Are You Protected?
Your mental energy is a precious resource.
It’s something that is given to you everyday, but not to be squandered. How are you protecting your supply on a daily basis?
Your mental energy is like a rechargeable power pack - we may access some energy at a slow burn and some in turbo, but we do burn it off, and then need to get recharged again. We cannot bank its power for another day; we get only enough for one day at a time. You can click on your remote control for only so long, and once the batteries go dead, they are dead – click away, but nothing happens.
So, what do you do?
Recharge them (or replace them) and clicking away we go. Batteries can be replaced - our brains can’t - and not caring for our minds properly can lead to poor performance, much like, “lights are on, nobody’s home!”
Have you ever found yourself reading some documents, and then wondering, “what did I just read?”, or do you find yourself succumbing to that mind-numbing fatigue that sets in while you plan everything for the upcoming wedding? What happens when there are too many unknowns, and you just feel exhausted trying to figure out what may happen next? What do you do, when you feel that mental exhaustion coming on - do you keep trying to plow through it, or do you give yourself a break and plug back in?
Sometimes, you just need to do nothing.
That’s right, I said it, nothing! Do you think that pushing the buttons on the remote any harder is going to make the thing work when the batteries are dead? Maybe shake it, throw it, yell at it, tell a story about it – how’s that working for you? - or, how about take a moment, give it a fresh set of batteries, and take better care of it.
Your mental energy, although a renewable resource, is still a finite resource on a daily basis. Pushing past that natural resource only leads to burn out, cumulative stress, frustration, and working very inefficiently. Notice that energy doesn’t build up, yet stress does – using one wisely, keeps the other at bay. How much better would you feel if you took a 15-minute break once an hour when having to read and strategize about a new idea, or if you paused and played guitar for 15 minutes each hour when planning the wedding? Would that seem like a good use of time? For some, it is a great use of time, protecting us from burning out, and ultimately even preventing us from getting sick if the demands of energy far exceed our supply on a long-term basis.
Protect your energy.
Doing tasks that you resist or don’t naturally can be done in the morning when you are operating at full power, and then get on with other tasks later, for which you have more instinctive, slow burn energy. Create time to get outside, enjoy nature and recharge your batteries with solar power. Take a break and switch gears to something else for a while, then return to the task when you are mentally ready. Pushing yourself past your natural resources is like pushing cooked spaghetti uphill.
You are the one in charge of your mental energy - no one else is. It’s a very valuable resource; protect it with your life, because energy IS life!