24 Jul An A-Z of Change: E is for Energy!
Change requires energy. What is true in physics is also true for people. And just as with physical objects, energy not only provides the impetus for people to change, it helps determine the direction. So becoming more aware of your energy and where it comes from can help you to change successfully.
First, think about what your energy is like at the moment? Do you usually bounce into work, keen to attack the day’s list of things to do? Or do you drag yourself in and watch the clock until it’s time to go? It’s perfectly normal to have spells of lower energy, not least when the weather’s hot and sunny and you’re in the office while your colleagues are off on holiday! But if that lack of energy persists, it’s a sure sign that you need to change something. But what?
Next, step back and think about where you get your energy from – how you recharge your batteries, if you like. I don’t mean the instant zap of a double espresso! If you’re not sure, sometimes it helps to look more deeply at the sort of person you are. Typically, an Introvert will be more energised by reflection upon their inner world and thus need some quiet time and space each day. As an Introvert myself, I find I work much better if I have some time alone each day, perhaps going for a walk between seeing clients and delivering training. Whereas my Extravert friends find that too much time with their thoughts slows them right down; they need conversation and interaction to wind them up again. (By the way, I’ve used the Jungian and ‘Myers-Briggs’ spelling of Extraversion in this piece, because I’m drawing on the more technical definition and its links to energy.)
At the small end of the scale, some changes to your working habits might do the trick. If you’re an Introvert in a busy open-plan office, perhaps you could negotiate to work from home a day each week (if it’s quiet there!). Or maybe you could book out a small meeting room from time to time when you know you need to get your head down on a project. And if you’re an Extravert, intersperse work on tasks done alone with meetings or water-cooler conversations. A pumped-up gym class rather than a solo run might be what’s needed at the end of the day.
More broadly, if you’re thinking about a more significant change like a new career or a promotion, it can also help to observe your energy around that. Are you really excited about the prospect, somehow finding time in the day to explore options, build plans, or do some training? That’s probably a good sign that the change is positive and worth pursuing. But if you keep putting that call to a useful contact to the bottom of your list and can’t seem to make time to look through relevant websites, that’s telling you something too. If the change isn’t energising, something’s not right.
What’s your energy like today? Are you whizzing along on a new set of batteries, or stuck on the sidelines like a dodgem car that’s lost its connection? Coaching can help restore and refocus your energy, so do get in touch for a conversation.