In the movie About a Boy, Hugh Grant’s financially independent and unemployed character tried to explain how he manages to keep busy:
I find the key is to think of a day as units of time, each unit consisting of no more than thirty minutes. Full hours can be a little bit intimidating and most activities take about half an hour. Taking a bath: one unit, watching countdown: one unit, web-based research: two units, exercising: three units, having my hair carefully dishevelled: four units. It’s amazing how the day fills up, and I often wonder, to be absolutely honest, if I’d ever have time for a job; how do people cram them in?
WeightWatchers does something similar in the way that they assign “points” to food to simplify the process of calories, fat content etc.
In the book “How Full is Your Bucket“, Tom Rath creates a metaphor for creating positive relationships and our own productivity. The basic concept is that each of us has an invisible bucket that is being filled and emptied based on what other people say to/about you. When your bucket is full – you feel better about life, yourself, others, etc.
Personally, I think we all have an internal battery. The capacity of this battery is different for each of us. I know some people who are like Energizer Bunnies.. and others who are solar powered.
Like Hugh Grant’s character, activities consume your battery power in varying levels (not all activities are equal); and like the “Bucket Book”, some people charge your battery and some people drain it.
The important thing is to realise that you need to manage it. Everyone is “green” these days with a lot of talk in the world about renewable energy, power “vampires”, and such. But these same concepts can apply to your own internal energy source.. your battery. With awareness comes responsibility….the responsibility to act.
- Try to limit your exposure to vampires – people who drain your battery. Associate with positively charged people – your battery will not run low around these people.
- Exercise – the paradox of exercise is that you always get more charge back than you expend.
- Build “down time” into your day to ensure that you recharge batteries – watch tv, read, video game – whatever does it for you.
- Do things you love – your battery is more energy efficient when you are doing something that you are positively motivated to do.. similar to excercise, it can sometimes return more energy than is spent.
Find an “energy management” plan that works for you.