Channel Your Energy Effectively

There is a finite amount of time in each day. Most of us are hyperaware of this fact, continually fretting about how we will manage to accomplish everything we need to get done. But perhaps the bigger issue is how we are utilizing our time. After all, our level of energy is not finite—while it has a certain capacity, it changes day-to-day and we can control how much or how little we use. Here’s the thing: you can exert considerably less energy throughout the day if you spend it wisely. The secret to this lies in doing simple but intentional planning. If you feel like you are continually exerting yourself without really getting anywhere, consider the following tips for learning how channel your energy effectively and get off the hamster wheel of life. 

Look at the Big Picture: Start by taking a moment to look at the “big picture” and think about how you want to live your life. What are your hopes for what the future could bring? Who do you want to surround yourself with? What activities will you commit yourself to on a weekly, monthly and annual basis? Challenge yourself to brainstorm dreams that are big but also intentional. This step is important because it will provide you with a sense of direction. 

Set Your Goals: Now, look back at your “big picture” ideas and ask yourself honestly if you have the time, money and energy to invest into working on them. This will help you become more intentional in identifying what matters most to you. If one particular goal seems to challenging, break it down into lots of smaller goals and create momentum by identifying specific milestones. Learn more about setting SMART goals

Design Your Days: Once more for good measure—the key to channeling your energy effectively is to be intentional. A good way to remain intentional on a day-to-day basis is to create a morning and evening routine. Begin each day by reviewing your schedule, pinpointing three major “to-do’s” and identifying when you will fit in space for whatever you outlined when thinking of the “big picture” (i.e. family, friends, fitness). In the evening, reflect upon your day, practice gratitude and prepare for the following day. 

Stay on Track: In addition to reflecting upon each day, it is important to review your goals throughout the year to determine if you are making progress toward your “big picture” ideas. Decide what interval makes the most sense for you in terms of reviewing these goals—whether it be daily, weekly or monthly. The important thing is to review them and make sure you are taking note of deadlines, evaluating your progress and celebrating milestones. 

The key to channeling your energy effectively is getting clear on what you are trying to accomplish. It is easy to get distracted when you are not certain where your focus needs to be. Make sure these accomplishments are both doable and meaningful. Then, hold yourself accountable by setting milestones and reviewing your progress. Making small, significant changes will create more momentum and energy then trying to accomplish numerous, meaningless tasks. With practice, you will feel increased levels of both energy and satisfaction. 

Carolyn Moriarty, LPC

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