STOP Falling Into The Energy Drain Trap

by | Jul 13, 2022 | Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Mental Resilience

I wanted to share a conversation I was just having with my Luminous Leaders, where we were talking about how they approach their days and working weeks, and currently, them not being set up in a way that optimises their energy. They shared with me the top challenges they were struggling with.

 

Top 3 Challenges 

  • I’m stuck in meetings all day, and I only get to my work at the end of the day  
  • I am juggling global time zones that can really elongate my days  
  • I’m struggling to get any kind of sense of work/life balance or to manage my time 

Do you relate to any of these challenges? 

I asked them “What’s the impact of running your days this way?” 

What I heard is that their days feel draining, exhausting, like Groundhog Day, like there’s no time for doing any thinking, and that their days can be lacking in purpose and meaning. When we are operating from this place, is there any wonder that we dream of escaping work and taking endless holidays? 

If we don’t start to take control, this feeling isn’t going to go away.  

As we navigate going back into our offices and the hybrid working environment, it could be the perfect time to reset your work and life styles. 

If you are falling into the ‘lack-of-boundaries/energy drain’, here are a couple of key suggestions that I offer my Luminous Leaders to build – and, importantly, maintain – their energy.

 

Top 3 Ingredients

  • Stop saying yes to mindless meetings. Follow the work of Cal Newport and set up a block of deep thinking time first thing in the morning, when you are most energised and before you do team meetings. 
  • Stop setting expectations that you will be online all the time. Create clear boundaries around the timeframes you will respond in and when you are and are not checking emails. Hint: I turn off my email notifications, check my emails three times a day, and put on the footer that I will respond to emails within 24 hours. 
  • Stop seeing your life and work as competing forces that need to be ‘balanced’. Start thinking about integrating all your needs – from work, to well-being, to relationships – into one day.

Did you notice a theme running through all the points above? It’s about stopping doing everything. Instead, consciously design your day and put in boundaries that create a structure that will lighten up your load.  

Jana, one of my Luminous Leaders, really got to grips with this concept after we had a coaching chat about where her energy was sitting and the strain she was finding in keeping the team energised and motivated.

She planned an extended weekend off and re-instated her boundaries around extended lunch breaks that allowed her to exercise in the winter months. These simple changes meant she could recharge herself, and she found when she stepped back into her team meeting that she could bring more energy. Her colleagues fed off this and became more pro-active and energised themselves. 

If it’s time for you to reset those work/life boundaries, take a moment to apply some of the ingredients above. I’d love to hear how you go…

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