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Top Five Energy Suckers

Ever feel like you just can't get up off the couch. You wake up and just want to go back to bed.

Or maybe you are just exhausted by 3 pm every afternoon. If so, I know exactly how you feel.

I spent many years having zero energy. I was in great shape, kept up with the kids but still felt like I could nap at a moments notice.

It was a HUGE drag on life and stopped me from trying new things or participating in the game called life.

As I started to investigate why I was feeling this way, or, more importantly, what I could do about it, I started to see different things in my life that were sucking the energy out of it. I noticed patterns that I never saw before. And I started to find ways to beat the "energy suckers".

Here are the top five energy suckers I noticed in my life.


1. Too Many Emails, Texts and Messages in your Inbox

These days it is not unheard of to get literally hundreds of call, texts and messages a day. Before you know it the inbox is full and you haven't even had time to respond. It's easy to fall behind.

For some reason, just knowing that there are messages waiting to be answered or just "hanging out" can be a huge drag. And in a world of never-ending communication it's hard to keep caught up with it all. This especially rings true if you're a "message avoider" like I am. The top advice I can give you is "Don't avoid the messages!"

You can combat the message overload in a couple different ways. My preferred way it to be try and tackle what you can daily. This includes responding and deleting multiple times throughout the day.

The second way to manage this energy sucker is to designate a time every day to go through the messages. This could be in the morning or at lunch break or even right before bed. The key here is to be consistent with when you do it. I find that missing even just a couple days can send you really far behind.

Getting the text messages and email inbox to "zero" is an amazing feeling and definitely an energy boost. Anytime you can accomplish this its a win.

2. A Messy Closet or Bathroom

How you start your day is important. Do you want to be in the flow and easily get read. Or do you want to fight the stacks of clothes and messy countertops? Having to struggle through your morning routine can completely knock the wind out of a great day that's just getting started.

A messy closet is a huge energy sucker because it defeats you before you even have a chance to get going. It reminds us of the fact that we don't fit those pants or we can never "get our act together" or that we are too lazy to put things away. It reminds of us all the lies that we tell ourselves and starts the negative thinking train first thing in the morning.

To get your day off on the right foot, start with an organized and clean closet/bathroom. That means no clothes on the floor, no toothpaste in the sink and towels off the floor. Kick the too small clothes out of your closet. Get fancy new hangers to have it looking tidy. And corral bathroom essentials into little baskets or turntables.

It's easier to have energy for the day when you start it off in a calm and organized environment.

3. Dishes in the Sink

What can I say.... this seems too simple but its too true. Dirty dishes in the sink is a visible energy sucker every single time. It sends the message that we don't have enough time to get done what needs to get done. Putting off clearing the sink can make us anxious and on edge when we don't need to be.

And those dirty dishes seem to multiple. It's hard to keep up a clean kitchen when we don't take care of this simple task. It becomes easier to just keep going with the filth than take the time to get it all taken care of.

Keeping the sink free of dirty dishes is something that we can easily do if we just hold ourselves accountable after every meal. Commit to washing and drying every dish right after you eat. It's not fun but it's way easier on the mind than staring at dirty dishes for the next three days.

Another way to tackle this it to use the dishwasher..... as much as possible. You can literally put almost anything into a dishwasher. You can even let it pile up for a day or two in there. Here's the key.... you don't see the mess in the dishwasher. You see the mess in your sink.

4. Piles of Paperwork

Nine times out of ten when people ask for my help, they want me to show them how to declutter the paper piles. Stacks of bills and schoolwork and other papers is overwhelming. And the real stressful part is that most of this stuff is important and can't be put off. But we do it anyways because the task seems too daunting.

Not dealing with paperwork does more harm than just the clutter that takes over the counter. It sucks a huge amount of your energy because, for many of us, it can cause anxiety. It's like we know we need to deal with it but we don't want to so we keep putting it off. The problem with this is that putting it off only causes more stress and more financial hardships.

Dealing with paperwork is simple but takes effort to see through to the end. First, you need a system. Then you need to implement it and stick with it. This often involves daily maintenance to manage what's coming into the home.

One thing that helps me is to have a "need to tend to" folder (I call a Magic Folder). In my Magic Folder, I place everything that needs my attention over the next month or two. Everything else gets filed right away. Then I check and go through the Magic Folder on the regular. This could be once a day or once a week - that's up to you but the key is to keep it consistent.

5. Toys, Toys, and More Toys

Anyone else find random Nerf darts everywhere? The coach cushions, the shelves, I even found two in our Christmas tree! Toys are a necessary evil. You want your kids to have things to entertain themselves besides the tablet or TV but the mess gets spread everywhere.

Walking into a room full of toys or constantly picking up toys can be a HUGE energy sucker for our day. There's nothing more tiring than feeling like a maid following your kids around the house. And all the little pieces can drive you batty.

To reduce the stress of too many toys you can try a couple different things. First limit which rooms you keep toys stored in. Yes, they don't need to be in ever room of the house. You can declare the living room or office or family room toy-free zones. Second try eliminating some of the less popular ones. I know this can be hard but for kids less is truly more.

Bottom Line

In the end, the best thing you can do to combat these dreaded energy suckers is to RECOGNIZE them when they are happening. Not every one of these listed bother everyone the same way.

When you feel your energy drop, ask yourself what in your surroundings might be causing it. It is essential to realize what triggers you so that you can work on fixing it.

The bottom line is to be aware of your emotions, thoughts and actions in any given moment. Taking this one step will give you more energy!

Need help getting past the energy suckers? Contact me about my virtual decluttering coaching sessions!

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