12 Ways to Fuel Your Own Fire
Burned-out is easy. Neglect your energy and you’ll go out like an unstoked fire. Fire always cools without fuel.
Ten years ago, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz wrote, The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal. It still sells like hotcakes. They wrote:
“The number of hours in a day is fixed,
but the quantity and quality of energy
available to us is not.”
Those who care about performance fuel their own fire.
“Energy, not time, is the fundamental currency
of high performance.” Loehr and Schwartz
If you can’t name five things you habitually do to fuel your fire, I predict you’ll soon be ashes. Annual vacations don’t count. I’m talking weekly or daily routines.
12 ways to fuel your own fire:
- Stop trying to control others. Few things drain energy more than trying to make others do things they don’t want to do. Align don’t force.
- Listen without solving.
- Live your life, not the life others want you to live.
- Create predictability with useful systems.
- Complete tasks. Long-term projects are like Chinese water torture. Break them down. Create a series of completion points.
- Take slow walks. They don’t need to be long, just slow. Tip: Try whistling.
- Go to bed!
- Hold your head up and breathe deep.
- Let small stuff be small.
- Do more of what you love. Off-set energy draining activities with energy giving activities. You completed three energy drainers, go find vitality. I love being with people. Grabbing a coffee refuels my tank.
- Eliminate clutter.
Bonus: Hang with positive friends.
Stoke your own fire. No one else will. Don’t wait for the energy fairy. She ain’t coming.
The 5 Powers of Leadership Rituals
What are leadership energy drainers?
What daily routines help leaders restore personal vitality?
Realize that life should be more about things to enjoy rather than a list of things to do.
Liked the new and better way to ensure success is to manage energy and not time. Quite true and it happens with organized planning and starting a day with priority tasks to be done independently. Positive mind-set keeps the energy fuelled throughout the day. Energy drainers can be attending to all calls, meeting people without appointments, working on an open door policy, holding or attending meetings with no adequate agenda, working in a democratic way with consultation process, no delegation of work etc.
Keeping energy charged requires good habits like taking small breaks every 60 to 90 minutes for a glass of water, going to a wash room, taking an official round and taking updates with humility, keeping a fix time to refer and respond to mails, reading relevant things that add to your knowledge etc.
Mixing with senior people who are positive minded and who can guide you to be more productive, encourage your subordinates to work religiously and keep a happy environment with no undue pressure from your side.
Day’s vitality comes with regular habits both at work and home levels like handling priority tasks with a diary management, morning walks/excercise, prayer, listening to music, useful readings, playing with children/pet animals, sharing day’s happenings with spouse, select T. V. viewing, enough sleep etc.
KaPow! Thanks Dr. Asher…
One thing I saw as a major energy drainer as I read your contribution is wasted time… wasted time is wasted energy… Things we might stop increase our energy.
Thanks for all the useful suggestions. Cheers!
I have found that it is impossible to stay angry if you are whistling.
Maybe that is just me though.
When I need a spark, when I need to calm down, when I need to feel a feeling, I find something to whistle.
Don’t knock it until you try it.
Thanks Matt… I put that in knowing it sounded silly but a good whistle can get your mind off something for awhile… When our mind refocuses it re-energizes…
Just pucker up… 🙂
I don’t think I’m alone when I say that if I burn myself on a pan, or hit my finger with a hammer, I whistle, involuntarily- not a tune, but kind of an eerie, wavery noise. But a whistle nonetheless- seems to reduce the pain.
Well fella’s, seems as though we’ve all taken a tip from ‘Whistler’s Mother’. I’ve always said, “if you can’t whistle while you work, your work ain’t worth uh whistle”! Corny, ‘but true’. KEEP ON KEEPIN ON Dan
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(1) Realize that a video game is *just* a video game. Even if I don’t get through this story arc or that special weapon, it’s not the end of the world. Also, if I’m not having FUN with the game, PUT THE CONTROLLER DOWN AND GO OUTSIDE FOR A WALK.
