It is April the 18th. The office is closed and you are taking a deep breathe before you dive into the two month pile of mail and three inches of phone messages that are sitting on your desk. And then it hits you like a slap in the face, you don’t have enough energy to go grab a cup of coffee, let alone enough energy to dive into your work activities with wild abandon. It feels a little more like sluggish stewing! So… what can you do to increase your energy and get back into the game of life at full strength?
This is not a complicated matter, and there are some simple strategies that you can employ to re-gain your energy so that you will have the ability to accomplish the tasks ahead of you. Consider the following simple strategies:
- Take a “FREE” day: A free day is exactly what it says – a day to be free of all work and projects that are “weighing you down”. This day is a 24 hour period where you re-charge your batteries. The rules for this day are simple:
- No e-mail
- No projects
- No phone calls from the office
- No “logging on” to check messages
- No reading “work stuff”.
- Take the day to work on ANYTHING besides work
- No e-mail
- Get out of town: Interestingly enough, it is much easier to take that “free time” if you actually plan time out of town. Leave the computer, PDA and all those “business books” at home! Many say that it takes them 2 days to “unwind” and then they are ready to relax for a few days. Don’t be surprised if this makes you a little uncomfortable the first time you try it, but trust me, you WILL enjoy yourself if you give it a try.
- Eat A Healthy Diet: You have heard this before, and you are going to hear it here again, drink lots of water, eat fresh fruit and vegetables and add more nuts and grains to your daily diet. Oh, and cut out that caffeine and sugar, you will be shocked at how much energy you gain by just changing this one aspect of your life.
- Get Some Sleep: Looking back at the past few months, you have certainly not gotten the rest that you needed to be at the top of your game. Now is the time to do a little catching up! Make a habit of getting 8 hours of sleep every night. Re-charging each day is extremely important to your overall energy level at the office.
- Exercise Your Body: When you are tired and run down, some people will want to “veg” in front of the TV until they rest and feel more energetic. The opposite is what you should do. Exercise will get your heart rate up and will raise your energy level faster than anything you can do. Commit to exercising at least 30 minutes a day, at least three days a week. Regular exercise not only increases overall energy levels, but it also increases our feelings of health, well being and self-esteem.
- Exercise Your Mind: Turn your attention away from your “normal” work and dive into a new book or a new project. Choose something that will challenge you and help to expand your current knowledge base. Your energy will increase as you learn new information.
- Don’t Over commit: Now that one busy season is over, many will be tempted to over schedule and over commit in other areas of their life. Don’t “cave in” to temptation. Give yourself a break to really concentrate on the parts of your work and family life that are the most important.
- Regularly Evaluate Your Priorities: A phrase that is nearly a mantra for me is, "identify the result you want and plan for that result." Say it. Say it out loud. This statement is a guide for the wise investment of your time and energy, rather than digressions to confusion and anger.
- Dump your "Freinemies”: What are Freinemies you say? Well, they are people in your life that act like they are your friend and the reality is that they are your enemy. They are the people that bring negative slug to your life. We have all met them. The people that you are around for about 30 seconds before they are complaining about something or spreading gossip. You walk away from them and feel like you have been rolling around in the mud. You don’t need them in your life; make a conscious choice to let them go!
This sounds delightful doesn’t it? It is – but amazingly many people just can’t do it. This concept is tougher than it sounds… but once you get the hang of it – you will not be able to live without it.
While all of these strategies will help you in re-gaining your energy, the truth is that execution of the strategies is where your failure may lie. So, the next step after identifying “what” you want to do is to decide the “how” and “when”. Take a few minutes to write down the strategies that you are committed to completing. If they are written down you are more likely to accomplish them. Also… remember the word “commit”. Commitment is an absolute, from your heart and soul feeling, that you are going to accomplish what you set out to do. If you “attempt” to accomplish something or “intend” to accomplish something – most likely it will never happen. Choose only a few areas in your life that you really believe you can change and that you WANT to change and then make an absolute commitment to getting them done.
You may feel a bit overwhelmed and under-energized now, however, if you employ just a few of the strategies outlined above you will find yourself on task and fully energized in no time at all!
Written by: Sandra L. Wiley,BS Human Resource Management, SPHR with Boomer Consulting, Inc. Sandra Wiley is the COO and Senior Consultant with Boomer Consulting, Inc. In her 11 years with Boomer, Sandra has worked with clients to strengthen their firm’s human capital using Strategic Planning and Kolbe Index processes and procedures.