In business, we are well versed in budgets and accounting to keep track of our resources, but in our personal lives many of us fall short in this regard. As leaders, it is important that we both learn and model how to keep track of our personal energy resources, in order to get the best out of ourselves and our teams. A good way to consider this is to view it as an Energy Budget.
Your energy budget
Your budget should track both what drains and what recharges you. When your drains are exceeding your recharging capabilities, you may consider yourself “in the red”, and it is time to reorganize your life to bring back balance.
A team exercise
When your energy is low, it can drag down not just your own productivity, but that of your coworkers. This is true for everyone, so tracking your budget is an exercise you may want to do with your team as well.
Five questions to help track your energy drainers.
It is useful to consider your drainers in five dimensions: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social. Ask yourself the following questions and write down the answers:
- What drains me physically? This refers to things that affect your health, sleep, cause your body to tense up, or your exercise routine.
- What drains me mentally? This category addresses things that impact the clarity of your thoughts, your ability to remember data and your ability to prioritize things at work and at home.
- What drains me emotionally? This includes things that stir your feelings and can cause you to lose clarity in decisions. Think about what causes you anger or anxiety.
- What drains me spiritually? This refers to things in your life that go against your values, make you feel as if you lack purpose or meaning, or decrease your motivation.
- What drains you socially? This includes things such as an unsupportive work environment, too many or too few social engagements, or events that you may find taxing.
Take your time and really think about each of these dimensions. You may find that one drainer belongs in more than one category: if so, just choose the one you think is most relevant. It is important to realize that we are all one system, and these components influence each other within the system. This means that if you make improvements in one dimension, it will influence the others.
In part two we will discuss how to identify and track your rechargers.
Francesca Giulia Mereu
An executive coach with more than 20 years’ experience, Francesca Giulia Mereu is also author of the book Recharge Your Batteries. She regularly works with Frontline Humanitarian Negotiators (CCHN) and at IMD with senior leaders of global organizations. She is a Genesis Leadership Consultant working with global clients to support transitions and development.