Tuesday, February 3, 2015

7 energy thieves



Every day, when we wake up, we have a limited amount of energy. Our attention, memory and perception are limited, just limited as our physical strength, our motivation and even our self-control. However, there are days when we reach the end of the day full of power and others when we’re already powerless at midmorning. Did it happened to you?

In these cases, we have probably been victims of some of the "energy thieves", that are merely those bad habits that make us not only lose time but also affect our productivity turning us cranky. The problem is that many of those habits are activated automatically and we do not realize that they steal us a valuable energy that can be used in more productive activities.

What are the principal daily habits that steal your energy?


1. The incessant complaints. We do this by inertia or simply to find a topic of conversation, but the truth is that we usually complain about many things, so much that sometimes complaining becomes a mania. Of course, in some circumstances or when something bothers us it is normal that we get angry, especially when we receive bad news. However, complaining about everything implies that we are only able to see the negative side of things. And who can be energized by adopting such a pessimistic attitude?

So, next time you think of complaining, ask yourself if you really have good reasons to do it or it is simply a habit that’s stealing your energy and time miserably. Remember that complaining is as useless as an Indian dance to call rain, instead, change what you can change and learn to pass over if you can’t do anything about it.

2. The mental reminders. At first glance it may seem strange but forcing us to remember dozens of micro-tasks throughout the day is a major energy thieves. In fact, there are few things that cause more stress and frustration than pending tasks. In addition, to avoid forgetting, we undertake to continually review them like a disc spinning all day long. And that is quietly exhausting.

Therefore, take pen and paper and write down everything you have to do during the day. Once you've programmed the day, clear your mind. You will realize that you were wasting a huge amount of energy. And what's even better, you’ll feel much more relaxed and more energetic.

3. The lack of hierarchy. It doesn’t mean you have to become an automaton, but if we don’t plan and rank the different tasks we develop at work and outside, we will end up forgetting or postponing them or we’ll end up blocked. The habit to improvise on the fly is not beneficial, we’ll end up physically and mentally exhausted and this goes against productivity.

Therefore, it is advisable to plan your schedule carefully, including all the most important tasks of the day. Planning now will save you mental energy later and allows you to get more things done in less time. Remember that when we don’t rank we have the risk of giving importance to irrelevant tasks and at the end of the day, you will realize that you have wasted your energy uselessly, while important tasks are still pending.

4. The disorder. Actually, disorganization is not a problem until you have to find something. So, not only you will lose precious time getting a room upside down, but you’ll feel frustration and stress growing inside you. And once you've filled yourself with those negative emotions, it is difficult to refocus or hold a conversation without feeling irritated.

So try that everything be in place. The time you invest today is gained tomorrow. Make of the order a must and apply it at your home, office and even about the information stored on your computer.

5. The permanent indecision. Doubts are normal when we have to make important decisions, and then we’d like more time to think about it, but during the day we took hundreds of small decisions that can’t take more than a few seconds or minutes of reflection. The permanent indecision is a great energy thief because it forces us to think of scenarios that may never occur and plunges us into a state of uncertainty and chaos that ends up exhausting us.

So try to get rid of all those little "internal battles". Be conscious of the fact that you can’t always have all the data to make the best decision and probably sometimes you’ll make a mistake, but don’t worry. It's even worse not to decide, follow the circumstances or wasting precious energy deciding on something inconsequential.

6. Emotional vampires. There are negative people who are genuine emotional vampires and steal our energy. Even if we don’t realize it, these people spread their negativity and their problems on us. Thus, before we know it, we're losing power. This happens very often because we do not know how to set clear boundaries in relationships.

Do not fall into the networks of negative people, know that spending time with them has a high price, psychologically speaking, because you have to be on the defensive all the time. Therefore, the best is to make clear from the beginning what you expect from this relationship and what you can give in return. Do not let them overcome your limits passing their negativity to you and manipulating your emotions.

7. Perfectionism. There are few things that steal as much energy as the desire to make something perfect. It is true that procrastination is not a good counselor and it is advisable to strive in every project we undertake, but sometimes perfectionism becomes a black hole that sucks our time and energy. In fact, perfectionism turns us slow and inefficient, fills us with doubts and blocks us, generating a growing feeling of oppression.

However, there are many tasks of everyday life that does not have to be perfect, just as they are made. Try to stop before falling in the pathological and obsessing perfectionism. Set your own limits for different tasks and determine what steps or "imperfections" you can afford.

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7 energy thieves
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Jennifer Delgado Suárez

Psicologist by profession and passion, dedicated to to string words together. Discover my Books

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