Want More Energy? Pick One.

Want More Energy?  Pick One.

At any given time, I have a laundry list of things that need attention.  These are the tasks that easily fall to the bottom of the list because they aren’t urgent.  Things like changing light bulbs, fixing a glitch with the computer, or printing digital photos that have been piling up for months.

It’s the same with work tasks.  There is a rolling list of to do’s that I’m not sure when or if they will ever get finished.  Usually, there are so many things on these types of lists that at times I just say, “Oh well,” which leads me to accomplishing NONE of them.  But I find these types of tasks even though they aren’t urgent are nagging, which means I think about them often, but I don’t do anything about them.

I’ve realized this cycle leads to a big energy drain.  In fact the drain of them being on my mind is bigger than the energy required to simply address one or two of these things each week.

So here’s what I’ve tried that seems to be working.  I thought you might find it helpful too.  I made a list of all of these non-urgent but nagging tasks.  It felt good to simply get them off of my mind and onto paper.  I wrote the list in the back of my calendar so that I can easily reference it.

Each week for the past couple of weeks I’ve been giving myself permission to spend an hour or so working toward checking things off of my list.

It sounds kind of funny to say that I had to give myself permission, but with so many urgent things to do, I finally realized that unless I consciously carve out time for the non-urgent, those things will never ever get finished, and they’ll continue to be a big energy drain.

Stress is created when we perceive that we don’t have the necessary resources to complete all of the tasks that we have to do.  And when we only think about those nagging tasks without doing anything about them, it’s the perfect mental environment to create more stress in your life.

As I’ve been checking both big and small things off of my list these past two weeks, I find that I get a big burst of energy after completing each task.  This little trick helps me to feel more in control and less stressed.
And that’s always a good thing!

Here’s to less stress and more energy.

Try it, and if it works for you, I’d love to hear about it.



About the Author

Monica Scalf is the founder of The Playground Group, LLC, a company that helps organizations increase bottom line results by investing in the development of their people. Since 2009, she has been teaching workshops on teamwork, productivity, and personal effectiveness in places such as P&G, Lexis Nexis, and Xavier University. Her mission is to help create positive and productive workplaces where employees thrive without sacrificing personal happiness.