Adulthood is exhausting. With the responsibilities of
work, family, friendships and more, we are expending a
lot of energy and are even limiting the amount of rest
we can get to replenish it. At this point in my life, I
figure I should save as much of my energy as I possibly
can for the important things. These are some ways I've
found that I was wasting energy and I didn't even know
1. Allowing background noise:
Background noise raises stress levels , making it harder
for us to focus on concentrate. When we continually
require ourselves to perform tasks
with noise — even if it's just a droning air conditioner —
we are using more energy than we need to. While it
might not be possible to eliminate all background noise,
especially in our loud world, you can almost always do
something to make it quieter. Buy some noise cancelling
headphones and wear them without listening to
anything, use earplugs, or turn off the TV to save your
2. Giving away your power.
There are so many ways to give away your power. The
basic idea, though, is that you give away your power
when you say or perceive that
someone or something else is in charge of your life (or
an aspect of it), rather than you. This can be as simple
as always waiting for directions before you take action,
or more complex like blaming your genes for a medical
condition that limits you. When you give away your
power, you give away your ability to make choices that
will make your life better. For instance, you may not be
able to do anything about an inherited medical
condition, but you can still choose to live life to the full
with that condition. Doing this will energize you.
3. Keeping lists in your head.
Sometimes, I find myself exhausted because I'm trying
to remember so many things. When I take a moment to
write them down, my mind can relax because I know I
won't forget anything important. The simple act of
writing things down saves me energy now, but it also
saves it later. If I insist on keeping all my lists in my
head, I almost invariably forget something. That causes
all sorts of stress and wastes so much mental
energy later, when I have to scramble to pull something
together or apologize profusely for missing an event.
4. Checking email more than twice a day.
Most people really only need to check email twice a
day. Most of your messages aren't urgent and, if
someone has something that you really need to know
right now, they can always call, text, or come find you
themselves. When you check email all the time, you're
distracted all the time. Sometimes, you're even trying to
check your email while you're doing something else.
However, multitasking doesn't really work. You're
actually switching rapidly between tasks, not doing
several things at once. All of this switching takes
energy, which you wouldn't have to spend if you could
focus on each task alone.
5. Trying to control the uncontrollable.
I like to be in control, even when that isn't possible. In
the past, I've wasted a lot of energy trying to control
people and situations that it simply was not within my
grasp to control. When I can let go of those things, I
find that I have more energy to spend on the things that
it is within my power to change. Letting go of the desire
to control usually comes from places deep inside of us,
and you probably won't be able to let it go overnight.
Start by figuring out what you're afraid of that causes
you to need so much control, and begin to work with
the idea of letting go from there.
6. Working long hours.
Working longer hours doesn't necessarily make you
more productive. In fact, productivity tends to drop
significantly the more hours you make yourself work.
When you're working long hours, you're wasting your
energy. That energy would be better spent finding a way
to rest and to
rejuvenate, so that you can come back to your task
later, at optimum levels of productivity. Even if you
don't get every second of rest that you need, a short
break will help you focus again.