“Each morning I am aware that there is a finite amount of time and energy in this day.” – Oprah Winfrey
Oprah knows about Energy Vampires.
Imagine if you had more energy every day…What would you do with it? Start on that project you’ve been putting off? Finish that thing that you just haven’t had the energy to finish? Focus a little extra time on just getting organized so you’re more ready to attack tomorrow with all cylinders firing?
Ideally, we begin each day with a full tank of brain fuel, but throughout the day we’re burning it off. As Oprah Winfrey reminds herself in her every-morning mantra, above. (Everyone should have a morning mantra — a powerful tool, but more about that in another post.)
They are sneakily vampiring your energy. Know them and you can slay them.
For folks like you and me who actually are up to something and trying to create something and aspiring to get ahead and be more and have more….our energy is indeed precious.
And yet…We waste energy all day long – knowingly and…unknowingly.
When you “take a break” to watch 15 minutes of YouTube hilarity, it costs you 15 minutes of energy. A 10-minute water-cooler chat with some co-workers debits your energy account. Your 30-minute commute listening to scream radio (that’s what we used to call talk radio), costs you big time. Obsessing about something that didn’t go your way, and so on.
Over the course of a day, this adds up; come 3pm, you hit a major wall. By 7pm, your energy account is way overdrafted. And often….you don’t really know where all your energy went. This is…
The High Cost of Energy Vampires
But here’s the good news: When you focus your attention on your energy, you can put energy back into your account and even get compounding interest.
To start saving up right away, we can call out some of the most common vampires…
Crappy Food: If you’re using sugar or simple carbs to get mental energy, you’re using fast-burning fuel. Protein is where the sustained energy is.
Crappy Sleep: Too little sleep saps your mental energy.
Crappy Lifestyle: Regular exercise increases mental stamina, and doing the opposite ensures you will starve for mental energy when you need it.
Those are kind of obvious. A few, more subtle, energy eaters are…
Multitasking: Not only when you multitask are you doing nothing fast, you are wasting energy in constantly switching between, and re-engaging in, the multiple activities.
Clutter: Dr. Sherrie Bourg Carter says, “Clutter makes our senses work overtime on stimuli that aren’t necessary or important.” Clutter also makes it more difficult to relax, both physically and mentally. That pile you’re saving or not putting away or organizing – it’s stealing your precious energy.
Maintaining a to-do list with too much crap on it. I’ve talked several times about the Zeigarnik Effect – which is when the multitude of undone to-dos on your to-do list burn mental energy with reminders of all your un-done-ness.
With this list of a few sneaky energy-thieves that are debiting your energy bank account, give some of your ADHD attention to them and see of you can rein them in even a little. You will have LOADS more energy with which to crush your goals when you do.
P.S. You might like to watch the episode of Crusher™TV where I dig deeper into this topic, including the Top 3 Energy Vampires, which are all-too-common thought patterns of ADDers. (You can become a member for a buck and cancel any time ya like.) It’s Episode 64: How to Slay the Top 3 Energy Vampires. Here’s the preview of that episode: