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In the last segment, we talked about adding something in. Now let’s take something (or many things) out!
All around us are people, projects, and things that drain us of energy. Picture yourself as one huge power strip and every item on your to-do list and every person asking something of you is an electrical cord running out of you draining you of energy. There are some things and people we generously give our energy to because doing so makes us feel good and energizes us right back up. For others, the true “energy vampires”, things start to get dangerous – for the power strip and for you! The trick is to rid yourself of those cords that do nothing but drain.
These are people who, after we have an encounter with them, we walk away and feel physically drained. Maybe they tend to have the same story of woe to tell – over and over and over again. Life is so miserable, yet when you offer suggestions, they brush them off, and when you ask what they are doing to change things, they look at you blankly. These encounters can be exhausting. We may not be able to entirely cut off contact with these people, but we do need to set boundaries. We can limit the amount of time spent together or request that they honor our wishes not to discuss certain problems until they’ve taken action to address these issues.
This brings to mind author/coach Darren Hardy’s theory of “limited associations”. He describes “three-minute”, “three-hour”, and “three-day” people in our lives. Three-minute people are those with whom we enjoy a quick conversation and that’s enough. Three-hour people are those with whom we enjoy a meal or outing. We spend weekend outings with our three-day friends. The key is identifying these people correctly and being careful not to find ourselves spending three days with a three-hour or three-minute person.
Have you ever found yourself losing hours of time on the computer through your use of social media, email, or by surfing the net? While these are helpful tools, we often kick ourselves after the fact when we think about all of the time we’ve spent in front of the computer screen when we could have been focused on bigger priorities.
Television is another great example. With the thousands of channels at our fingertips, DVR’s at the ready, and a nice comfy couch, we may begin watching a program with the best of limited viewing intentions and soon find ourselves hours and multiple shows later in a television fog. Stop the TV madness!
Extensive To-Dos That Never Get Done
Consider the dentist or doctor’s appointment you should have made three months ago and still have not. Do you have a multitude of minor problems around your home that each need a quick fix but you just haven’t gotten to? My recent list included cabinets with loose hinges, light bulbs that needed replacing, a broken window screen, and a refrigerator that needed a good scrubbing – and that’s just in my kitchen! Those niggling to-dos eat up your energy!
Look at your list, and focus in on 10 items you will commit to taking care of in the next 30 days. Every month, focus on another 10. You will get a sense of accomplishment as you progress and break down that list easily and consistently.
What are you spending time doing that does not need to be done or that someone else can do for you? For me, it was grocery shopping. I know there are people who love doing this. I despise it. Thanks to the wonders of online grocery shopping services, such as Peapod, I am able to do all of my shopping online for 10 minutes a week (plus be home during a pre-selected two-hour window), receive great quality produce and meats, and consistently spend far less money through price comparisons and a targeted list than I ever did going to the store. Hallelujah!
Take a few minutes and select the top three energy drains you would like to remove from your life. For each drain, consider and write down the following:
- What is the energy drain?
- How does it negatively affect you?
- What will you do to eliminate or reduce the drain?
- What will giving up or reducing this drain open up for you in your life?
Click below if you missed previous posts in the series:
Championship Life #1 – Welcome to the Championship Life Series!
Championship Life #2 – New Beginnings
Championship Life #3 – Roller Coaster Life!
Championship Life #4 – Where are You on your Priority List?
Championship Life #5 – Who Doesn’t Like a Present?