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3 Things That Are Sucking Your Energy And How To Deal With Them

3 Things That Are Sucking Your Energy And How To Deal With Them

I’m sure that when you hear the phrase ‘suck your energy,’ something or someone immediately comes to mind. This is probably the tip of the iceberg when it comes to energy suckers in your life. There are many others that could be lurking around, quietly sucking out all your energy. Added together, these things can be a major cause of general fatigue. See which of the 3 common energy suckers might be lurking around you and learn a few tips on how to deal with them.

Negative person

We all have at least one person in our lives who we must deal with who sucks the life out of us! You know it’s true because you feel amazing before seeing them and then during conversation, you begin to feel like your candle has been snuffed out. They seem to take a lot of energy just to be around.

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On the opposite side of the spectrum, we also know of people who are givers. You feel better after being around them! I know, for myself, that if I have something physical to do, like a workout, I would rather have just finished being around a giver than a taker. It takes time to get your energy back up after being around an energy vampire!

So how do you solve this issue without cutting the negative people out of your life completely? The answer is to do some creative scheduling as much as possible. For example, if you are planning on working out during lunchtime, and you need to get going quickly, choose to schedule meetings with energy givers just before lunch. You can see your energy takers after your workout when you feel more resilient.

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If you don’t have a choice, or if someone caught you by surprise, then you can practice detachment. By that, I don’t mean tuning out the other person. Remain present, but place a mental screen between your feelings and your conversation. This takes practice, but the more you practice, the easier it will become. If you engage in conversation with your energy takers without attaching emotion, you can also be more objective. Practice compassion for this person. Realize that they are an energy sucker for a reason. When you step outside of your own emotions these situations are easier to deal with and take less time to bounce back.

Stress

Every time you rush from one place to another, can’t find your keys, or schedule appointments too close together, you add to your stress level. Over time, this wears on your adrenal gland. When your adrenal gland is drained, you are close to hitting bottom.

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So what do you do? Start scheduling wiggle room between things on your schedule. More time between appointments, more time to get ready in the morning, more time to get projects done–you get the idea. Also, make it a habit to put your keys, wallet, etc in the same place all the time. Items usually get separated when you rush around.

Clutter

The little bits of messes all around us quietly zap our energy, whether it be several extra items on the kitchen counter, extra bottles of this and that around the tub, or magazines and books strewn around like they were tossed. Each on its own doesn’t seem like much, but when it’s always there and it’s in conjunction with other little messes, it all adds up! When you have a tidy space around you, your mind is free to relax rather than subconsciously processing what’s in front of it.

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So what should you do? Well, if you think this might be a daunting task, start small, but start in an area that will give you maximum impact for time spent. Maybe this is the bathroom. Start with removing all loose items from the counter and around the tub. Replace just a couple of items that are most needed yet look nice. Put everything else away. Leave the room and come back a little while later and take note of how you feel. It feels good! Bit by bit, work your way around the house. Be prepared to start a donation bag and a garbage bag. Once you get going, you’ll realize you don’t need half the stuff around you!

Identify your energy suckers, deal with them, and lead a happier life! How do you deal with your energy suckers? Let us know in the comments!

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Jennifer Wasylenko

Exercise Physiologist, ACSM

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

If you’ve got a big block of free time, the best way to put that to use is to relax, have fun, decompress from a stressful day, or spend time with a loved one. But if you’ve just got a little chunk — say 5 or 10 minutes — there’s no time to do any of the fun stuff.

So, what to do in free time?

Put those little chunks of time to their most productive use.

Everyone works differently, so the best use of your free time really depends on you, your working style, and what’s on your to-do list. But it’s handy to have a list like this in order to quickly find a way to put that little spare time to work instantly, without any thought. Use the following list as a way to spark ideas for what you can do in a short amount of time.

1. Reading Files

Clip magazine articles or print out good articles or reports for reading later, and keep them in a folder marked “Reading File”. Take this wherever you go, and any time you have a little chunk of time, you can knock off items in your Reading File.

Keep a reading file on your computer (or in your bookmarks), for quick reading while at your desk (or on the road if you’ve got a laptop).

2. Clear out Inbox

Got a meeting in 5 minutes? Use it to get your physical or email inbox to empty.

If you’ve got a lot in your inbox, you’ll have to work quickly, and you may not get everything done; but reducing your pile can be a big help. And having an empty inbox is a wonderful feeling.

