What To Do When You Have a “Low Battery”

Do you know when your mind is running on a low battery? And – importantly – what to do about it? This question popped in my head recently when my ever-so-smart phone notified me of its own “Low Battery” and offered me an optional “Low Power Mode”. Since my own energy was running low at that time, I thought this was especially brilliant. A refresher lesson on resilience!

The first step to managing yourself with low energy is to recognize the signals. If you’re like me, your common clues may include: Simple decisions becomes difficult, attention span diminishes, patience wanes, normal organizational tricks lapse, and my thinking can become stubbornly rigid. You likely have your own cues.

The second step is to decide what recharging activities will yield the fastest and most valuable energy boost. For me, some combination of running, walking, yoga, sleep, and fun time with people I enjoy are the best way to restore me to my 100% best self. (TV is tempting, but not on the good list.) Depending upon the causes of my “battery drain”, I can give myself a booster shot in 30 minutes. I just have to remember how easy that is – and make the time without delay.

Third, you need to decide what trade-offs you can make for a day or so, so that you can turn off some of your functionality and operate on “Low Power Mode”. I try to enlist the following tactics: defer major decisions and sensitive conversations at least a day, break down complicated activities to bite size steps, seek out helpful thought partners more than usual, and choose a couple of moderate tasks to fully complete for the sense of accomplishment.

Resilience is about making the best of all you bring over the long haul. Intentional trade-offs and recovery periods are a key element for that end game. I’d be curious to hear your favorite tactics and encourage you to take them out of your tool box more often. I’m trying to do the same.