Energy is the source of action, positive or negative, so it’s important to understand our unique sources of energy so we can keep ourselves topped up with positive energy and avoid situations or people that zap our energy.
We all have people and situations that give us energy or take energy away. Proactively managing our sources of energy is key to living your Best Life.
Imagine there are three types of people:
Energy Givers: When you are with them you feel a spark of enthusiasm, you are inspired, and you know you do more exciting things, think more and learn more.
Energy Sloths: When you are with them your energy is neutral - they neither give you energy nor take it away.
Energy Vampires: When you are with them you feel your energy being drained because they are negative - they may have a ‘glass half empty’ attitude.
Thinking about your life through the lens of your energy givers, your energy sloths and energy vampires can be confronting, but it is important to notice how your energy is affected by the people you are with and the situations you find yourself in.
Meetings and organisational design can also give energy or take energy away, which is important to consider at work. If your teams rated all aspects of their work day from line manager interactions, project team meetings, the workplace environment or how much time they spend on admin versus creativity, what energy rating would each aspect of their work day get? Pro-actively considering the energy sources in the workplace, is an effective way to enhance performance.
Your energy levels are just like a battery - they may be running on full, or running on empty, or anywhere in between. The risk is that if you are running on empty you have no reserves when you have big challenges. If you can manage to increase your energy sources, and make sure that your battery is more full than empty, you will be able to cope with things life throws at you.
Your energy givers might not be people that you see that often but they still give you great energy. They are the people that bring out the best in you. They might give you energy in different ways. Through energy sources, you will work out who and what energises you (people, situations, work) and who and what drains your energy. You will work out when you feel as if you are energy neutral with your energy sloths, or drained with your energy vampires. You will also work out what will keep your battery charged at a level that will work for you.
Proactively managing your energy sources becomes part of your design as you plan to keep your energy levels at 80% to 100%. By considering what is energy giving or energy sapping for yourself and your team, you can have a big impact on how work affects each person.
'What I know is that if you do work that you love and the work fulfils you, the rest will come.'
Understanding and managing Energy sources is one of the 10 tools of life design. If each person can define and design a life that increases their energy sources, and lessens the effect of energy vampires, that step alone will get people started on Life Design. The same applies to how you design meetings and the work environment. This might only take small tweaks – after all, life design is not a knock-down and rebuild, but rather a gentle renovation of what we already have. In the design process we can make the conscious choice to have influence over our energy levels.
‘Energy and Inspiration are the two things that keep you in the zone of “I can cope with most things”.’
Gill McLaren, Author of Think.Plan.Live
When I offer executive coaching, I help people explore their energy sources and work out how to minimise the frequency of having their energy drained, and maximise an environment that gives them energy. However, I really want everyone to be able to work this out, so I have created a downloadable ebook
so you too can get started on understanding your sources of energy.
CEO and Founder of Syntegrate
Author of Think.Plan.Live.
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