A few weeks back I was gifted on the anniversary of my birth, a book called "Designing your Life".The approach of the book is one of a designer - try things, fail, be curious, try something else, etc. Around the same time I was scheduled to take off some time from work. Uh oh. Now I had time and a guide to designing my life. Dangerous as people who know me would tell you.
So what happened? I dove into the book the first week. Reading it while I was waiting for car repairs and other time dependent appointments or errands. It is a good book. I had to pause at the section about identifying high v. Low energy activities at work since I wasn't there. But I did have ample time to visit with others and reflect. One of the exercises in the book had me create a "how are you" dashboard. It consists of four life areas.
Here it is. Mine came out as mostly full (indicated on the right), but I also have work to do in the play and health areas.
I had three lunch dates to catch up with folks. One former work colleague and two dads from my sons' cub scout days that I have kept in contact with. Some things change over time, but not all. I could tell with one of the three that there were very real impacts from our last election cycle and the current economy. Both of us had been impacted by the melt down of 2008.
I started a project. It was cleaning and staining my deck. To be clear I hate that crap. Tedious, unrewarding work in my mind. Definitely a low energy activity. I also was in the middle of keeping newly sewn grass seed moist for germination. Another low energy crap job. I did cleanup my work bench (funny and ironic for me). I don't like a lot of clutter. Medium energy job.
I read articles on my iPad. I do this a lot and I post them to LinkedIn if I think my connections will enjoy them. This can be a moderately high energy activity. I like sharing knowledge. I also have a lot to learn. So much good stuff out there.
I took time to reflect. I realized and confirmed that there are definitely some tasks I despise and some I can tolerate and even enjoy. I do need to add to my more active connections. People I can share coffee or lunch with. This is important in so many ways. I need the stimulus, the shared experiences and different perspectives. Some of my aquaintances are liberal in political views, some conservative, some I have no clue. All have interesting and useful perspectives.
Finally I did get interested in a few things to work on, some I already mentioned. But the biggest realization is that I am on the whole "ok". Some areas could be better. At least that is what my personal dashboard indicates. I that is ok by me. Gives me something to do.
What energizes you and what drains you? I would love to know.