How to Stop Wasting Your Energy

Have you noticed that some tasks create more negative emotional energy than others? Some tasks are positive or neutral yet others you feel negatively about in some way. These will energise you when they’re done and reduce your energy while they’re not done.

When you’re reminded of those undone or incomplete tasks it creates an energy ‘drag’ or drain. You may feel a sense of dread about doing them, frustration that you haven’t got to them yet, or maybe guilt that you haven’t done them.

You know the ones. They’re often the tasks that you put off each day for anything else that pops up. It could be the boring admin task that only you can do, that broken tap at home you never have time to get fixed, or that dreaded phone call you need to make. We all have them.

The problem is, the longer we leave these dreaded tasks, the heavier the energy cost we incur. We ignore them and up rises annoyance, guilt, or frustration… a whole lot of wasted energy. Which, of course, increases stress and reduces our sense of wellbeing.

Action Steps

So how do you reduce these energy drags and drains?

1. Get them out of your head
Chances are, you’ll have more than one of these energy drag tasks annoying you at any one time. Make a list of these (noting that this is NOT your to-do list. It’s the tasks that have negative emotional energy attached to them).

Then prioritise the list so you can see which ones you’ll benefit most from tackling.

2. Be systematic
Dedicate time every day or week to chip away slowly. Whether it’s 10 minutes at the start or end of each day, or the first 5 minutes of your lunch break. Or lash out and dedicate a whole afternoon to completely square something away. Find an approach that will help you to get these tasks done.

3. Celebrate your wins
Enjoy the satisfaction and relief that tackling these tasks brings. Give yourself a pat on the back no matter how small the task. You’ve made another step towards greater wellbeing!

Small steps can often result in big changes. By clearing your energy drags and drains, you’ll reduce wasted emotional energy and enjoy the mental and emotional lightness of having those annoying tasks DONE!

What tasks on your to-do list create a drain or drag on your energy? Which would give you the biggest relief from having it done?

How to Stay Cool When Under Pressure

Pressure and stress are all too common in today’s modern workplaces. The good news is that although stress is an instinctive reaction, there’s always a short moment as the stress response kicks in where we can choose whether to respond constructively or react impulsively.

When in a state of stress, the body takes one of three options. Fight, flight or freeze. This is a natural instinct that happens automatically, yet it’s entirely possible to manage our stress responses so they happen less often and less strongly. These skills are particularly useful in times of pressure and challenges that all of us face at different times in our lives.

The key is to learn how to control and manage your stress responses when they come up.

This, as we all know, is a feat that’s easier said than done. It takes practice. And then some more practice. But it is possible and the outcome is worth the effort.

The better you become at managing stress-related feelings, the calmer and more resilient you will become over time.

And who doesn’t want to feel calm as often as possible?

Action Steps

So how do you stay calm and reduce feelings of stress when you’re under pressure?

Here are four ways that all make a positive difference…

1. Self soothing
Self-soothing isn’t just for newborn babies. It’s for full-grown adults too. Self-soothing can be achieved by any number of ways that suit you and your lifestyle, as long as their end result is to calm your body and your mind. Think yoga, mindfulness, spending time in nature, deep breathing…

Create your own go-to set of soothing techniques to use whenever you are under pressure. They will help to reduce the intensity and duration of your stress.

2. Minding your language
Words matter. They can inflame a situation as quickly as they can diffuse one. So aim to keep your words positive, both to yourself and to others. Positive statements such as “I can handle this”, “We’ll get through this together” or “One step at a time” are simple to do but are powerful contributors to keeping yourself calm and strong in pressure situations.

3. Cutting to essentials only
Clear the clutter so you can see the wood from the trees. Defer as many non-urgent, non-essential tasks as possible. Reducing these distractions will allow you clear air to breathe and get through the challenge at hand.

4. Seeking support
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether from colleagues, friends, family or support services, don’t shy away from calling in some favours or seeking assistance. If the budget allows, hire in help. Try to reduce the load you are carrying by whatever means possible.

Above all, be proactive in managing your stress and maintaining your wellbeing. It’ll make life much more enjoyable. And it’ll ensure that you can be calm and strong when pressure and challenges arise.

What could you do to proactively manage your stress and maintain your wellbeing?