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?

Adele Sinclair is a wellness coach and trainer who focuses on mental wellbeing at work. She has a background in management and experienced job burnout twice as a result of ongoing work stress. If you liked this article, you'll love Adele's coaching programs to help you with strategies for a great worklife.