When Relationships are new they are exciting and we love spending time together. Energy abounds and we can’t wait for the next time we see the new person in our lives. Everything is fresh, new, and exciting. This level of energy is hard to sustain though, and it isn’t long before we feel the relationship slipping. We still care about the person and we still want to grow into a relationship with them, but there doesn’t seem to be enough of us to go around. Where did all that excitement and anticipation go?
A decade ago we talked a lot about time management. I think we have talked this one to death. Managing our time has taken a back seat to managing our energy. As technology has improved, and the economy has demanded that we find ways to cut costs, many people are working from home offices. Even when we don’t work from our home offices we are “connected” to work 24/7 through mobile devices like laptops and cell phones. The boundaries between work, family time, and leisure have blurred.
When this first started happening we tried to manage our time better. Now, we are beginning to realize that we can’t manage our time when we have demands hitting us constantly (thanks to technology). Maybe managing our time isn’t the answer. Perhaps we should turn our attention to managing our energy. This concept is really a good one to work with in today’s world because in order to make sure we have energy for the important things in our lives we are going to have to learn to conserve and manage that energy so that we have enough for all that is important to us (including all those friends and loved ones).
Unfortunately, we aren’t yet doing such a good job of energy conservation and many of us are finding that the important people in our lives are getting whatever is left over at the end of the day which isn’t much. When we do finally get to spend some time with our loved ones, we are definitely not at our best. Our minds are sometimes fuzzy. We sometimes fall asleep right in the middle of the movie we were looking forward to enjoying with our loved one. Heaven forbid if our significant other wants to “discuss” anything. We just don’t have the energy for it! The solutions to this problem are yet to be discovered. What I know for sure, though, is that we have to intentionally decide to take control of our energy expenditures and learn “energy management” or we might just end up with a job, but nobody with whom to enjoy life. So, what can you do to manage your energy better?
The person that falls asleep during the much anticipated movie is me! I sometimes feel like the energizer bunny. I just go and go until I can’t anymore and when I find myself with a few minutes to just sit down and do nothing…..I nod off. That isn’t even the worst of it though. I love my friends and family so much and I honestly think about them all the time, but they never know it because good intentions don’t count when it comes to spending time with or even spending time talking on the phone with the people who are important in my life. I think I need the benefit of my own coaching and need to learn to set those boundaries a little tighter. The Energy Management idea came from a book that I have only just begun to read called Elsewhere USA by Dalton Conley. When I was introduced to this term, it opened my eyes to a new way to look at things. You see, I have been stuck on trying to manage my time, not my energy. It hasn’t been working for me and I would venture to guess that it hasn’t been working for you either. Won’t you join me in exploring what this new concept could mean to your life? Take the coaching challenge below and report back to me what you discover!
- Get out your journal out. Dust it off if necessary!
- List the important people in your life leaving at least five spaces between each name. Make separate pages for family and for friends.
- Look at the list and honestly appraise how much energy you have put into each relationship in the last six months.
- If you are satisfied that you have put in enough energy to properly maintain your relationships, close your journal and move on, but if you aren’t, proceed.
- In the spaces below each name write things you know that you and that person enjoy doing together.
- Grab your planner and see when you can connect with each person. Write the date in the space below the name along with the way you would like to spend time with them.
- Contact them either by phone or email and make it a date! (Hint: since moving to Arizona I can’t see many of the people I care about the most so I try to make phone dates with them). One of my clients even has a phone date with one of her best friends as they watch the same TV program together each from a different state! You have to get creative.
- Let me know how it’s going. I love success stories. If you are having difficulties achieving success, schedule a coaching call to get you started. Good luck!