12 Refueling Strategies That Work Today
Foolish leaders believe they can take more out of life than they put in. Well, maybe it isn’t foolishness. Maybe it’s arrogance. Only God never runs dry.
Normal people know that everyone who pours out more than they pour in goes dry.
Your energy-tank is your responsibility. Don’t expect teammates to fill it.
12 refueling strategies:
Do you enjoy hanging around someone whose energy-tank is almost empty or almost full?
- Schedule two or three refueling times into your day, every day, even if you aren’t exhausted. Keep your energy-tank closer to full than empty.
- Call someone to say thanks.
- Make a list of things you enjoy about work.
- Step outside for a short stroll.
- Turn the lights off and close your eyes until your heart rate and breathing slows. Sit with your eyes closed for a few minutes.
- Become a sprinter. Push yourself in short bursts, then refuel. Refueling is replacing energy, not just doing nothing.
- Serve because you want to, not because someone else wants you to.
- Stop taking responsibility for other people’s problems. Be available and helpful. Listen without solving. Chronic fixers are frustrated and exhausted.
- Evaluate yourself by how well you energize others.
- Commit to use only positive language for an hour, a morning, or even a whole day.
- Say, “I’m glad I ______, even if it was difficult.” Give yourself a pat on the back.
- Avoid energy vampires as much as you can. Hang with people who fuel your energy-tank. Emulate their behaviors.
- Pretend less. Doesn’t it feel energizing to go home and stop pretending?
- Serve those who enjoy being served.
- Enjoy returns. It feels great to serve in ways that fulfill your purpose.
- Start that project that’s hanging over your head.
How do you refuel your energy-tank?
How might leaders energize others?
Love these strategies… now, can you write posts telling us how to do each one? Because that is the challenge for me!
Try scheduling a few re-energize moments into every day. Which activities would give you a bit of energy? How about…
9:00 a.m. — pick up the phone and call someone to say thank you or tell them you appreciate them.
11:00 a.m. — Assess your morning. What have you completed. Give yourself an atah girl.
2:30 p.m. — get up from your desk and take a short walk about. Hold your head up and breath deeply. Try strolling rather than walking to get somewhere.
4:30 p.m. — write down three things you enjoy about your job.
End of day — send a thank you email to a colleague, boss, or employee.
Bonus: Leave a note on your desk at the end of the day that you will read in the morning. “You did your best yesterday. What can you do today that will make you proud?”
Excellllent, per the usual post, Dan.
As a one-man-band consulting company for 31 years now, this refilling strategy really rings true. There is that tendency to run run run and those crashes can be hard to deal with. What has helped me is the development of products that I can then focus on selling, more than that constant running…
I have often “joked” about what it takes to run a small consulting firm. The reality is that one will spend 50% of your time marketing and 50% of your time developing materials and the other 50% of your time actually doing things to make money.
When we add in the internet, I would suggest that we simply must add another 25% of our time here in social media.
The stats say that the average manager is workplace over-connected about 72 hours a week. I’ve posted up three different blogs around this issue and it is not a pretty, nor a sustainable picture for anyone. Balance. That’s one key. And the others, as you post above, are all really good ideas for maintaining things.
Thanks Dr. Scott. Love the 50 – 50 – 50 illustration. 🙂 I’m definitely going to use that. Cheers
Yeah, but remember to add the required social media time and the reality that the equation does not allow much actual time for family, recreation, exercise and similar.
Maybe we need to simply redefine a minute as 15 seconds, so that our day would be 4 times longer. Think that will help? Or maybe we can add Rockday to the days of the new 8-day week.
Tony Schwartz focuses not on managing time but managing energy. I love the concept and since embracing it, I don’t push myself past 90 minutes of hard focus, am conscious of when I feeling stressed or anxious (I get away from my desk or do some Mindfulness breathing and find the places in my body where I feeling the stress) or I simply remind myself of the bigger picture in what I am trying to do and that the situation will pass.
Leaders can refuel others by showing interest in their work by having a quick little conversation about how they are doing and listening to their sticking points. Another one is that leaders can talk to their people about the list you created here. Letting people know it is “ok” to refuel during the work day can lift a huge weight.
