I was thinking this morning about energy efficient living. I had a real trail of commentary going on in my head about the tasks I had in front of me for the day. Which to do first, the one I was loathing, a few thoughts of what I would rather be doing, etc.
On my third cup of coffee, it dawned on me how much energy I was spending thinking about the things I had to do versus just doing them.
So I thought I would share some ideas for how we can be more efficient with our own energy. Letting go of some brain clutter can lead to a more efficient life.
Energy Efficient Living
We sometimes forget that we are really nothing more than energy. When it comes to thinking about energy efficient living we tend to think only of things that plug into the wall. However, we pay little, if any, attention to our own energy efficiency.
We all have a finite amount of energy we can put out into the world every day. If we energy just thinking about stuff, we aren’t going to have enough to put towards the things that do make a difference.
Saying “No” isn’t Being Mean
This is one of the easiest places to start when it comes to controlling our energy. My fiance thinks that saying no to anyone is similar to slapping them in the face.
As humans, we have a tendency to want to please other people. Overall that is a good thing, but when we say yes to everyone all the time, it can quickly turn into a drain.
When someone makes a request of our time, even if it’s for something nice like an invitation to a cocktail party, or a cookout, or whatever, don’t just reply “yeah, that sounds great”! That is what we tend to do, but here’s what happens if we just reply yes robotically.
We haven’t considered whether the event or request is something that we actually want to be a part of. When you say yes to something that isn’t exactly your cup of tea, we create two types of energy leakage.
First, we’re just being dishonest, which always causes a bit of tension. Second, we are now obligated to devote some energy to something that isn’t adding enjoyment to our life.
The Lazy “Yes”
Ask yourself if this sounds familiar. Someone asks you to come to some event, whatever it is. Not a close friend, but just an acquaintance who you happened to be having a conversation with.
You probably know in your heart that the invitation isn’t heartfelt, but you say yes anyway because you feel it would be rude to decline.
Now the time for the event is here, and you’re stressed out about having to go. Now, you either make up some bullshit story to get out of it, or you suck it up and spend your energy on something that you’d rather not do.
Most likely, if you do attend, you’ll get asked to engage in something else you’re not interested in, and the cycle will repeat. If you get out of it, you now have to remember what bullshit story you told. You probably spend some more energy feeling guilty about lying.
Doesn’t that seem like a big waste of energy? In the “No” scenario, you politely decline, the acquaintance is probably relieved, and you’re free to go on with your day without the burden of having to deal with the situation you created by committing to something.
Energy Saving = Energy Creation
Using the story from above let’s think about the amount of energy we’ve saved just by saying no to one frivolous request.
We have saved ourselves from having to pretend like we’re interested.
We have saved ourselves the from thinking about how to deal with going to the event. Or we have saved ourselves from creating and then remembering whatever excuse we come up with.
Remember that these aren’t just singular events, either. If the event is a couple days away, it’s likely that you spend some time thinking about these issues on a daily basis. “What am I going to bring”, “who’s going to be there”, “what do I have to wear”, etc
So not only have you committed to the energy to being at the event, you have introduced a number of small energy leaks into your life.
If you can begin to eliminate the energy leaks, you are, in fact, creating more energy. You can use that gained energy in working on the things you truly care about.
Attention = Energy
All of our minds wander from time to time. When our attention or thoughts are constantly mulling things in the past or present, however, we aren’t paying attention to what is happening in our life. What is happening now is the only real thing we have in this life.
Where your attention goes is where your energy goes. If your energy is continuously focused on the past and future, not much of your energy is going towards living your actual life.
If you find yourself constantly playing the same thoughts over and over through your mind, try paying close attention to the task at hand. This takes some practice, but the more energy we can devote to the present moment, the more fulfilled our days will be.
In turn the more we will accomplish on a daily basis. In time that means achieving what we want from this life.
Sealing the Gaps
The easiest place to start in becoming more efficient with your own energy is to catch yourself as often as possible thinking instead of doing.
The more often you catch yourself, the more often you will be bringing your attention back to the present. By default, this creates more energy towards purposes.
Whenever you catch yourself try spending some time, even if it’s just a few minutes, working on something associated with a goal you have set.
You will find that this produces exponential results. As you move along, you will catch yourself more and more often and therefore be putting more and more energy towards living your life.
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts.