Solving Energy Depletion 🥵

Here we are, it’s Friday afternoon at 4pm, and I still have a long list of tasks in my notebook.

Task list

Most of it is left-over tasks from yesterday (who doesn’t have these!), and something inside me screams: Don’t take them over to the weekend!! 😱

Now this is something that frequently happens to me and that I don’t have a solution for.

I’m sitting here, air-headed, feeling like I can’t do anything at all anymore. I can only write these lines because thinking about how I feel right now is pretty much the only thing I’m capable of at this moment.

But we are an entrepreneur, right? And we live by this motto:

Everything is figure-out-able.

I attribute this quote to Ramith Sethi who quoted someone else…

As I am living by this motto, I will solve this problem on the spot. And I am taking you with me on the journey of solving it.

1. Google

First, I google the problem.

The number of listicles on there is quite amazing.

I usually try to avoid listicles, because the machine learning algorithm of my brain classifies them as low-quality with a probability of 87%.*

So I have a look at the second hit on Google (the first that is not a listicle) and skim through.

It is this one.

* On the other hand, the adventurous writer in me wants to test it out if it works anyway, hence I made this article into a listicle. I know the titles of the steps are rather mundane, but that’s the nature of listicles, isn’t it.

2. Pick something to do

After skimming the article, I realize, it has a list at the end 😱

But something caught my eye:

They want me to do WHAT? Play with coins?

I’m beyond doing anything useful today, so I can as well play with coins.

Let me quickly grab my spare coin jar… meanwhile, here’s a shortened version of the list for you:

  1. Take about 30 quarters, checker pieces, or anything else that reminds you of gleaming gold money.
  2. Ask yourself: What parts of my life have I been investing with the most energy? Get as specific as possible. Name each one out loud.
  3. Designate a place for each aspect. Place the number of coins that you feel you spend in each of the different aspects of your life in the physical areas you mapped out. Remember, you only have 30 pieces of gold, so be honest about your investments!
  4. Investigate each investment in detail. Speak out loud about that particular investment.
  5. Use the next several moments to redistribute the coins in any way you choose. If you want to withdraw coins from one area, but don’t know where you want to put them, hold onto them for now.
  6. Take a few moments to speak about how you envision reinvesting the coins. Make your statements as specific and as bold as possible.
  7. Take as much time in this “re-visioning” process as you need. Once you feel your work is complete, clear the space of the coins.

If you want to read the more elaborate version of the list, you can do so here.

3. Do it

Ok, I got everything I need: coins, a pen, and post-its.

I also broke the game down to 3 steps (ain’t I a minimalist 😏):

  1. Write the areas where your energy goes on post-its and distribute them on a table.
  2. Take 30 coins and put them on the post-its according to how you feel you spend your energy there.
  3. Redistribute the coins mindfully.

This is my setup and my completion of step 1:

Post-its
Completion of step 1

I dug through my spare coin box and where able to gather 30 coins of 10 cents, small and golden. ✨

Coins
30 coins of 10 cents = € 3 💰

Now it’s time for step 2: distributing the coins on the table. Each coin here represents a nugget of my valuable energy.

This is how I ended up distributing them:

Energy distribution
Completion of step 2

It already dawned to me that there’s a little bit of an imbalance there in how I spend my energy. Which brings me to step 3: redistributing the energy, er, coins.

This is the point where I need to think. And my thoughts went something like this:

  • It is not just about how to spend my energy. As with money, I rather need to consider how to invest my energy. Where do I get the most Return of Investment?

  • There’s a leak on the right side of the table…

  • How can I spend less energy in operational tasks? Could I hire someone to do that work for me, while still getting a bit of profit from it?

  • My poor friends and family 😢 I need to change something here.

  • This center post-it is not just project acquisition, but rather sales in general. Could I invest smarter here?

I started taking coins away from some post-its and re-distributing them onto others, and came to a couple of conclusions.

4. Draw Conclusions

The “winner” of the redistribution was the post-it with Family & Friends on it.

Family and friends
I need to spend more energy with Family and Friends

I have not seen my parents and brothers since Corona started, and I do miss them. I should call and reconnect.

I feel this is a crucial one. I do spend much of my time working for my business, programming apps or organizing courses and events. There’s a potential list of tasks that seems endless, and I focus much more of my willpower and energy here than is probably good for me.

This is not where I want to spend my energy on. I want to share a much larger part of it with my loved ones.

Seeing it as an investment: I get a lot more energy back if I speak with my mother than if I successfully complete the next feature on that Android app. This really is an eye opener. 👀

The next post-it that got many coins was Sales & Project Acquisition.

Sales and Project Acquisition
Spend more in sales?

In my small software company, I have three people on my side who can work for me and can generate profit. Two of them could spend more time working on client’s projects. So what am I doing here working on a project myself?

I should really get projects for them, rather than working on a project myself. Doing programming work myself is only depleting my energy. I don’t get much energy out of it.

If I instead focus my energy on finding new projects, I would invest:
I would get them projects to work on, which would then generate profits without me.

I was surprised at that outcome and a bit embarrassed that I haven’t seen it before. 😅 I talked to my partner about it, and this sprouted more ideas about hiring more people and delegating more work.

This was much more productive than I thought!

Conclusion: Treat your energy as an investment.

And also: google your problem, find a peculiar article, and just try something new, even if it’s as mundane as playing with coins. ☝️


I am happy I spent my otherwise wasted afternoon in this exercise of mind. If you had a similar epiphany about your energy spendings, make sure to leave a comment. 👇 Thanks for reading! ❤️

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