Also, love the idea of don’t let yourself get exhausted before you refuel. Happy Friday All!
Thanks Shane. Congratulations on focusing on energy! As your experience indicates, being conscious of our energy is important to managing it. I continue to appreciate the power of reflection.
Your idea of giving permission for people to refuel is important. Leaders may forget how important their affirmations can be.
Thanks Dan, great post. I work in Leadership at a school. We find this issue very challenging… Sometimes we deal with irate parents, upset kids, upset teachers etc. They all play there part in drying us up….I am taking onboard your suggestions and will start implementing these next week. Even though our instances are a minority they take up the majority of our time and we need to get better at celebrating our wins and refuelling our tanks. Thanks again
Thanks Troy. I wonder if it might be good to take a few minutes after those difficult, energy draining, meetings to re-energize right then?
Or, is it better to get back to work and re-energize after the adrenaline leaves the system?
Perhaps, scheduling a thank-you call to a fellow teacher or administrator about 30 minutes after a difficult meeting is good timing?
Cheers and best wishes for the journey.
I like James Clear’s advice for gratitude (he’s my SECOND favorite blogger): Take time each day to say something you are thankful for. I stole his example and our whole family says something at dinner that they are thankful for (even the 3 and 6 yr old boys get a turn). Last night I went a silly/fun route and said I was thankful for Star Wars as I was still stoked about the 2nd teaser trailer that came out. It literally brought me very close to tears.
Later that night I said to my wife that I was even more thankful that she shares in my nerd gushiness for Star Wars and it’s one of the many reasons I’m thankful I found and married her up.
Thanks James. Love the dinner table practice and including the little ones!!
Your wife is a special person. 😉
I appreciate your suggestion to keep away from energy vampires. They are not uncommon to present in the organisations. In fact, they are the most interactive ones. They boast people in front, pull down at the back. It is always better to keep away from such people. But many times, it become difficult to spot them initially. And many times, people come to know about them when they harm.
Keeping in touch with authentic and trustworthy people is always best to refuel energy tank. But one can not always get such people. In such cases, self mastery and believing self potential is the best step. By following such steps, leaders can energize self and others both. It is important that one should not expect praise or appreciation in the process. Self satisfaction is the best reward.
Quote: “Chronic fixers are frustrated and exhausted.” Be a great listener and then seek to help with others’ hurdles rather than taking over the fixing of those hurdles!!! Besides, then you’ll have someone to thank / praise for their efforts!!!
A local church had this on their sign a few weeks ago, “Be a fountain, not a drain”. I got it, and thought it was cool, but every time I drove by I thought… “how?”. Thanks for helping with the how! We get so bogged down in the problems and being the fixers, it’s nice to hear that it’s OK to take a moment and remember the good too. 🙂
I Truly enjoyed this post. Some of it I have practised and others I need to add to my list. I believe in order for us to lead we must be fully energized at all times. I first item on our list made me smile because just two days ago I called our HR Manager to say thanks for the hard work they are doing and how much I appreciated them and it was really a heartfelt appreciation (where that spur came from I not even sure) but it felt good to do it.
Good to know I am on the right track.
My favorite energizer is a swift walk around the block. I have to remind myself, though to stop thinking about work and concentrate on God’s beautiful creation around me. Take deep breaths and give thanks to God. Great post. You might also want to check out my Christian blog at Jesus4Evers.com. God Bless!
Leaders can energize (and re-energize) others by recognizing the different ways their team members gain energy and being able to flexibly provide outlets for them. Of course, we must first have the empathy and relationship necessary to see that people on our team are in need of energy. Are we picking up on clues they may need some time for themselves or a change of tasks?
I noticed that I am taking on a lot of “fixing” behaviors and need to do more listening without solving or taking responsibility for those problems. I liked the tip to start the day off with positive language. Based on a few things that happened this past week, and some of the blog posts I’ve read today, I am going to start next week off with each morning using positive language. Such as:
1. Starting off the morning standup with asking if a team member would like to talk about something positive that happened to them over the weekend.
2. Start off one-on-one meetings with asking what the other person is looking forward to most this week.
3. End the meetings by telling my team I’m excited about the day and what our team will be able to achieve.