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3. Phone Calls

Keep a list of phone calls you need to make, with phone numbers, and carry it everywhere.

Whether you’re at your desk or on the road, you can knock a few calls off your list in a short amount of time.

4. Make Money

This is my favorite productive use of free time. I have a list of articles I need to write, and when I get some spare minutes, I’ll knock off half an article real quick.

If you get 5 to 10 chunks of free time a day, you can make a decent side income. Figure out how you can freelance your skills, and have work lined up that you can knock out quickly — break it up into little chunks, so those chunks can be done in short bursts.

5. File

No one likes to do this. If you’re on top of your game, you’re filing stuff immediately, so it doesn’t pile up.

But if you’ve just come off a really busy spurt, you may have a bunch of documents or files laying around.

Or maybe you have a big stack of stuff to file. Cut into that stack with every little bit of spare time you get, and soon you’ll be in filing Nirvana.

6. Network

Only have 2 minutes? Shoot off a quick email to a colleague. Even just a “touching bases” or follow-up email can do wonders for your working relationship. Or shoot off a quick question, and put it on your follow-up list for later.

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7. Clear out Feeds

If my email inbox is empty, and I have some spare time, I like to go to my Google Reader and clear out my feed inbox.

8. Goal Time

Take 10 minutes to think about your goals — personal and professional.

If you don’t have a list of goals, start on one. If you’ve got a list of goals, review them.

Write down a list of action steps you can take over the next couple of weeks to make these goals a reality. What action step can you do today? The more you focus on these goals, and review them, the more likely they will come true.

9. Update Finances

Many people fall behind with their finances, either in paying bills (they don’t have time), or entering transactions in their financial software, or clearing their checkbook, or reviewing their budget.

Take a few minutes to update these things. It just takes 10 to 15 minutes every now and then.

10. Brainstorm Ideas

Another favorite of mine if I just have 5 minutes — I’ll break out my pocket notebook, and start a brainstorming list for a project or article. Whatever you’ve got coming up in your work or personal life, it can benefit from a brainstorm. And that doesn’t take long.

11. Clear off Desk

Similar to the filing tip above, but this applies to whatever junk you’ve got cluttering up your desk. Or on the floor around your desk.

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Trash stuff, file stuff, put it in its place. A clear desk makes for a more productive you. And it’s oddly satisfying.

12. Exercise

Never have time to exercise? 10 minutes is enough to get off some pushups and crunches. Do that 2 to 3 times a day, and you’ve got a fit new you.

13. Take a Walk

This is another form of exercise that doesn’t take long, and you can do it anywhere. Even more important, it’s a good way to stretch your legs from sitting at your desk too long.

It also gets your creative juices flowing. If you’re ever stuck for ideas, taking a walk is a good way to get unstuck.

14. Follow up

Keep a follow-up list for everything you’re waiting on. Return calls, emails, memos — anything that someone owes you, put on the list.

When you’ve got a spare 10 minutes, do some follow-up calls or emails.

15. Meditate

You don’t need a yoga mat to do this. Just do it at your desk. Focus on your breathing. A quick 5 to 10 minutes of meditation (or even a nap) can be tremendously refreshing.

Take a look at this 5-Minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime

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16. Research

This is a daunting task for me. So I do it in little spurts.

If I’ve only got a few minutes, I’ll do some quick research and take some notes. Do this a few times, and I’m done!

17. Outline

Similar to brainstorming, but more formal. I like to do an outline of a complicated article, report or project, and it helps speed things along when I get to the actual writing. And it only takes a few minutes.

18. Get Prepped

Outlining is one way to prep for longer work, but there’s a lot of other ways you can prep for the next task on your list.

You may not have time to actually start on the task right now, but when you come back from your meeting or lunch, you’ll be all prepped and ready to go.

19. Be Early

Got some spare time before a meeting? Show up for the meeting early.

Sure, you might feel like a chump sitting there alone, but actually people respect those who show up early. It’s better than being late (unless you’re trying to play a power trip or something, but that’s not appreciated in many circles).

20. Log

If you keep a log of anything, a few spare minutes is the perfect time to update the log.

Actually, the perfect time to update the log is right after you do the activity (exercise, eat, crank a widget), but if you didn’t have time to do it before, your 5-minute break is as good a time as any.

More Inspirations on What To Do During Free Time

Featured photo credit: Lauren Mancke via unsplash.com

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