yeah, Amanda. I know her. Things seem to be going well. She seems to have gotten pretty lucky.” And oh. my gawd. you guys. I went from 0-60 in about 1 second. I immediately went on the defense as my friend finished sharing the statement and started diving into all the things that I did to get myself here…I started making all these declarations about how I’ve had a job since I was 11 (no joke, my brother and I split the paper route), to paying for all 4 years of college. I went on-and on. I kept talking about it for months afterwards too. Every time I gave a minute of my life to discussing that moment, I zapped so much unnecessary energy. Now, I’m more mindful of when my mind wants to go into that mode of pleasing other people or trying to prove myself. I say, “so what?”
Focus on pleasing yourself first.
Habit #3 - Trying to Control Everything Around You
The best way I can describe this is imagine you are working out and you’re laying down with one of those large, plastic balls between your things and you’re holding that ball in suspense between your legs to workout your inner things. You have to hold it together and squeeze squeeze squeeze. You’re gripping the ball so tightly. That is what I picture when you are trying to control everything around you. You are using so much force and energy to grip everything around you that it depletes your energy. The need for control and desire for it is different from person to person. Prior to moving in with Mike, my husband, I was living with a roommate. She always joked about how tidy I was and I would constantly be picking up the apartment and making sure it was orderly. My bed was always made, laundry was always done, floor swept. Everything. And while having order and structure in my environment served me (and still does), it didn’t hit me that on the surface keeping things tidy and in order didn’t seem to be an issue. Until I moved in with Mike, my husband. I was trying to control his every move and constantly remind him to “put the dishes away,” “don’t forget to shut the bathroom light off” “can you fold that blanket”. I realized that my need for control was much deeper and probably is somewhat an effect from my childhood where there was little to no order and quite chaotic. I was trying to control things in my adult life. When I go into my spurts of wanting to control, I have to remind myself “is it worth the energy that I’m going to expend to try and control” and say, “So what?”
What is something that you are gripping onto so tightly and trying to control its every move that you can release your grip, even if it is only a bit?
Habit #4 - Lack of Closing the Loop
Starting too many tasks, projects and not closing them. Because we have so much energy, momentum, excitement in the beginning for all of these projects that we want to start and accomplish but starting too many, we split our energy so we don’t see the progress we’re looking for to continue motivating us to the end. I recently found myself in this situation. I had a mental list of all the things that I wanted to implement and create before the end of the year with She Did It Her Way and I was on the path of starting too many of those projects at once.
Instead, I got out a piece of paper and brain dumped all the things that were on my mind and then went back through the list and identified which one was the immediate priority. For example if my goal is to grow my email list by X number of subscribers and there is another goal to create 6 free opt-ins, then my priority would be to create the 6 free opt-ins because then in turn it would take care of my email list goal. Then I would only focus on those 6 free options as a priority.
Habit #5 - Overthinking
Thinking uses energy. A great example of this is there is a study about having too many options of pasta sauce when shopping at the grocery store. If you go to a grocery store and head down the pasta sauce aisle you’ll notice there are so many options. When we’re faced with too many options we experience overwhelm and decision fatigue. Often times resulting in paralysis. If you find yourself constantly making little tiny decisions throughout your day you’re most likely zapping energy by either having to make those decisions and/or overthinking. A few years ago I learned about what is called a capsule wardrobe. Where you purchase a limited number of staple pieces for the season and you only buy those pieces and you only wear outfits form those pieces. Having a capsule wardrobe cuts down on the number of decisions you need to make and overwhelm you might face. One of my friends, Natalie Bacon, has narrowed down her closet to minimal pieces. She typically wears a pair of jeans and some sort of v-neck. Another great example is putting making decisions ahead of time instead of in the moment. This past January I did dry January where I didn’t drink the entire month. I made the decision ahead of time so that I wouldn’t try and negotiate with myself when I was in an environment where it would have been easy to have a drink.
Make decisions ahead of time and put rules in place for yourself to help avoid overthinking.
Habit #6 - Focuses on the Past
Brooke Castillo of the Life Coach School has a wonderful podcast episode on (#67) is that when we say that we’re so sad from our past, it isn’t the past that is making us sad, it is the emotion that we’re creating pain from our past isn’t regret a useful emotion? is it a valued emotion? if we can use it as a way to change our life now, then yes. Often too often we use regret to blame. past focus vs future focus. if you’re arguing with and for your past, that is regrets. believing you wish you would have done something differently, is a waste of time. "a man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams”
The choices that you’ve made were the choices you were supposed to make
Use regret as a way to inspire action. Imagine yourself 10 years out from where you are today. What might I look back on with regret if I don’t do it now?
Habit #7 - Complaining
Energy flows, where focus goes and results will show.
If you find yourself complaining about something in your life, you need to ask yourself “What am I focused on right now?” Most times complaining is a coping mechanism to help make ourselves feel good, to feel right or justified. but overtime if you pay attention to your energy and how it impacts it, you’ll notice that most time complaining is not solution oriented which takes us back to habit #4, not closing the loop.
When I was researching for this episode one of the things about complaining that came up is that It is bad for your health. When you complain your body releases the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol shifts you into fight-or-flight mode, directing oxygen, blood and energy away from everything but the systems that are essential to immediate survival. One effect is to raise your blood pressure and blood sugar so that you’ll be prepared to either escape or defend yourself. Extra cortisol released by frequent complaining impaired your immune system and makes you more susceptible to high cholesterol, diabetes, health disease and obesity.
So there you have it! 7 habits that are draining your energy.