The high cost of energy-depleting behavior
When people tell me they are working 12 to 14 hour days like it is a badge of honor to prove their worth to their company or their dedication to growing their business, I hear their voices but all I see is energy being sapped right out of their bodies. I know ultimately they will engage in poor decision-making and lack of focus.
Working that many hours a day is not praiseworthy. It is frightening for those who care about you and depend on you. It means that sooner rather than later, you are going to crash.
Our energy-depleting behaviors catch up with us.
Only you can change a life that has spun out of control. I know because I have been there.
How do you know you are living in spin-cycle?
You are frequently feeling irritable, impatient, and anxious at work, especially when facing challenges. You don’t have enough time for family and friends, and just about no time for activities you enjoy.
You have difficulty just focusing on one thing at a time. You spend most of your day reacting to crises and demands instead of doing things that add longer-term value to your company and yourself.
You have no time for reflection, creative thinking and strategizing. You fill up your evenings, weekends and even “vacations” with work.
Mostly, at the end of the day, if you are honest, you have to admit that there is a huge gap between what you say is important to you in your life, and how little energy and time you allocate to that.
Around the globe, major organizations are recognizing that energy-depleting behavior needs to be addressed to bring employees back to a sense of alignment in life, with their satisfaction and well-being addressed as well as their production.
Sony Europe, for example, has prescribed energy renewal programs for more than 2,000 of their employees. This translates to such things as intermittent breaks, midday workouts, curtailing times for answering emails, and checking on the stories irritable colleagues are telling.
During their busiest tax season, employees at Ernst & Young were encouraged to do breathing exercises and take renewal breaks after periods of intense focus. Employees who were part of the program reported feeling less stressed than in previous tax seasons.
A number of companies have even created “renewal rooms” on site for employees to walk away and restore their energy several times a day.
If your company is smaller with fewer resources, you can still encourage employees to find their own renewal space and bring in life coaches to help people to moderate their energy-depleting behaviors.
If you work alone but recognize your symptoms as being energy-depleting, you can start to set your world back on its axis by doing what you do best at work. At the end of the work period, you need to schedule and adhere to time set aside for living the rest of your life, such as spending time with your family, taking care of your health, and doing things for others.
Your daily agenda needs to better match your life agenda and values.
Build into each day some energy-building rituals as well. It could be a workout, but it can also be just a cup of herbal tea at 4 p.m. or a five minute meditation in a sunny nook outside your workplace every couple of hours.
Remember that energy springs forth from your body, your emotions, your mind and your spirit. Your rituals can renew it; your never-ending work schedule can drain it.
Regardless of the circumstances in which you work, you have to find ways to save yourself and your energy throughout the day so that you still have something in your energy well for the rest of your life.
Paula Morand is a leadership building, revenue boosting, strategy expanding keynote speaker, author and visionary. This dreaming big and being bold leadership expert and brand strategist brings her vibrant energy, humor and wisdom to ignite individuals, organizations and communities to lead change, growth and impact in a more bold fashion. 24 years, 27,000 clients, 34 countries, 15 books, former radio personality, 11x award winning entrepreneur and humorous emcee.Check out Paula’s best selling books: “Bold Courage: How Owning Your Awesome Changes Everything”, “Dreaming BIG and Being BOLD: Inspiring stories from Trailblazers, Visionaries and Change Makers” book series; and due to be released soon “Bold Vision: A Leader’s Playbook for Managing Growth” go to Amazon http://ow.ly/i8yW307ix67
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