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The other day I just came home and crashed. I can’t tell you what time; however, my 20 month old son had just gone to bed. It wasn’t like I had had a strenuous day at work. Nothing really different in my routine, I was just out, done, not waking up until the next day.
There are going to be days when we are just drained beyond belief. When and why it comes might not be predictable; however, if we don’t make ourselves aware it could hurt us.
Living life drained leads to LOWER PRODUCTIVITY. And it can cause unnecessary TENSION IN OUR RELATIONSHIPS. So how do we stay on top of our energy levels?
- Track Our Emotions: I have a prayer journal where I just lay out raw emotion to God. And then every so often I go back and read through some entries. At times it’s not at all surprising, other times I’m amazed that I didn’t pick up on a trend of frustration or conflict. You might not want to journal so other ways of tracking emotion can be through an accountability partner. Someone you can talk to on a regular basis, that will give you insight and perspective you alone can’t hold. If you can do both, then that’s the best case scenario.
- Maintain Healthy Lifestyle: My weakness are potato chips, the trashier they flavor the better. As much as I crave junk food I know that I feel lethargic after overindulging. If I don’t consistently eat right and work out, my energy level is going to be low. When I go out for a run, not only do I physically feel alive, but my creative juices start flowing. I know for many of us eating right and working out is a struggle. Finding support either through family, friends or a doctor is one step you can take to hold you accountable. I’ve used Weight Watchers online and found that I just needed structure.
- Setting Limits: I’m huge into having a weekly schedule that tells me when I’m going to eat, come in, leave, and meet. Where I struggle is over committing myself to specific tasks and groups. I like to be involved in planning and the creative side of things, so to turn down an opportunity almost feels like cutting off my right arm. If we don’t have limits and structure in our professional and personal life, we will get consumed with the chaos. I’ve helped create limits through books like 7 Practices of Effective Ministry by Andy Stanley, Good to Great by Jim Collins and Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky. Finding someone who is more organized than you might at first scare you; however, it’ll give you ideas on how to focus and move towards your goals.
Why does burnout happen? It’s because life gets away from us. We get lazy, comfortable, busy, sidetracked or overwhelmed. When life happens I just remember what I tell my students, “Get back on the path, towards God’s vision for you.” Essentially get back to the basics. When we can perform the basics and keep up our energy, there is no telling how fast we can move.
How do you maintain your energy levels?