Personal Energy Management For the WIN!

May 22, 2020

Let’s talk about personal energy management. This is a topic that I’m super excited about because we actually just recently wrapped up my signature program, peace and productivity, to be honest, energy management ended up being most of what we talked about and whenever we brought it up or somebody mentioned it and we started […]

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Let’s talk about personal energy management. This is a topic that I’m super excited about because we actually just recently wrapped up my signature program, peace and productivity, to be honest, energy management ended up being most of what we talked about and whenever we brought it up or somebody mentioned it and we started kind of going off on different tangents about what it means to us and different definitions and how it shows up in our life.

It was a really exciting, vibrant conversation. I feel like talking about energy management, it’s true for me and it was true for the women that were in the course with me, that it simplifies things. It just takes all the things that we’re trying to do and trying to manage and boils it down to what is really impactful.

I realized that ultimately all the things I’ve been working on sharing, teaching, putting into the simply big life method, they all fall under energy management. They fall under that broader topic where ultimately I came to realize that it just makes it so simple. When we talk about time management, that’s a tricky thing because time is a finite resource and of course we can’t do anything about the fact that we all only have 24 hours in a day.

We can’t work harder to get more hours, right? But when it comes to energy management, we can do things on a daily basis to expand and optimize our energy. We can set up our environment in such a way to replenish and renew our energy and manage it in a way that works for us. So I don’t know about you, but for me that’s really, really good news and it helps to get down to the bare bones of, okay, what should I be focusing on right now?

And ultimately I have found myself over the course of these last few weeks really putting everything in terms of energy management, because it all makes sense when you look at it through the lens of our personal energy.

For example, when I don’t get a workout in, I can feel my physical energy being depleted, I can tell the difference. And, now I’m able to look at it through the lens of how I want to feel. Not with judgment or anything other than awareness and knowing that, okay, so that means tomorrow if I want more energy, then I am going to commit to moving my body.

I want to give you three definitions to get the ball rolling. I’m big on defining things so that they make sense to me and what I am trying to accomplish.

Energy in the dictionary is simply the capacity to work. It makes sense when we think of energy, we think of fuel. It’s just the capacity to work, to push something,to get it moving. If this is energy, then our personal energy is the individual capacity to thrive on a daily basis. So if that’s personal energy, your individual capacity to thrive on a daily basis, then personal energy management, which is what we’re talking about, is intentionally renewing, protecting, and directing your energy. So those are my three definitions.

Taking it a step further, there are four forms or sources of personal energy. Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Personally, I like to think of them as my energy tanks. Talking about fueling and refilling my tank, makes it a very tangible way to think about how I am managing my energy.

So those are the four energy tanks that ultimately if our goal is to manage our energy, then we’re going to pay attention to all four of these. And of course in different seasons our different tanks are going to be at different levels. And that’s why it is so important. That’s why we need energy management. That’s where the awareness and the noticing without the judgment comes in and just learning, becoming a student of your energy.

Let’s break down the four tanks a bit more. So when we’re talking about the physical energy tank, really that’s probably the easiest to picture or to understand. And that’s just the functionality of energy. It is how we nourish our body, the amount of rest we get, how we move our body etc.

And then our mental energy is really the focus of energy. Our ability to remain focused and find clarity. And this, I believe is where a lot of us can get caught in our mental energy being depleted as women in today’s world. Here is where we start talking about trying to multitask and overload our calendar and do “all the things” we think we should do. That feeling of overwhelm often comes from the mental energy being depleted. Multitasking, decision fatigue, just our level of clarity overall of what are the things we should be doing, we should be focusing on.

The emotional energy tank is the quality of our energy. So this is our feelings, our emotions. How we’re feeling, how we’re showing up, how well we’re connecting with other people. So this is where positive and negative energy come into play. As well as limiting beliefs that shape how we view ourselves and the world around us. When we are emotionally depleted, it is very difficult to be fully present and engaged with life.

The fourth energy tank is the spiritual energy and that’s really just connecting to the deeper meaning and purpose, the energy where you’re connected to something bigger than yourself. And so whatever that is for you, it can be so many different things. For me, personally, it’s my connection to God and my faith. This shapes pretty much everything I do. When I am disconnected, or trying to rely on my own strength, often times that is when y spiritual energy tank is the lowest.

And like I said, it can mean so many different things. Ultimately it can also be seen and represented in just the way that we are being intentional with our time and in our days, whatever we’re doing. And really having that purpose and the meaning behind what we’re doing, feeling like we love what we do or what we’re doing and who we’re with. So ultimately that’s the way I look at the spiritual energy tank. It’s that deep fulfillment and security in knowing that you have a deeper meaning and a purpose. And it goes back to your core values, what is truly important to you.

