Monday, December 01, 2003

Managing Energy

One of my favourite quotes comes from my mother and goes something like this "As we get older, God in his infinite wisdom, let our eyesight fade so we shouldn’t see the wrinkles and lines that appear. Man in his infinite stupidity invented glasses which just magnifies them all". I love that one Mom!

So what I learned from that as I creep closer to my 50th birthday is to not wear glasses when I'm anywhere near a mirror. Works for me!'s one's energy that's apparent to others more than wrinkles (and by the way, I've earned every single one).

Most of us take a great deal of pride in multitasking. Speaking to a client just the other day, he remarked that doing a million things at once is "a woman’s thing". Well, I'm not so sure about that, even though mothers do tend to have to learn to have 10 sets of hands and eyes in the back of their heads while doing at least 5 other things at the same time. That I do agree with. Been there, done that.

My son used to tell me that I'd come home from work both wired and "green" (or exhausted) at the same time. He was right. So it was time for me to restructure my day, my work and the scheduling of client and prep time. When demand exceeds our capabilities, we either have to find a way to clone ourselves (which hasn't been done yet) or figure out another way. Either that or we start burning out. We are forever starved for time and try to cram more and more into each day. It’s not a matter of managing time as much as energy, especially as you get older. And this takes into account the four areas of life; physically energized, emotionally connected to those around us, focused and mentally aware, and spiritually in alignment with our vision or our purpose in life.

Without achieving this balance, we become short tempered, and unfocused. We go home at the end of the day to collapse on the sofa or easy chair with very little patience for life, feeling overwhelmed with the smallest of things. Our sense of joy has all but disappeared and now we’re into coping mechanisms to "get us through one more day".

Does this make sense? Is anything worth that kind of sacrifice?

So it’s time to shift paradigms. Instead of managing time (and yes, there’s definitely a place for that as well) it’s managing energy....changing eating patterns, limiting coffee and increasing water consumption, not relying on drugs (and yes, caffeine is a drug) to keep us going. Instead of trying to avoid stress, looking at it as an energizer...a challenge, one to rub your hands together with glee and jump in with both feet. It's grasping life and getting rid of "bliss-blockers"...pruning your life of what’s toxic and truly living it instead of finding a way to get through it.

It's taking time for what's energizer in itself. And if you notice I didn't say making time, I said taking's choosing how you spend your time, a different mind and energy set in itself.

You know how energized you get when you take time to "play". So what’s stopping you?

Donna Karlin

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