Phone rings, dog barks, child screams from the kitchen. Oh, is it my turn to drive the car pool? Oops!
If you’re an entrepreneur working from your home, you’ve probably thought about putting a padlock on the door to your office or, at the very least, purchasing one of those little noise diffusers so that you can block out all the noises and nuisances that drive you to distraction as your creative juices spin and swirl and dance in your head.
But even if you work outside the home, there are energy leaks everywhere. Energy leaks rob you of your creativity.
They keep you up at night.
They send you screaming into the day with troublesome to do lists, sleep deprivation, guilt. Instead of feeling like a little hanky panky once the kids are in bed, you’re feeling downright cranky.
I have a unique perspective on this phenomenon. You see I’m right in the trenches with you. I’m a multi-passionate entrepreneur who specializes in helping fellow entrepreneurs nourish themselves, at every level. And the biggest problem I see in my practice is Energy Leak Syndrome.
Energy leaks in your life mean energy leaks in your business.
If you want to feel good about your life and stay awake long enough to ENJOY doing what you love, you’ve got to attend to the leaks. Here are a few of my suggestions:
1. Establish clear and consistent boundaries with friends, family, and colleagues. It isn’t your job to speak for others, read their minds, or to worry about them. A little positive energy goes a long way. Keep your side of the street clean and bright and let others sweep their own curb.
2. No is a complete sentence. How many times do we say yes to a friend, colleague, or loved one when we really want to say, no? If you’re a “yes person,” begin with, “I’ll think about that and get back to you.” It takes anywhere from sixty to ninety days to change a habit. This is a great start.
3. Change your mind. Be willing to withdraw your commitment to committees, volunteer work, social obligations, car pools—whatever it is that contributes to the stress load in your life. You’re allowed to change your mind. Look for the story you’re telling yourself about your commitments and then be willing to write a new script.
4. How important is it? The next time you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night with restless mind syndrome, ask yourself, “How important is it?” Give yourself the gift of perspective.
5. Don’t be reluctant to ask for help. If you have a lot of responsibility at work or at home, consider hiring a personal assistant. That may sound like an extravagance but I guarantee the cost of the assistant will be far less than the cost to your health. And if you don’t yet have a virtual assistant—what are you waiting for?
6. Stay away from people who drain your energy.It is not your job to be a receptacle for someone else’s sorrow, anger, or wrath. If this one has you stymied, go back to numbers one and two. This is a boundary issue.
7. Create a nourishment menu. What feeds you? A walk in the woods? An intimate conversation with a wise and wonderful friend? How about music, art, dance, or just curling up with a good book? Do you give yourself permission to have fun? Every time you feel your energy leaking, replenish it with something from your nourishment menu.
8. Slow down. If you’re someone who lives a massively over-scheduled life, you may want to play with the question, “What am I running from?”
9. Detach from drama. When we make a concentrated effort to look at the positive side of a situation, our energy lifts. Closing one door in our life gives us the spaciousness to open another.
10. Did I say have fun? Good, it bears repeating.
Here’s to unbridled energy and a flourishing business.