Has this ever happened to you?
You wake up after a good night’s rest feeling rejuvenated and happy to be alive. On your way to work you take note of your energy level and think about all the things you’ll do when you get home.
When you arrive home, however, that energy you had at 8 o’clock has been completely drained by your work day. You start to resent your employer, your supervisor and possibly even your co-workers for taking so much out of you that you have nothing left to give your family, or yourself.
Yeah, I know. We’ve all been there.
Why is it that some people can have a hard day at work and still come home and mow the lawn, while others barely have the strength to dial the phone and order in dinner?
Well, it’s a matter of attitude. You have to safeguard your energy and make sure it’s being spent in the most effective way possible, the way you want it to be spent, and the way to control that, is with your attitude. In the following list I’ll give you several examples of what I mean.
- Refuse to participate in the drama of it. If you have one of those workplaces where the crew isn’t happy unless there is something to gossip about, find other places to be when the squabbles are going on. Seminar participants always challenge me about this, saying, “Debra, are you saying we should put our heads in the sand?” Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Think about it. Wouldn’t you rather have your head in the sand than in someone’s crap? I would! And remember that what you think about you bring about. So if your head is in the sand, you’ll create more sand. I’d rather have more sand than more crap. Even better, if you go off by yourself during lunch instead of participating in the who-did-what-to/with-whom ritual, find a nice magazine and just look at the photos. (That’s pretty much putting your head in the sand, right?) Use your imagination to think about what your house would like if it were decorated in that style – or whatever. The creative power of putting your head in the sand will yield you much more favorable results than participating in the drama going on in others’ lives. Now, I’m not saying to refuse support to your co-workers. Just make sure it is support with the intent to improve their situation, not help them wallow in it. I’ve had to learn that some people just like drama and the best thing to do is just let them have it. It doesn’t mean I have to participate in it. In my experience, this one technique alone could save 50% of your energy level for when you get home. But keep reading . . .
- Take regular breaks. Depending on your job, ergonomic specialists have come up with specific guidelines as to how often you need to rest from repetitive tasks. I’ve seen recommendations from 30 seconds every 10 minutes to 1 minute for every 30. Most businesses are required to allow a 10-minute break for every 5 hours of work performed. If your employer has certain guidelines for your particular job, make sure you follow them. I have had employees who refuse to take breaks because they’re trying to make a good impression. Don’t do that to yourself. Performing well at your job will make a better impression and it’s easier to do that with the proper rest. Most importantly, don’t refuse to take your breaks and then blame your employer for it. If you find that you require more breaks than you’re allowed, learn how to take mental breaks. Are there certain aspects of your job that are repetitive in nature that could almost do with your eyes closed? Now, I’m not talking about factory work here – please! For example, in the summer I can meditate and pull weeds in my garden at the same time. It’s simple, requires very little brain power, which gives my mind a break. I love pulling weeds this way and it’s much better for the garden to pull them every day mindlessly than to wait until they’re a problem and become a chore. Find something like that in your job and utilize it when you can. Perhaps straightening your desk and getting organized - but more on that in just a moment . . .
- Learn to relax while you work. Try this mantra: “In an easy and relaxed manner, I complete my tasks on time.” Say it over and over until it becomes ingrained in you. Do the same thing at home, except you might want to change the mantra to, “In an easy and relaxed manner, I joyfully create whatever I want.” Going about all of your work in an easy and relaxed manner will reserve vast amounts of energy to use whenever you want.
- De-clutter. Clutter around you creates clutter in your brain and drains your energy before you perform your first task. Get rid of everything on your desk except for (maybe) three personal items, and the project you’re working on. Keep all necessary items straight, clean, and . . .
- Organize. The time it takes you to get organized will come back to you 10-fold. Just thinking about the possibilities of what you could do with all of that time can be very energizing. Take a moment to just think about how you would feel if you were 100% organized. Isn’t that energizing? So, what’s stopping you?
- Prioritize. Almost everyone I know has a hundred items or more on their task lists. Isn’t that wonderful? We are all so intelligent and capable of doing so much – we are truly blessed. But take a few moments to consider what’s really important. There are many factors to consider here and I know you have many people you need to please. Taking a few minutes to think it through, pray about it, and get perspective will generate a feeling of control, which is always energizing.
- Strategically plan your days, and your week. Ideally, I’d also say your months and year, but I’ve learned that if you take care of the week and each workday, you’ll be way ahead of others and probably from where you are right now. Most of the time, we expect too much out of ourselves in the way of time. The result is that we become depressed and think it’s useless to organize and prioritize. Not true. However, it is useless to organize and prioritize if you’re not going to put those decisions into a strategic plan. Again, it goes back to that feeling of control of knowing that you accomplished everything you could for today, and there is a plan for getting everything else done, in its proper timing. Planning is a huge boon to your energy level.
- Focus. If you want to become more energetic, make doing so the focal point of your thoughts. Take note of what makes you feel energetic. What really “floats your boat?” What is the best way to go through your day? Do you like to tackle things one right after the other so that time seems like it’s standing still? Or do you require long segments of time to think and ponder things? We are each unique and have our own way of making the world go ‘round. It’s important to find yours and focus on it. Give yourself the attention you deserve, and make your energy level the center of your attention for a while. Eventually, you’ll develop the habits you need to become that way all of the time.
- Become enthusiastic. People who are enthusiastic about their work, both on the job and at home, are rarely tired for no reason. (If you are genuinely enthusiastic about your work and tired for no reason, you should seek medical advice.) Don’t get me wrong; of course you’re going to get physically tired at the end of the day. But we want as many of those “good tired” days as we can get. That’s how we know we’ve found our path and are connected to our higher self. You know when you’re supposed to be tired. And you also know when you’re just “down.” Find ways to become enthusiastic about your work. What do you appreciate about your job?
- Develop a persona. Fake it until you make it. Sometimes, the best way to turn your energy level around is to pretend you’re someone else. Using your imagination is very energizing. I’ve written before about how I used to hate grocery shopping until I started pretending to be Giada De Laurentiis while shopping. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t tell people I’m Giada—I just use my imagination to conjure up her energy level for shopping for the “perfect ingredients” for this recipe or that. Since I often stop for groceries at the end of a work-day, this is especially helpful. It’s like a mental break, fun exercise, and practicing the art of visualization all rolled into one.
So, lots of great ideas here, but where does one start? Well, you start with whichever idea popped out at you. Which one really excited you? Don’t start with what you think you should do. Start with the one that made your eyes light up. That’s your Spirit talking to you. That’s what your Spirit needs. And following your Spirit and the guidance it gives is one of the best ways I’ve found to increase energy.
I’ll be teaching more on all of these subjects and much more at the Conscious Creation Retreat; I hope to see you there!
In the meantime, here are a couple of tools to help you get on the path to greater energy and reduced fatigue:
Until next time,
This post was written by Debra Moorhead, Motivation, Education, Inspiration on April 7, 2008