Not just "what" are you spending energy on, but also "who" are you spending your energy on? And what's the return you're getting on that investment (ROI)?
Though everything good in our lives requires a certain energetic investment, it's super easy to get into a habit of spending energy without really thinking about whether it's generating any kind of return. Most of us have habits and relationships that have been sucking up our energy for years, inhibiting our ability to move other things forward. Unfortunately, there isn't any energy spent that doesn't have to be replenished.
Just like gas in your car, once the tank is empty, you're going to have to refill it. So take stock. Unless you've already consciously combed through your life and optimized every inch of it, then there are probably still some areas that you could clean up to generate more energy. Here are the first 5 places to look:
- Clean Up Your Thoughts: Most of us are wasting a massive amount of time and energy on indulging in unproductive thinking.
- Plan Ahead: Planning tasks, meals, gym-visits, etc. for your days, weeks, and months helps to solidify your intention, productivity, and success.
- Action Steps: It's much more motivating and manageable to break down projects into steps, then schedule time for each one.
- Schedule It: Booking time on your calendar to take care of a particular Action Step makes you much more likely to achieve it.
- Minimize Distractions: Your brain doesn't multitask - you'll radically improve productivity if you turn off your emails, flip your phone over and focus on the task you've scheduled. (Hint: you can also schedule time to respond to texts and emails.)
Lastly, don't forget to schedule in some guilt-free downtime. Firing on all cylinders also requires scheduling time for rest, exercise, friends, family, and even stepping outside for a 10-minute walk every couple hours of your workday. We also need to let our hair down sometimes.
The whole "burning-the-candle-at-both-ends" thing is so 2005.