A few days ago I was sitting at my desk after dinner going through a few emails. I was really tired, but it was not a draining tired, it was an energizing tired. I started thinking on this a little more. Recently I have been very tired and also exhausted, but this was different. What had changed? I started thinking about where I am in my personal and professional life to connect the dots and identify what makes me tired and pulls the life out of me versus what makes me tired but still motivates me.
If you think about it, you may be able to reflect on times when you have felt the same way. For example, when I completed my first half marathon, I was wiped out but also exhilarated from completing something:
Life is much like this. I appreciate the human behavior tool Emergenetics because it helps us to identify what give us energy and what drains our energy, and not just what we are good at (it is important to know the difference). Have you ever noticed you can be good at something and it still drains your energy? That is because we develop competencies (skills) and become better at those skills through practice, but that does not necessarily mean that those skills are energizing. For example, I may not be good at innovation so I take some classes, read books, and surround myself with innovators. The truth is, if this is not a natural talent for me, it will not move to strength . That does not mean we do not develop skills in areas that are not energizing talent areas. Sometimes we have to in order to be successful or move to the next level in our leadership roles. However, we need to be aware that skills that are not 'raw talents' will likely not move to 'strengths'. Further, even though we may develop competencies around them, they will most likely still drain our energy.
I realize every role we fill will have a combination of things we love to do that give us energy and things we do not like to do (even if we are good at them) that drain our energy. This is not necessarily about getting the things off your plate that you do not like to do. The point I hope you walk away with is one of balance. Recognizing what gives you energy and what drains your energy and then learning how to manage yourself as well as your schedule to have a balance in your life rather than high highs of energy days and low lows of draining days.
Below are 8 steps to help you identify what gives you strengths and what zaps your energy:
The bottom line is self-leadership which begins with self-awareness and moves to self-management. Ned Herman said, “Information without application leads to fascination but information with application leads to transformation.” We are striving for transformation. We have too many “aha” moments and then do not do anything with them. I would love to hear from you. Have you ever found that you are exhausted but energized and/or exhausted and totally fatigued? If so, what did you do with that discovery? How do you balance your schedule for the things that give you energy versus the things that drain your energy?