So those are the four energy tanks – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. And of course as you can see, these all four will definitely affect each other. That’s the way I see it, I’ve always said we are holistic beings. We play so many different roles and we do so many different things, and beyond that, we have so many facets to our ourselves and what makes us who we are.

The first step when learning how to manage and ultimately optimize your personal energy is to study it! I love this quote by Dolly Parton. “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” This is something that you will hear me say over and over again because that’s what worked for me. Once I really started figuring out who I was and what was important and what direction I wanted to go in, I just felt like nothing was impossible.

Studying and taking the judgment out, taking the shame out. If you’re finding things that you’re not loving, that’s part of it, right? Part of it is to know what’s going well and then also to be honest with yourself and to see clearly what could be better. So ultimately we’ve talked about, you know, us knowing ourselves through our core values. And then the next way that we can really study is our energy is through the energy audit, which I will dive into in depth in episode four. So be sure to listen to that. And the second parts of the first part of the framework is to study your energy. The second part is to renew your energy. So ultimately after you’ve kind of learned again what works for you, what doesn’t work for you, what drains you, what sustains and refills you.

We want to focus on refilling, renewing. So step two is renew and once you’ve learned those activities, then implementing them into your days. So creating habits and rhythms that will optimize your energy, your personal energy, and it’s going to be different for all of us. That’s why I believe I can’t just give you, okay, here’s the five habits, here’s the five steps to this routine. Do it this way. This is the way I do it and it works for me, so it’ll work for you. I absolutely don’t believe that’s true. I believe that it’s so important for us to all do the work for ourselves to really see who we are and what works for us. And it might be, it will be probably different in different seasons of life. If we’re a mom with young kids, then of course it’s going to are our habits and the things that’s going to refill us or drain us, they’re going to look different than if we’re an empty nester, right?

So, or a mom with kids in school, I mean so many different seasons, so many opportunities to relearn what works for us and what doesn’t. So we have steady renew and then we want to protect, protect our energy. So once we’ve set it up and we’re refilling and we’re renewing, there are still of course going to be areas in our lives that are prone to leaks, right? That they get more leaky and a hole here and there more than other areas of our energy. So an example of this. So really we want to find what are the things, activities, people, the way that our environment is set up that drain our energy, that drain our energy takes. And we want to set up boundaries in order to protect the energy. So for me, just a simple example because it’s a real too, it’s a real, um, is scrolling on social media.

I would venture to guess that a lot of, you know, some of you at least out there can relate to that. It’s something that it sounds good and you may be only think you’re going to do it for a couple of minutes, but it gets into this weird zone of like numbing out and just not thinking about anything. And you just like an hour later you’re like, Whoa, I have been on here and I don’t even know what I saw or what I read. So it’s just scrolling mindlessly. And honestly sometimes that’s okay. We do need time also to numb out and just be disconnected. But there’s a way to do that with intentionality and not in a way that drains our energy. So for me, when I, when I have in the past, found myself scrolling, I definitely come away from that feeling less energized, feeling drained.

So for me it’s important to set up boundaries with my phone and my screen time and especially social media. So that is protecting our energy. The last step is direct your energy. So this is where now we’ve filled our buckets, we’ve protected our buckets and just creating these optimal rhythms, routines, rituals, habits, all these things that really create our days and our weeks. That’s directing our energies. So we want to know really what is important and what should we be focusing our energy on in any given moment. And that’s where, for me, honestly, planning has been a huge rhythm planning my week planning my day. It’s something now at this point that, I mean I created a planner because I love it so much and it’s just something that if I don’t do it, my energy gets misdirected. So really I think that’s key for me.

And of course for you it might be something else might work better in order to like focus in direct your energy. But that’s just an example for me, how I found it to be pretty effective and helpful and directing my energy and just focusing on, we’ll talk more about this in the upcoming episodes, but I love the idea of, um, the, the most valuable thing. What’s the most valuable thing that I can be focusing my energy on in this moment today, this week, this month. So really it comes down to living with intention and staying the course when you’ve made a plan and just directing your energy. So there’s a focus and a purpose. So those are the four steps in the framework. Study, renew, protect, and direct for energy management. So that is it in a nutshell, and I am. So again, this is the nutshell and I am basically, we’re going to be breaking this down almost in every episode. There’ll probably be a mention of energy management. There will be something that will relate to it, because that’s what I want to help women do. I want to help you learn to manage your energy so that you can live your best life, live your best, simply big life. So I hope you have a great rest of your day and I will see you in the next episode.

I'm Sarah, a mom on a mission to simplify and create space in every area of my life. 

I help women clarify their priorities, optimize their energy and design rhythms that promote a healthy and consistent balance each and every day. 

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