How To Protect Your Energy & Gate The Demands Of Others
Do the demands of others leave you too drained to make your impact?
If so, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons four out of 5 businesses fail in the first five years. The business owners simply have too many demands on their time. Building a business IS demanding. Harnessing your time and energy is the most valuable skill you can cultivate. If not… Energy Vampires will await you at every turn.
Seductive by nature, Energy Vampires commonly lurk in your email folder and messaging systems. They draw you in when you think you’re knocking a 2 min task off your list before diving into your bigger (more important) projects. They seduce you with little details that open bigger “story loops” … and hypnotically back you into the nearest corner as they drain your vital energy. You’re dimly aware this is happening as the day passes by, but drawn in nonetheless. By early afternoon, you are too depleted for your most important projects.
Unfortunately, the weaker your energy reserves get, the more you’ll succumb to their siren’s call. Because routines quickly build into habits… this pattern segues a long, slow bleed on your business, and your lifestyle hopes and dreams. As time and energy for your highest value priorities (such as exercise, meal prep and self care) gets pushed aside, only the grey zone or a drone-like shell of existence remains. See: Are You Losing Your Edge… Feeling Numb, Or Disengaged?
Flogging yourself to work harder is not the solution. It will only have you lying awake all night on high-alert, battling demons, fears and frustrations. See: Does Stress Keep You Awake At Night?
Neither does sacrificing your health and relationships! See: Are You Sacrificing Your Health & Relationships For Business Success?
If your finite reserves of energy and will are being depleted by small, incessant demands on your time, you need to stop; nourish your essence, and gate your energy – before it’s too late.
Since 2003, I’ve been guiding entrepreneurs, community organizers and other thought leaders to Wake Up Empowered with the physical, emotional and mental energy to double their impact with less effort. I’ve developed a system of “3 Simple Morning Rituals To Win The Day” for exactly this reason. If you are an entrepreneur who’s habitually getting sidetracked, or putting the needs of others before your own… here’s how to stake your territory and command your most valuable resources – your time and energy.
It’s all about energy management. Your business success depends on your ability to decide where, how, and when to invest your energy. If you want to be impactful, you must stand tall, stake your claim and set clear boundaries.
If you are determined to vanquish your Energy Vampires you need to gate your inner sanctum. Nourish your vital essence. Shift away from reacting to the demands of others. You have to make energy management your highest priority.
First, it’s important to boost your physical energy so you are energy rich. Second, we’ll look at plugging leaks, so you aren’t getting drained. Third, how to harness your time and energy – to be more effective with less effort.
1. Empower Your Core
Get physical at the beginning of the day to build your energy… before opening ANY gates. This builds your immunity You want to develop a morning exercise ritual that:
- Is holistic… refreshing your body, mind and spirit, to be bright, toned and agile.
- Harnesses your energy in your core, to fuel your day and nourish your vital essence (rest & digest)
- Builds power, which gives you more confidence to claim your square (gating the demand of others).
Empowering your core strengthens your immune system. Your immune system releases tired energy. It also repels negativity and pathogens by brightening and nourishing your cells. It’s a creative process that helps you thrive. This shows up physically, emotionally and spiritually – in that order. That’s why it provides the foundation for the next two steps
Getting a great night’s sleep is also fundamental. The stress release that comes from physical exercise helps you sleep better at night. Learning to manage your brain waves and circadian rhythms through holistic exercise methods is key. They help you manage the primitive, unconscious layers of your brain. That’s important because your rest and digest functions operate unconsciously.
2. Get Clear & Focused on Your Priorities
“If you don’t stand for something… you’ll fall for anything!” This step is about managing your energy by tapping into your deeper desires and creating purpose. Getting clear and focused on exactly what you want and figuring out exactly how (and when) you plan to achieve it. This not only gives you a framework to harness and direct your energy, it highlight’s your hidden, subconscious motivator’s when you allow yourself to be led off track.
These hidden motivators can include fear and procrastination, tendencies to people please for approval, or a need to control your external environment to avoid internal confusion. They set you up to be outward focused on high alert in reaction mode.
If you want to build a successful business and create a great lifestyle, YOU have to decide what you offer and HOW you offer it. If you don’t your energy will be leached by your surrounding ecosystem.
Take a tree for example… you can be the tree, or the nutrients drawn into the tree. The tree is clear and focused on it’s purpose and what it offers. It’s proactive… the soil is simply subject to the needs of its environment.
Look within. Are you the tree in this example, or the soil?
3. Harness Your Time and Energy
“Gate” your day in 90 min or 2 hour segments. You want to start the day with your highest impact activities, while you are fresh… Next determine what’s “inside the gate” and what’s “outside the gate” for each segment.
Early in the day – plant your stake and make your impact. Let the vampires sleep – by not opening their emails or otherwise letting them through the gate. This will massively improve your productivity and impact. it also draws respect – because you’re behaving more sustainably, which best supports your team and stakeholders.
The simple good feelings and self esteem this creates serves to build even more energy. You’ll start noticing your team and vendors are energizing your efforts, instead of draining your resources. The change has to start with you, and strategically ripple out in a way that will circulate fresh energy back.
Energy Management Takeaways
When you feel energized and productive, others will also feel it and be drawn by your vitality. This is because you represent an healthy ecosystem – offering value to your environment. While true for everyone, this is the very definition of an Entrepreneur.
To flourish, you’ll need to discipline yourself to stay clear and focused on your purpose and how you direct your energy. Not getting waylaid. You’ll offer more value to others when you don’t allow yourself to be drained and depleted on demand. Make energy management your first priority. Healthy boundaries and sound team leadership qualities will naturally emerge as your next skill building capacity of focus.
If you don’t manage your energy well, others will come in to claim it, leaving you anxious and depleted. It’s not about right or wrong / good or bad. It’s simply the way of nature to convert available energy into nutrients. The wonderful part of being human, is that we CAN choose. We create if we do, and react if we don’t.
So, what do you choose… Will you vanquish your Energy Vampires, or passively support their quest?