“Failure is more frequently from want of energy than want of capital.” – Daniel Webster
Energy, or lack thereof, has been an issue for leaders for as long as leaders have existed. I’m sure that, thousands of years ago, the head cave man was tired and run down and felt overwhelmed with all the responsibilities on his plate. Sometimes as a leader we don’t do everything we know we should simply because we don’t have the energy to do it.
That’s even more true today. It’s the understatement of the year to say that as we near the end of 2020, virtually all of us are feeling tired and short of energy. Not only are we worn down by the normal things we deal with, but you can add the 2020 cocktail of crazy on top of it. The result is that most leaders are performing well below their best. Some aren’t even performing adequately. They just don’t have the energy to do so.
That’s why it’s so important to guard your energy. Think about that from two perspectives. First, ask yourself what in your world takes energy from you. Are there people who just wear you down? Are there certain tasks or responsibilities that drain you? Are there things you do in your leisure time that are exhausting? For example, what are you reading/listening to in your free time?
Once you’ve identified those things, eliminate them. I know, some people/tasks/etc. can’t be completely eliminated from your life. But can you at least minimize them? Can you at least spend as little time on them as possible? How can you build your day to limit your contact with those people or activities or that noise?
Second, ask yourself what in your world gives energy to you. Are there people who build you up? Are there things you do that make you excited about your career or your life? What do you do outside the office that energizes you?
Connect with those people and those things. Make time for stuff that makes you feel good. When we’re busy, we have the tendency to believe that doing stuff we enjoy is a waste of time, that we’re being lazy enjoying ourselves when we should be working. That belief is garbage.
Human beings need refreshing. We need to recharge. We need energy to be the kind of great we’re supposed to be. Make sure you’re guarding your energy. Make sure you’re not letting people take it from you, and make sure you’re creating all that you need.