Monday, August 18, 2008

What Are Your Energy Drains?

Now that we've dealt with brain drain, let's talk about energy drains. Energy drains are the important-but-not-urgent things that need to be taken care of. These are the things we sometimes dread, pushing them out of our minds temporarily. It is far too easy to keep putting them off, for example changing the oil of the car, until the situation becomes an emergency, and further delay is not possible.

My cousin Fair told me that as a recent divorcee she would have her oil checked regularly at the service station, and add oil, but she didn't realize she actually had to change the oil, until it was too late. Now she knows. Mixonian is fully sympathetic!

Energy drains are things that we see that need repair, or maintenance, or cleaning, but not necessarily at this moment. However, putting them off ensures that you will eventually have a full-blown crisis on your hands. Even worse, you spend precious time and energy feeling icky about them.

While it's not fun making this list, it is good to work on it and schedule in time for handling energy drains. Here are some common ones:

- getting your eyes/teeth checked

- backing up the stuff on your computer

- car maintenance

- sewing on buttons

- certain phone calls

- taking clothes to charity

- getting something fixed

- certain yard tasks

- organizing receipts

- cleaning out the garage

- paying parking tickets

- setting aside income for investments

- writing a thank-you note (or several!)

The best way to get these out of the way is to schedule time to "attack" a few at a time. Especially if the task is not something to be done in a single sitting, just work on it for, say 45 minutes a day or half an hour a day.

Get a friend to help you, or even to hold you accountable. Work on these in groups of five. That's total quality batch production for you.

Reward yourself afterwards! You'll see the dreading is actually worse than the acting upon them.