We all have a battery pack within us that helps to sustain our personal energy throughout each day. Nope, I'm not talking about the meal we have in the morning with that fresh cup of coffee or tea, although that is a part of the overall energy equation. I'm talking about the personal energy each one of us has when it comes to just going about the day. Either at work or at a baseball game or the sort, when our personal energy is charged, you feel good. You feel that you can do good work, enjoy game you're watching, or keep up with a group conversation. But when your personal energy is down, you find yourself getting easily irritated, your concentration becomes more difficult to maintain, your interest in doing something begins to be lacking.
Don't worry, everyone feels drained sooner or later of their personal energy. The trick is that just like a rechargeable battery, we need to periodically recharge our own personal energy battery in order to be at our best. Below are a few ways to help you recharge your personal energy:
- Highlight the Positive - Create a list of activities that you enjoy most and which make you feel good. Make it a point to schedule at least one of the activities on the list into your life each week.
- Don't Take Worries with You to Bed! - If you have trouble falling asleep because you’re thinking over the day's events or your pondering about a new idea or a new concern of some sort , then stop. Put a pad of paper and a pen next to your bed. Whatever you’re worrying about before you go to sleep, just write it down. Feel free to do the same if you tend to wake up in the middle of the night. By writing it down, you won't have to worry about forgetting it. This is a powerful way to calm your mind and get a better night’s sleep.
- Put into Practice Some Realistic Optimism - We can’t change what happens to us, but we definitely can make a choice as to how we respond. Challenge the story you’re telling yourself when something that makes you feel bad happens. Is there a more optimistic and empowering story you can tell yourself (and others) without denying the facts?
- Just Breath - Here's a simple one, stop what you're doing for a moment and just take one long, deep and slow breath. Take two if you want! By taking a long deep breath (breathing in through the nose, holding it in as long as you can while remaining comfortable, and breathing out through the mouth), we increase the oxygen levels in the blood, relax the mind/body and recharge our personal energy. A little trick on this is to try it with your eyes closed.
- Take a Break and Take a Walk - Whenever the stress of the day is getting to you, and you notice yourself getting easily irritated, your personal energy battery is getting drained too low and it may be time to take a quick getaway. Just stop what you are doing, take a breath (see above), and go for a walk outside. Don't just walk around in the office, or near the location where you are currently being stressed out, just get away for 10 to 15 minutes. If it's nice outside, go for a walk outside.
- Begin a Consistent Exercise Routine - Come on, you knew this little piece of advice was coming somewhere down the line :-). The key word here is consistent. Exercising is one of the simplest ways to recharge your mind and spirit. Doing it consistently is half the effort. One doesn't need to work out in a gym and perform a body building routine if they don't want to. Something as simple as taking a 30 to 45 minute walk every morning will work.
- Turn off Email Once a Day - This is one that rings true to my own heart. I myself am guilty of multitasking with email. Looking at, sorting and responding to emails while I'm either on the phone or talking with someone. Believe it or not, this puts quite a drain on a person. A way to help avoid this is to turn off email for at least 60 to 90 minutes each day. During that time focus all your energy on a specific task at hand.
- Take More than One or Two Breaks Each Day - No matter what you do for work, no matter how important it is, you will do a better job on it if you take some quick breaks throughout the day. The ideal amount of time is every 90 minutes or so. Why? Because for most people, the natural rhythm their bodies go through occurs once every 90 minutes. Similar to sleep cycles that occur every 90 minutes while we're asleep, our bodies continues with their cycles every 90 minutes throughout the day, moving between periods of high energy and low energy.
- Stay Away from Your Desk (and the Office) During Lunch - In addition to the periodic breaks throughout the day, taking time to eat your lunch is a very important time to help recharge your energy. By taking an extended break in the middle of the day to eat your lunch, preferably away from the office, you'll be able to better handle the rest of the day.
Everyone periodically needs to recharge their personal energy. Not doing so, will result in increased stress, increased issues at work and at home as well as an eventual detriment to health. The above are not the only ways in which a person can re-charge their personal battery, but they are ones that have helped many individuals (including myself) recharge.
What are some ways you recharge your personal batteries?
Gil Pizano is an experienced leader and management professional and is currently part of the management group within the business intelligence segment of a major property and casualty insurance company. He has an MBA from the University of Hartford's Barney School of Business along with a Bachelor of Science in engineering from the University of Hartford’s College of Engineering.