Aside from the most obvious hacks to protect, restore, and supercharge our energy (like caffeine), here are 7 ways to tap into and safeguard this valuable asset.
1. Beware the Energy Suckers and Constrain Them.
Every day, you are susceptible to people that can drain you. Co-workers, customers, employees, partners, vendors...when you catch someone on an off day, their negativity can attach to you and spiral you down. To neutralize them, try these two tactics:
Whenever possible, schedule difficult people. If you know you have to engage with someone difficult or demanding, take control of the situation. Schedule them according to what works for you. If you need to get them out of the way in the early morning so you can be positive the rest of the day, then schedule your interactions first thing. If your energy increases as the day goes on, and you don't want them to drag you down, then hold off until the day's end. Be cognizant of your energy levels, and schedule them accordingly.
Respond... don't react. There is a big difference between responding and reacting. Whether you are engaged in a conversation, or you've received a text, call or email, you don't need to respond instantly. If someone triggers you, take notice of your emotional & physical reaction. Remind yourself that you are in control of how you respond and feel about an exchange. Wait to respond until you can calmly engage.
2. Know Your Personal Energy Levels and Schedule Accordingly.
Some of us are morning people, and others finally get moving at 3:00 PM. Personally, I am on fire in the morning. I have to make a concerted effort at around 3:00 to get a second wind and power through the day. Therefore, I stack the first half of my day with as many appointments as possible, and then relax my pace in the afternoon.
3. Schedule Brief Breaks.
One of my clients has to engage often with others in her industry that are downright mean. She's incorporated buffers into her schedule to take 10-15 minute breaks for breathing exercises or a walk outside, just to clear the "energy palette." This recharges her and helps her bring her "A" game to everyone she works with.
Be mindful of the impact other people's drama has on you and don't engage. You can say NO when others try to bring you in. We can help others without becoming a drama victim. Brene' Brown brilliantly distinguishes between enmeshment and empathy. Empathy allows us to show compassion from a distance, and help someone who is going through a tough time without getting sucked in. Enmeshment drags us down into the hole with them, and then both people are suffering.
6. Stimulate Your Senses.
Step into my home office, and you will encounter the scents of cinnamon, mint, or citrus. It's also highly likely that some funky instrumental music will be playing. It's proven that certain smells and certain music can stimulate the limbic system of your brain, resulting in greater focus and energy. I frequently listen to the Deep Focus track of the Focus Genre on Spotify, which at last count had 1.4 million followers.
Finally, the most impactful strategy for protecting your energy, in all aspects of your life:
7. Look for the Two Biggest Triggers of Depleted Energy: Fear & Loss of Control.
This may be the hardest but most important strategy to master. A CEO client told me, "I have no energy. I don't know what's wrong with me." Through an intensive consulting session, we finally reached the source of her low energy: a feeling of loss of control with her customers. She shared with me that she felt out of touch with her customers, and she was worried that some of her clients "were not getting our best experience." This fear & sense of loss of control completely dragged her down. Everything seemed overwhelming.
The weight of fear can suppress even the most energetic person. Once we formulated a plan for her to re-establish touchpoints with her customers, her energy completely shifted, and she was ready to get back to business.
Protecting our personal energy is not only good for ourselves, it's good for everyone in our lives. It empowers us to bring our best versions of ourselves to every situation, every experience, and every relationship. Good luck!
RELATED: Forbes' top richest from 2015
Forbes' top 10 richest people in America
7 simple ways to make the workplace more positive
10. Larry Page
Net worth: $33.3 billion, up $1.8 billion
With Google cofounder Sergey Brin, announced in August that Google will create Alphabet as a parent company in the fourth quarter. Their aim: to “get more ambitious things done”
Page will shift from CEO of Google to CEO of Alphabet
Google - including YouTube - is one of the multiple companies that will be under the Alphabet umbrella
Google stock hit an all-time high in July
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
9. Jim Walton
Net worth: $33.7 billion, down $2.3 billion
Sits on the board of Wal-Mart.
