When speaking of economy
we most often think of finances. The Webster Dictionary, in part says, "nimble.....efficient and concise use of nonmaterial
resources....". Today I want to talk about your three most valuable nonmaterial economies; Time, Energy and Personal
Well-Being. These three economies are totally interdependent systems and vital to the attainment of everything else you
want in your life.
The Interdependent Systems
Think of your Personal Well-Being as the 'Capital Investment' you make in your life. Think of Energy as the 'Dividend' you
receive from your Capital Investment. The combination of Time, Energy and Action are the resource for creating more
'Capital' or Personal Well-Being.
Personal Well-Being include such things as: money, health, fun, relationships, love, creativity, contribution, self-esteem,
leadership, team work, spiritual development, support, integrity, balance, peace and anything else that you need or value.
It includes all the things that give your life purpose, pleasure, fulfillment and aliveness.
Some things in our lives drain energy and others enhance or add zest and zing. If energy is low then we can be sure that
something is out of balance and one or more drains are sucking off our energy. If ignored, the energy drain will eventually
begin to erode Personal Well-Being. If ignored to the extreme it can lead to illness and death.
Your Biological Radar
Luckily your body is a perfect radar screen or feedback mechanism which lets you know when things have gotten out of
kilter or are life enhancing. Headaches, backaches, digestive problems, stomach aches, sleeplessness, dreaming about
work or problems, often are rooted in some imbalance or energy draining conditions in your life.
Energy drains can be subtle things we step over on a daily basis. They can be small irritations such as a crack in the
windshield, a messy closet, car or office. They can be not so subtle drains, like verbal put downs. One of my clients aptly
calls them "verbal spankings". Sometimes it is just too much of a good thing, like too many social engagements in a short
time. It can be too little sleep, poor eating habits, over indulgence in food and drink or simply not enough quiet time by yourself.
For the next week notice and list people, events and circumstances which trigger negative physical responses or drain your
energy. Whatever they are for you, get conscious of them and then take action to start eliminating them.
Certain people, activities, circumstances and events add to the productivity, vitality, joy and aliveness of your life. One of
my clients is a highly creative person. Her profession of technical writing has its creative aspects but, it is also highly left
brain, detail demanding work. We have noticed that if she does not take time off, about once a month, to go to a museum
or some other creatively revitalizing activity, her productivity goes down hill in a hurry.
This week make a list of people, activities, circumstances and events which add to the productivity, vitality, joy and
aliveness in your life.
Should's VS. True Energy Drains
A few years ago I had a client who, at every session, talked about the clutter and disorganization in her office and home.
Each session we would discuss actions she would take to begin to remedy the problem.
Although, in other areas of her business and personal life she had made great progress, after three months, she still
had taken no action on the issue of clutter and disorder. I observed that her business was profitable and running smoothly,
and that in no way did she or her husband seem to be suffering from the clutter and disorder in their home.
I suggested that perhaps she just thought she 'should' be more organized, when in fact it did not seem to have any
negative effect on the achievement of her personal or business goals. She was greatly relieved when I suggested that
we just take that issue off the list and consider it a non problem. The real energy drain was her belief that she 'should' be
more organized and the guilt she felt because she was not.
It is hopeless to try to manage your time until you are clear about what is truly important to you and what you want to create
with your time. Without that clarity and making choices based on your true wants and needs you are doomed to spent your
precious time on the crisis of the moment and other peoples priorities.
Taking control of your time and your life requires a clear vision of what you want and do not want in your life. It requires
setting boundaries, learning to say NO to the people (including yourself) and events that drain energy. It requires taking
focused action on the activities which enhance your life and move you toward your desired goals.
Taking Focused Action On Building Your Capital Investment
Right this minute, while you are reading this, grab your calendar and a pencil. What are the three things you can think
of right now that enhance your energy or give you a zing? Pick a time daily or weekly that you will indulge in those activities
and put them on your calendar for the next 90 days. Now look at your calendar for the rest of the year and pencil in the days
or week(s) you will take for vacation or personal renewal.
I have a client who takes the three days before New Years and New Years day to fast and go on a silent retreat. He
uses this time to review his goals and achievements in the past year and to decide what he wants to eliminate and create
in the New Year. He actually makes a list of everyone in his life and decides who he wants to spend more time with and who
he wants to spend less or no time with. After 14 years of this process he has systematically eliminated the energy drains in
his life and now only allows time in his life for those things which give him peace, joy and aliveness.
As you take these actions you will notice that by FIRST scheduling into your life those thing which are important,
boost your energy and pleasure, that you have less time for the people and activities which deplete you. You and only you
are the source of your choices about your Well-Being. If your cup is empty you have nothing to give to yourself or others so
be sure you fill your cup first.