(2) Fight perpetual exhaustion with patience and good food. Try NOT to fight with long naps, late late nights, and too much caffeine. (Seriously begun to be a problem for me. x_x;;; )
Thank you L.A. Love the metaphor of game controller and appreciate your reference to good food…
The food thing is a vicious circle. The less energy we have the worse we eat… or I should say “the worse I eat.”
Reblogged this on and commented:
An excellent tip I hope to incorporate in my daily routine: Focus on enhancing personal energy rather than lack of time.
Don’t accept the stress of others. As an example, we used to have an administrative employee who got shingles from stress. Her stress came from being stressed about about a boss that was always working a little too close to the deadline. He didn’t stress but she did. I told her to stop accepting his stress. Yes, it was her job to help him to the best of her abilities but it was not her job to feel his stress for him. Now she uses “It’s not my stress” as a mantra to keep herself calm. Sometimes our energy drainer is us and just recognizing it can help to reduce some of it.
Thank you Bonnie and thanks for your social media support of Leadership Freak.
“It’s not my stress”… nice. I think “nice” people may have the biggest problem with this.
The book is sitting on my VIB (Very Important Book) shelf as the Bible for productivity.
The concept of refuelling and re-energizing physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually in that book has increased my productivity by at least 200%. Amazing.
What was your biggest gain from the book, Dan?
Wow! Thanks for the good report on “The Power of Full Engagement” .. I haven’t read it yet. But obviously, I love the concept. 🙂
Excellent reminder as we in Aus begin the school year. Love the clarity of message that energy not time is the fundamental key to high performance.
For me, a big part is stopping work when I’m supposed to and having down time. I have side projects that can draw my attention as well, after “real work” is done, and I have to watch that. When I put tasks into blocks of time, I have less stress. I’m not always successful, though—I’m always wanting to finish everything NOW.
Your suggestions are great, though: Exercise, walking, sleeping more…
This was excellent. It hit me at “just the right time” in “just the right way.”
Awesome post Dan, just what I needed today!
I really appreciate the post. You are superbly described the distinction between time and energy. One has limitation and other has not. I agree that human being can not produce time but could maximize energy. And the one who understands this moves in right direction. I like the two points suggested- stop trying to control others and exercise. Both are very important. We try to control others, things, events and even circumstance. But the fact is that, we do not control things. It just happens. And most of things are result of our actions and behaviors. Exercise habit is an excellent habit. It fuels energy, repels negative thoughts and keeps one optimistic.
I think the leadership energy drainers are our expectation without effort, jealously without pride, seeking favor without fairness. I believe leadership vitality lies in our concern, intention and our definition to success.
Good morning Dan! In regard to fueling your fire. I like #6, I have always said, “if you can’t whistle while you work, chances are, your work ain’t worth a whistle”!
I’ve been whistlin Dixie for most of my life. I also continually try to surround myself with positive people, negative people sap your energy, kinda like Cryptonite
does to Superman…
Great post. Another one that fuels my fire is letting go of the need to know how and focus on the vision, getting tied up in the ‘how’ is a real drainer!
Thank you Dan. This was extremely helpful for me. Will make plans to put it into action.
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Great advice! Thanks for sharing 🙂
“Listen w/o solving” – uh oh. That’s a great tip I’ve really been trying to work on, as well as getting rest.
I would suggest a daily reflection time as a restoring activity (maybe while walking or exercising?).
Thank you for joining in Spark. I’d like to solve your struggle with listening w/o solving.. 🙂 Thanks for suggestion daily self-reflection. Cheers
wow, now that i think about it, it makes sense. i have been using some of the techniques and it works. you have added on my arsenal. thnx.
This really resonated after burning myself out to a point of fatigue this was just what i needed to read for help. thanks
What a great list. Definitely agree with number 11. We should work on our strengths more than our weaknesses.