How to Invest Your Energy Wisely for Greater Personal and Professional Returns
Your energy, like your time and money, is a limited and valuable resource. How you choose to spend your energy can have profound effects on your life, both personally and professionally. Wasting energy succumbs to the laws of diminishing returns, while wisely investing your energy is sure to pay off over time. Whether over a day or a lifetime, energy can slip away from you if you’re not careful. Without directing your energy intentionally, it’s easy to focus on the wrong activities and squander your supply.
Here’s how to leverage your energy for the best possible outcomes.
Avoiding Energy Drains
We all start the day with limited energy, and it’s up to us to protect what we have. From the time we open our eyes, most of us allow ourselves to become distracted by that which drains our precious energy reserves. This is why it’s important to be aware of the things, scenarios, and people that drag us down.
Social media and technology are some of the biggest energy drains in the modern world. Most people tend to check their email and social media accounts before they even get out of bed in the morning and check again, habitually, throughout the day. Studies have found that, on average, Americans spend over two hours a day on social media. (1) That’s a lot of time and energy invested in something that likely brings little return.
Social media can be informative, entertaining, and bring people together, but it can also be toxic for users of all ages, often leading to sleep disturbances, anxiety, and depression. Rather than engaging with life in the moment, people tend to get pulled into a cycle of information overload and comparison traps, which is more draining than they may realize. (2)
Another common energy drain is the continuous stream of negative news — whether on endless newsfeeds, cable news networks, streaming services, or even in messages from friends and family. A constant barrage of alarming headlines, inflammatory opinion pieces, and frightening world events leads to mindless doom scrolling and unnecessary stress. You can stay informed without letting negativity overwhelm you.
Over time, allowing energy drains to get the best of you can dampen your relationships and wash out your goals. Rather than investing mental energy on the things that matter, you’ll fritter it away on activities that will not give back to you.
Charge Up Your Energy Reserves
While it’s true that we’re all working with a limited amount of energy every day, unlike time, energy is a renewable resource. It’s possible to recharge — not just with sleep or rest, but by doing things that you find invigorating.
What lights you up, excites you, and makes you come alive? Maybe it’s reading, gardening, learning new things, biking, running marathons, knitting, speaking in front of an audience, playing guitar, cooking for your family, laughing with friends, traveling, or closing a deal. Do more of that, and you’ll have more energy. Investing in energy-stimulating activities leads to greater personal and professional returns.
Another way to boost your energy is to clean up your thoughts. Are you focusing on past mistakes? Worrying about the future? Are you allowing yourself to get caught up in gossip or drama? Are you obsessing over what other people are doing or thinking? Are you concerned about what you don’t have or wish you could have rather than being grateful for what you do have? Unproductive thinking can immobilize you, shut you down, and suck the positive energy out of your life.
Shifting to a positive mindset can revitalize you, motivate you, and build your resolve. Positive thinking empowers you to take control of your life and go after your goals. Adjusting your mind toward optimism means that you’re able to be more resilient, tenacious, and passionate. Being more intentional about your attention will fire you up and bring more energy to your life.
Resources for Improving Your Energetic Investment
Being deliberate about how you invest your energy can be the difference between letting life get the best of you or getting the most out of life. We encourage you to seek resources such as books, podcasts, or professional counseling to help guide your energy investments in the same way you would seek resources to guide your financial investments.
Dodging Energy Vampires: An Empath's Guide to Evading Relationships That Drain You and Restoring Your Health and Power, by Christiane Northrup, MD, is a book that offers insights on how to avoid energy drains. And Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life is a book that offers insights on investing your energy in what matters most to bring you close to the life of your dreams.
Without thinking carefully about your personal energy investments, you can waste a lot of time and find yourself disappointed by your accomplishments. Simple shifts can have a big impact.
John J. Diak, CFP® is the Principal & Client Wealth Manager at Oatley & Diak, LLC in Parker, Colorado. He assists clients through many difficult lifestyle changes such as business downturns, retirement planning, divorce, the death of a spouse, and family estate issues among others. Oatley & Diak, LLC is a family-run registered investment advisory (RIA) firm that provides clients with investment management and financial planning services in a hands-on, intimate environment. Learn more about them at oatleydiak.com.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
This material was prepared by Crystal Marketing Solutions, LLC, and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This informationhas been derived from sources believed to be accurate and is intended merely for educational purposes, not as advice.