Yesterday, I was frustrated that I had to charge my MacBook, iPad, and watch all at the same time during the middle of the day. Was I frustrated because they needed to charge? No. I was frustrated that I didn’t charge them at night and therefore was set back during the day.
We as people are similar. Have you ever hit that wall in the middle of your workday? Have you ever asked yourself why that is? The simple answer is that your mental battery died. Even though society praises “grinding 24/7” and burning both ends of the candle, we all have limited mental capacity to effectively make decisions and work. Just like an electronic can’t operate when the battery is dead, your capacity to perform is limited if you’re not charged.
Have you ever thought about what it takes to charge yourself or even how often you need a charge? I’m not talking about sleep, I’m talking about mental rest. Just as different phones use different chargers, we as people are fueled by different things. Some of us like to read. Some need some fresh air, some may just like to mindlessly watch TV.
It doesn’t matter what fuels you, what matters is that you know what fuels you and how often you need to be refueled. Knowing the answer to those two questions will greatly improve your capacity to perform consistently.
A mentor of mine tells me that before he makes a big decision, he needs 8-10 minutes of uninterrupted time to himself to collect his thoughts and gather himself. Another colleague of mine schedules Jazz breaks into her schedule to listen to music and simply reset.
Your recharge can be anything, it just has to work for you. Here’s my advice to you once you realize what it takes to charge your battery.
SET BLACKOUT DATES FOR YOURSELF!
If you’ve ever flown during the holidays, you know that Airlines have blackout dates…dates where you can’t redeem your miles or use points. They are scheduled dates, you know in advance that they exist. In our lives, we have to schedule those as well. They don’t have to be full days or weeks, but they have to be consistent.
For instance, you might schedule one hour from 11 am-noon on Fridays where you block off your schedule and do something for yourself…EVERY Friday. It might be 15 minutes a day that you deliberately schedule into your day to refuel yourself.
Spend some time today uncovering what recharges your battery. Figure out how long it takes you to recharge and how often you need to recharge and schedule those blackout dates or blackout times immediately. Your mental health depends on it.
If not, you’ll end up like my electronics, coasting on a dead battery during the most important and productive part of the day.