Eliminating Energy Drainers

We all have 24 hours a day, seven days a week to accomplish what we need to and take care of ourselves and important relationships in our lives.  Many times, we find ourselves tired and out of energy. 

What zaps us of the energy we are given? Any number of possibilities exists, but some of the most common energy drainers involve time, money, people, and our environment.  

          Often at home and at work, we lack boundaries and balance around our time. We work through lunch, don’t take breaks, engage in technology, and do not allow ourselves uninterrupted time. We say “yes” to everything and end up over-scheduling ourselves just as airlines over-book flights.

Money . . . we have to have some to live, yet many people remain very unaware of their spending habits, do not keep a budget, and their unnecessary debts climb.  

In our culture particularly, we believe “wealth = success” and the more “things” we accumulate, the better we are. Others hold on tightly to every dollar, living in fear that what they have may be gone any moment or they will never have enough.  This is “scarcity mentality” and it drives people to unnecessary fear and unhappiness.

Relationships with others can be very draining. Many people remain connected to one another out of obligation, for example. Others maintain relationships out of shame and guilt.  

Still other relationships are based on judgment and negativity. Maybe you are keeping too many relationships in your life or maybe you feel you do not have enough and are lonely. All of these circumstances can be very draining, emotionally and physically.

Your environment at home or at work should reflect your values and personality. Lack of consistency between who you are, what you believe, and how you live/work, can be a tremendous burden to bear.  

Also, lack of organization or clutter can drain people and keep them from functioning at their highest potential.  

With so many drainers in our lives, how do we begin to eliminate them?  

First of all, clarify your vision for yourself at work and at home. Ask yourself, “What do I REALLY want?” “What is my purpose?” 

Secondly, identify and list all the drainers in your life. There may be dozens of these. Most people average 25-50 energy drainers at any given time. 

Thirdly, prioritize your drainers. You may choose to categorize them from easiest to hardest, most disruptive to least disruptive, or ones you have the most control over versus the least control.

Once you have prioritized them, give yourself 90 days to begin eliminating those most significant to you. Be willing to hire someone to eliminate the drainers you need help with. (Maybe you have a home project to complete, for example.)  

Otherwise, own the process of elimination by doing all you can to remove the drainers yourself. Or you can decide that some things are no longer important to you, and you can just chuck it!

With relationships, you may decide to reinvent them by communicating your needs clearly and seeing if the person responds positively and willingly. If not, you may need to change how you operate within the relationship or eliminate it all together.  

No matter what your specific energy drainers are, remember to reward yourself regularly as you eliminate them. Engage in energy-producing activities: things you love, things you are passionate about, and things that relax you.  

Make healthy decisions in terms of the food you consume and the exercise you choose. Remain positive, believing you have an abundant life and deserve to be the best you can be. Let your faith give you strength as you change your life ~ you can do it!

© - Cindy D. Whitmer (March 13, 2010)