#32: How to Master Your Energy
with Nicola Vetter & Peter Axtell
June 30, 2023 | 9 Minutes
On "Inside-Out Career Design" this week, hosts Nicola Vetter & Peter Axtell speak about
…specific, actionable steps to improve your energy, optimism, well-being, and success. How to master your energy levels is the question of your life. Nothing happens without energy. Burnout is a real thing and is a result of depleted energy. Have you ever considered energy drains? They can be people, environments, your career, your lack of sleep, poor metabolic health, junk food, your mental state, or your emotional state. Start getting more energy today by using our suggested steps.
Some questions we discuss for you to reflect on
- Do you think you can cure burn-out by just taking a vacation?
- Do you think burnout is or is not a medical condition?
- Have you ever considered an energy investigation to see what areas of your life are draining or filling your energy?
- Have you ever made a list of people, environments, work, food, noise that are draining your energy?
- Who are the people who fill you with energy?
- What kind of work fills you with energy?
- Have you ever tracked how well you sleep?
- Have you ever connected your energy levels on a given day to optimism?
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About the Inside-Out Career Design Podcast
This podcast is obsessed with answering a single question: Is it possible to create an authentic, meaningful, and fulfilling life you love while building a successful and rewarding career?
Join Nicola Vetter and Peter Axtell, co-founders of the WhatsNext.com Career Insights platform and creators of the groundbreaking MotivationFinder assessment, as they follow their obsession with answering this question by sharing their insights, discoveries, and life lessons and talking with career experts, leaders, spiritual guides, psychologists, data scientists, coaches -- anyone and everyone who might hold a strategy or answer to the age-old questions of “what’s next for me?” and “what should I do with my life?”
They seek to transform suffering into joy for millions of people stuck and confused in their lives and careers.
Get ready to be inspired, motivated, and above all, to connect deeply with who you are and what you are meant to do with the time you’ve been given.
Nicola Vetter 00:00
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Inside-Out Career Design podcast, where we'll dive deeper into how different activities affect our energy levels. And understanding this is crucial for designing a meaningful life and a successful career. I'm Nicola, and I'm here with Peter.
Peter Axtell 00:26
Why is finding energy so important for creating an authentic, fulfilling, and meaningful life you love while building a successful and rewarding career. It's not enough to set aside time each day for designing your life and career. You also need energy to focus think and contemplate during that time. And when the time comes, you'll need energy to take action in the real world. To move forward. I was shocked to find out that 89% of workers have experienced burnout within the last year according to Forbes.
Nicola Vetter 01:03
But before we dive into that, let me share the four symptoms of burnout. Okay, one - feelings of energy depletion and fatigue, two - increase mental distance from your job, three - feelings of negativity or cynicism, towards your job, and four - reduced professionalism. Have you experienced any of these for yourself or seen them in others?
Peter Axtell 01:39
I was surprised that the cure for burnout is not just to take a vacation. Burnout is a medical condition. So this is serious stuff, folks. That's why the goal of this episode is to help you find conserve and create energy for yourself.
Nicola Vetter 01:56
Okay, let's get to it. There are a zillion things competing for your energy each day. So you have to learn to figure out what's draining your energy, and what's giving you energy. This can give you an advantage in life. And of course, you know this, it's way more fun to have an abundance of energy. More fun is good. Yes.
Peter Axtell 02:23
Yes. So about now, you're asking, well, how? Here's a proven strategy. Step one. Make sure there aren't any hidden health conditions or nutritional deficiencies that could be sapping your energy. Go get a checkup.
Nicola Vetter 02:42
Step two. Keep an energy log and keep it simple, track when you feel low energy in these five areas, people places, thoughts, emotions, and circumstances. And write down exactly who, what and how it shows up for you. Then do exactly the same for when you feel high energy. Do this for 30 days, and you'll start to see patterns.
Peter Axtell 03:17
Step three. You know this, I mean, it's obvious. Remove the energy busters. Are you going to bed too late? Sleep is far more important than you think. Are you eating poorly, junk food and such? Are you working too much without taking days off? Are you sitting around too much doom scrolling on your phone? Movement is critical to staying optimistic and for longevity. Has news got you hooked? You know, that's their job description.
Nicola Vetter 03:51
Step four. Make a list of agreements on paper or in a notebook? Include your work and personal life here. Are you responsible for managing finances in your household, or for maintenance on the cars or computers or for taking the kids to school? Write it all down.
Peter Axtell 04:13
Include personal projects and dreams as well. So for example, do you dream of writing a book or learning a new language one day, write that down. Because here's the thing, all these agreements are consuming your energy. Even if you aren't focusing on them. They're always there, always plugged in and pulling power from you. So get that thing in your head that needs to be done out of your head and onto paper. It's both liberating and energizing.
Nicola Vetter 04:43
Right. And don't worry about organizing the list at first, just get it out. If an item is a bigger project, then try to break it down into smaller tasks. If you're waiting on something from somewhere or from someone else, make a note of it. And once it's out of your head, your brain is free to stop remembering it and can focus on organizing, prioritizing, and doing.
Peter Axtell 05:18
And that is step five. Do a brain dump and write everything that needs to be done in both your personal and work life down on paper. And once out of your head, begin to organize, cut, and prioritize items.
Nicola Vetter 05:35
Step six. Get more sleep, drink more water, eat healthy food, and move. Quick disclaimer, this video is not meant to give any medical advice. But there is no arguing with this. Sleeping more drinking more water, eating well, and moving your body cause massive spikes in energy levels. Don't go overboard. But do pay attention and do your best to do these simple things for yourself. You deserve it.
Peter Axtell 06:09
So step seven, is to maximize energy types and times. So there are different types of energy, there's mental energy for thinking and working. There's social energy for being around and talking with others, and physical energy for exercising and moving your body. Each of us has different times of the day, where we have more or less energy for each of these types. Try to figure out which times of the day your mental, social, and physical energy levels are highest, and then schedule corresponding activities during those times to maximize your energy.
Nicola Vetter 06:47
For example, let's say your mental energy is at its highest in the morning, your total energy is highest in the afternoon, and your physical energy highest in the evening. In this case, schedule your most important work in the morning, your meetings in the afternoon, and your fitness activities in the evening, if you can. In other words, schedule activities that fit with the times where your mental, social, or physical energy levels are at their highest.
Peter Axtell 07:27
I wish there was a magic wand that would boost your energy levels long term. But until that's invented, here's some things to limit. Limit stress, anger, alcohol, caffeine smoking, better yet quit smoking, limit social media, news, screentime junk food, and limit work hours if you can.
Nicola Vetter 07:49
We hope you found these tips and strategies useful. If you did, could you do us a favor and hit that like button and subscribe to our channel. It would mean a lot to us, and it helps our channel to grow.
Peter Axtell 08:06
Thanks so much for joining us here today. For show notes go to whatsnext.com/32 where we share links and other relevant information.
Nicola Vetter 08:18
If you're trying to figure out what's next for you. Join us for one of our live online workshops where we teach how to successfully reinvent your career in midlife to save your spot and our next workshop. Go to whatsnext.com/workshops. We'll see you there, or for another episode here.