How often do you catch yourself…
Dwelling on what you can’t change?
Ruminating over something you are worried about now?
Forecasting all the negative possibilities of what could happen?
And how is this working for you? Probably not very well!
When you get stuck in the “mental quicksand” of focusing on what you can’t control or change, you’re actually allowing these sabotaging thoughts to steal your time. And in a world where we constantly feel short on time, this habit can be catastrophic!
As we move into the third area of Energy Management – mental energy – it’s time to learn how to break some of these destructive habits and take back control! Today, let’s dive deeper into understanding how our thoughts turn into actions and what we can do to regain a healthy focus to boost our mental energy.
Here are my top three strategies for enhancing your mental energy!
Step One: Empower Your Thoughts
Emotional Intelligence research shows that every emotion and action actually begins with the thoughts that you automatically think. So when you are self-aware of your thoughts and self-manage how they manifest into feelings, words, and behaviors, you can reclaim your power and focus! Easier said than done…
Whenever a thought pops into your head, first ask yourself the following questions before jumping into actions based on emotion:
Test Truth: How true is this for me?
Analyze Authenticity: Which of my values does this honor or dishonor?
Examine Empowerment: What will this allow me to do?
Now based on your responses, either choose to accept this thought as valuable and productive or discard it as toxic and impractical. The hardest part of empowering your thoughts is to be able to look at them rationally before your emotions get in the mix. If you find this challenging, begin by naming your emotion and either inviting it to play along or giving it a “time out” if it’s getting in the way of analyzing your thoughts and moving forward.
Step Two: Focus on What’s Important
So much of mental energy management comes down to learning how to focus on what’s most important to you, while blocking out the “noise” so you can accomplish our goals in an efficient and effective way. In the early 1990s, one of my favorite authors, Stephen Covey, shared the paradigm of “Important versus Urgent” that I still use to this day with clients around the world.
By considering what category each of your goals falls into, you’re much better able to name and focus on your biggest priorities that are both important AND urgent without getting caught up in the non-important tasks that tend to suck away most of your time and energy.
I encourage my clients to use this “Important versus Urgent” chart on a weekly basis to set their goals and priorities and track their progress and invite you to try this out, too!
Step Three: Create Bookends for Your Day
Once you know how to empower your thoughts and prioritize your actions, it’s time to put it all into play through intentionally choosing how live. We know from research and practice that structure actually creates freedom when we focus on setting aside time to do what we need most (think of babies who need to sleep and eat at certain times or making time to go to the gym each day after work). When you block off a set amount of time for a specific task, it generally gets done!
From personal experience, I know that having a morning routine where I set aside time for certain rituals, like prayer and spiritual study, helps my day start off much smoother! Energy Management experts also share that these kinds of rituals and routines allow us to make time for what is most important in a way that we can except and look forward to each day.
Consider how you start and end each day; I call these “the bookends” of your day! Are there certain things you habitually do already or want to do more (or less) of? Write them down somewhere you’ll see and choose on new item to implement in the morning or evening as part of your routine. You can use my list below for inspiration and send me a photo of your list.
These three strategies are positive steps to help you enhance your energy through increasing your mental focus. Try them out and let me know how they work for you. And stay tuned for our next and final segment in this Energy Management series on spiritual energy and purpose!
Be the Revolution,