Youngest son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton
FORBES estimates that he owns nearly 13% of Wal-Mart
Jim is chairman and CEO of family-owned Arvest Bank, which has $16 billion in assets
Wal-Mart stock is down 15%
(AP Photo/April L. Brown)
8. Michael Bloomberg
Net worth: $38.6 billion, up $3.6 billion
Source: Bloomberg LP
Fortune up $3.6 billion since the 2014 Forbes 400
He returned to the CEO role at Bloomberg LP in late 2014
Bloomberg LP revenues are now estimated at more than $9 billion
In June Mike Bloomberg announced a $100 million donation to Cornell University's technology campus in New York
Lifetime philanthropic giving is $3.9 billion
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
7. Mark Zuckerberg
Net worth: $40.3 billion, up $6.3 billion
In August Facebook had 1 billion users in a single day for the first time ever
A year after buying virtual reality startup Oculus, Facebook says the Rift VR headset will start shipping to customers in early 2016.
Net worth up 18.5% since 2014 Forbes 400, as Facebook stock rises by more than 25%.
Zuckerberg cracks top 10 on Forbes 400 for first time
(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
T-5. David Koch
Net worth: $41 billion, down $1 billion
Net worth down 2% since 2014 Forbes 400
New York City’s richest resident
Shares control of conglomerate Koch Industries with brother Charles. David runs the company’s chemical-trading business
The brothers’ fortunes fell slightly in the past year owing to weakness in the manufacturing and pipeline sectors
(AP Photo/Paul Vernon)
5. Charles Koch
Net worth: $41 billion, down $1 billion
Net worth down 2% since 2014 Forbes 400 due to market pressure on commodities and industrial companies
Charles runs $15 billion (revenues) Koch Industries, the country’s second-largest private company with $115 billion in sales.
He’s been chairman since 1967, when the company was valued at $50 million; it is now worth an estimated $100 billion
Political heavyweight compares his crusade for smaller government and economic liberty to the campaign for civil rights, and hopes his network of several hundred wealthy conservatives will spend up to $300 million on candidates and another $600 million on efforts to reduce regulation and reform the criminal justice system
(Photo by Patrick T. Fallon for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
4. Jeff Bezos
Net worth: $47 billion, up $16.5 billion
Bezos is the biggest dollar-gainer on the list
Climbs into the top 10 richest on The Forbes 400 for the first time thanks to surge in Amazon.com shares
In September he announced that his aerospace company, Blue Origin, would spend over $200 million to build reusable rockets and launch them into orbit from a site at Cape Canaveral by the end of the decade.
(Photo by Nicole Craine/WireImage)
3. Larry Ellison
Net worth: $47.5 billion, down $2.5 billion
Fortune down $2.5 billion in the past year as Oracle’s share price fell
His net worth is down 5% since 2014 Forbes 400
Stepped down as CEO of Oracle in September 2014, stayed on as chairman.
In June he announced that Oracle would expand its cloud-computing business, putting it in direct competition with Amazon.com’s Web Services business.
Both of his children are Hollywood moguls. Daughter Megan has financed films like Zero Dark Thirty and American Hustle. Son David has produced franchises like The Terminator and Mission: Impossible.
(Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
2. Warren Buffett
Net worth: $62 billion, down $5 billion
Source: Berkshire Hathaway
Fortune down $5 billion in the past year because share price of Berkshire Hathaway fell
His net worth is down 7.5% since 2014 Forbes 400
Berkshire Hathaway in August announced its biggest acquisition ever, agreeing to pay $37 billion for Precision Castparts, a maker of aerospace, power and industrial parts
In addition to Precision, Berkshire owns companies including Geico, Dairy Queen and Fruit of the Loom
This year teamed up again with 3G Capital, a firm run by a trio of Brazilian billionaires, to merge Kraft Foods with Heinz. Buffett has joined forces last year to help finance 3G’s merger of Burger King and coffeehouse chain Tim Hortons
Lifetime philanthropic giving: $25.6 billion
(Photo by Eric Frances/Getty Images)
1. Bill Gates
Net worth: $76 billion, down $5 billion
World’s richest man for 22nd year in a row
Fortune down 6%
Gates own just under 3% of Microsoft, which accounts for 13% of his total fortune. His private investment firm, Cascade, makes up the rest, investing in stocks, bonds, private equity and real estate