Where does your energy go?

Do you ever feel tired and wonder where does your energy go? If i asked you ‘ where does your energy go?’ would you know?

Tool 18 – The energy balance

Life requires balance and our personal energy stores require balance. So being able to answer the question ‘where does your energy go?’ is important. If we give all our energy to one or two areas of our life (e.g., work, caring for others), then other areas of life may become energy deprived, including time for self. (Please read this statement again and again, until it sinks in! and yes, you deserve some of your time too! Remember the foundations?)

Ideally, our energy would be spread between all the areas of life that are most important to us and this includes time for self. No-one can pour from an empty cup.

So where does you energy go?

The first step for managing energy is awareness and knowing where we currently direct it. If all our energy is directed to one area of life (e.g., work or relationship or children), what happens if that box closes? (e.g., children leave home, we retire or lose a job, or a relationship ends).

As an example, in 2016 I perceived I directed a large proportion of my energy into work and this left significantly less time and energy for other important things (e.g., family and friends; exercise) – there was an obvious imbalance, which I needed to improve!

Activity: Where does your energy go? Try this activity.
  1. Write down all the areas and aspects of life that you share yourself and your energy with currently.

Some examples are:

  • Work
  • Family and caring
  • Self- time
  • Social time with friends
  • Relationship etc.
  1. Now, write down all those areas of life and things that you may like to devote more time to.

Some examples are:

  • Exercise and activity
  • Relaxation
  • Nutrition and eating more healthily
  • Studying and learning something new
  • Contribution and community activities

Please note: These lists will be different for different people because we all have different circumstances, priorities, values, needs and wants. I have just listed some examples.

  1. Once you have developed your list(s). Use a 1 to 10 (0 = no time given and 10 = maximal time given) to scale and grade how much energy you devote to each area currently.

As an example:

  • Work – 8/10
  • Family and caring – 4/10
  • Self- time – 1/10
  • Exercise – 3/10
  • Nutrition – 2/10
  • Study – 5/10
  • Contribution – 1/10
  • Social time with friends – 3/10
  • Relationship – 5/10
  1. Then, using the 1 to 10 scale again grade how much energy you would LIKE to devote to each area to feel more in balance.

As an example:

  • Work – 6/10
  • Family and caring – 3/10
  • Self- time – 3/10
  • Exercise – 5/10
  • Nutrition – 5/10
  • Study – 5/10
  • Contribution – 1/10
  • Social time with friends – 4/10
  • Relationship – 5/10

Remember the energy you would like to devote to each area is your choice. They do not have to be perfectly equal. The key is finding a more balanced distribution that works for you!

If you like, you could transfer the written information into a visual chart, like a pie chart or use a coaching tool like the ‘wheel of life’. (A quick google search will help you find various wheel of life charts). Here is one example.

Wheel of life

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Tool 19 – Creating balance

If you have completed the charts, you may start to see where there are some imbalances in your energy distribution.

Activity: To re-create balance, think about what you would like in your life. 

Draw a picture and use words, positive quotes and/or images to describe your ‘ideal world’ – or ideal lifestyle.

Use as much colour as you like to bring this image to life. You can use pictures from magazines or books and create a collage. You can use a larger sheet of paper and make it big and bright and colourful.

If you like, you can hang this in a place where you can see it regularly as a reminder. Use it like a vision or dream board. (A google search can help you find a variety of vision or dream board images). Here is an example of one that I found.

Vision board

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