I was turned on to The Energy Project recently. I think I someone shared it on Facebook. Their work is around helping people and organizations think about questions like:
- What gives you energy?
- What drains your energy?
- When do you feel most energetic/least energetic?
- What do you do in your free time?
I think these are important questions to answer for yourself because everyone is different. For example, if you are more of an introvert, just being around people can drain your energy where an extrovert gets more energized being with people. What type of projects make you feel energized? Do you like detail oriented work or big picture thinking type stuff? Sometimes we don't have a choice with all of the obligations we have in our lives. But many times we do!
I love their related effort Take Back Your Lunch which encourages people to leave their desks during lunch - to eat, go for a walk, do something with friends - anything to take a break and refuel your energy. If you are like me, you are reading this blog posting while eating your lunch that you heated in the office microwave!
Lately though, I've been trying to practice this simple concept. I walk with some co-workers on average 1x a week during lunch. I notice how good it feels to step away and get outside. Get away from the computer. More companies are encouraging it because they are seeing research that suggests it increases productivity and there are health benefits too.
One of my co-workers goes to our atrium area and reads a book and eats her lunch. This is such a simple idea but so hard to do for many of us. There is this cultural expectation tht we put on ourselves that we have to be seen at our desks, working, when in reality many people are at their desks but doing things that drain them. Case in point - email, Facebook, twitter - all useful tools but do we really need to be doing this when we are eating lunch? I am guilty of it for sure "oh, I'll just check it now while I'm taking a lunch break." Then 30 minutes go by, my lunch is finished and I'm still feeling empty and hungry.
I walk my dog in the morning and find myself energized when I return.
On the other hand, I get home from work and get on the computer to check email. This makes me feel drained. Is it really necessary?
What do you do that drains you? What gives you energy? How can we do more of the latter and less of the former?