I read this really inspiring advice from a Kara Cutruzzula, a blogger and freelance writer who publishes a simple thought each day via her newsletter. I’ve subscribed for a couple of weeks so far, and so far I’m really impressed. Kara addresses life as either energy giving or energy draining, though she uses a different word for draining!
Before you do anything today, ask yourself: Is this about to be an energy-giving activity or an energy-sucking activity? Applies to everything! Pay attention to what—and who—is sucking the life out of you, and suddenly you’ll have so much more to give.
I thought about this in terms of my own life, and it really gave me a new perspective. One of my worst energy drains is found in open loops. When last checked, I had 104 items that were due today listed in my to do app. Many of these are either “waiting on someone else” to get back to me, or are those tiny errands that need to get done, but aren’t of utmost important. Somehow, grocery shopping gets done, but sending damaged items back to Amazon doesn’t!
I’d have to say that “waiting on someone else” is most frustrating, because it’s not always clear how or if I can close these loops. These can be things like:
- Trying to convert a prospective piano student into an actual one. Lots of flakiness happens between the moment that you make an appointment to meet, either for an interview or first lesson, and the actual date/time it’s supposed to occur.
- An idea that you’re gung-ho to try but you haven’t gotten a firm commitment from the decision maker required to make it happen.
- Getting paid promptly for a gig or service that I’ve performed. It doesn’t seem to matter the amount or even how well I performed the task.
There are pretty much just three things to do: 1) follow up, 2) wait, or 3) drop it. I don’t have any great answers here, except that I have found that following up on a pre-set timetable seems to work best. There’s no need to worry during “wait” if I know that the next follow up will happen next week or next month. I’ve found that dropping things is healthy, since nothing in life is truly final, except life itself!
What are your energy giving and energy draining activities? How do you cope?