Your Biggest Energy Drains
No matter how much we wish things might be different, we all just have 24 hours in a day, seven days in a week. The reality is that no matter how hard you try, you’ll still only be as productive as the things that you are doing. So, naturally, if you are focusing on the priorities you’ll get a whole lot more done than if you allow yourself to get distracted.
This brings us to the question. Whose priorities are we talking about here? How often in your day to day life are your actions determined by someone else’s need?
Now, obviously I am not talking about your boss’s priorities here. Earning a living often requires that we do what is necessary rather than what we’d like to do. By taking that particular job, you’ve consciously committed to making your boss’s expectations your priority. That’s simply part of the exchange that we call work and a paycheck.
Beyond conscious exchanges though there are things we do each day because we think we are supposed to do so. The tasks we really don’t like to do (or even value) but feel obliged to do. The activities that we do only because we feel that others expect it of us.
When these little things come up, we often find ourselves using the word “should”. I should volunteer to be the Girl Guide troop leader this year. I really don’t enjoy going to Bob’s dinner parties but I should make an appearance. I’d like to leave a free moment for myself but I really should get a few more tasks done before bedtime.
In any case, in your heart of hearts, you’d really like to skip these expectations but you feel like doing so would let others down. After all, these are tasks that aren’t really vital but you do them basically to keep up appearances. To be seen as a certain type of person.
The problem is though that if you are saying yes to something you don’t want to do, you are actually saying no to something else, likely something you do actually want to do. Yes, you can squeeze in taking Aunt Ida to the airport, then pick up your neighbour dry cleaning, while babysitting your niece’s shitszu but then you’ll be in a rush to get supper on the table. Likely, fast food which is going to leave you feeling bloated and unmotivated.
Intentions and Consequences
There are consequences to our actions. Even when our intentions are kind and loving. There’s only so much time and energy in a given day and if we over schedule ourselves with meaningless tasks meant to please someone else we are only going to waste precious time and energy.
So, I’d really like you to start taking notice about how you feel after saying yes to things you’d rather not do. Do they leave you feeling motivated and energized or do they help add to the overwhelm and frustration you are already feeling? In other words, do these experiences add meaning and flavor to your life or do they add to that stretched feeling, like life is something you survive?