31 Days: take some time out from the energy drainers
Posted by kathryn in Work life integration
Today’s task in 31 Days to Better Energy might take some explanation – it’s to take some time out from the energy drainers in your life.
What are energy drainers?
Have you ever noticed the effect the people around you have on your energy levels? Interact with one group of people and you walk away with a spring in your step, feeling good not only about yourself, but also the world in general. In contrast, even five minutes with another person leaves you tired, cranky and frustrated? The second group are the ones that sap you of your energy – the energy drainers.
From people who only talk about themselves, to others who constantly see themselves as victims or push blame and guilt onto you, energy drainers come in many forms. While you can’t avoid energy drainers, for your own wellbeing it’s better to limit your time with them.
How to recognise energy drainers
Does your heart sink when a certain colleague approaches? Are there times when you hang up from a phone call with a colleague, feeling frustrated, tired and guilty? Do you ever avoid contact with certain people, because your’re not up to it? Well these people are all energy drainers – they’re the ones who leave you feeling fatigued, stressed and guilty.
Today’s task might be easy for some of you and more difficult for others. It’s to take some time out from the energy drainers in your life.
While it’s not always possible to avoid energy drainers, the important first step is to recognise who these people are and the effect they’re having on you. Is it the woman who sits two workstations down, who complains constantly about the boss? Or maybe it’s the guy that phones you four times a day about things you haven’t done yet? And how do these people make you feel.
Take a few minutes to work out who the energy drainers are in your office and then, try to limit your contact with them for the rest of the day. If you find yourself caught up with someone, politely excuse yourself, and walk away. Many people find this hard to do, but it’s worthwhile. You certainly don’t have to hurt anyone’s feelings, as Judith Orloff says “I have to go to the toilet” is guaranteed to work. Work deadlines, important phone calls, saying you’re trying to leave early that day, can all be used as well.
Spend an afternoon free from those people and check how you’re feeling at the end of the day.
This post is part of a series I’m writing over August called 31 Days to Better Energy. For more information and to view the other tasks, take a look at the introductory post.