January 17, 2022

Why it’s Important to Protect our Mental Energy.


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Every time I wake, I have a conscious thought of how I slept—good, bad, or okay.

This way, I can judge my bandwidth, the amount of energy or concentration I have for that given day, like a battery that has been recharged during sleep.

Then I know what level of expectation I can put on myself. For example, if I have had a good sleep, I like to think I can put down a day’s work, an hour of exercise, playtime with my dog, quality time with my family, and downtime to read before bed.

Now, insufficient sleep, I get on with work, come home and not train, scroll through feeds of pictures and videos, and barely make it through other tasks before returning to slumber.

My bandwidth is also my level of resilience. It can dictate such things as spending, laziness, mood, and overall social demeanor. Social media negates the pain of a wasted day. I can’t help but feel guilty if I have spent more than an hour on it. I regularly check how long I spent with the activity meter in settings, and some days it could be over two hours. This is too long, as I compare it to how that hour could have been more productive elsewhere.

Science shows how important it is to gain adequate sleep every night. But what about when we can’t achieve a good, regular sleep pattern—what should we do?

It is probably the most significant indicator of whether or not our next day will be optimal or suboptimal. Yes, of course, we can stimulate our life with caffeine and sugar; however, this ultimately will end in a crash. Therefore, it’s best to keep tabs on our bandwidth and most essential tasks.

I endeavor to make progress in at least one area every day. It can be personal, work, health, or educational. In reality, though it is difficult to see the tangible effects of this short term, but it all compounds to give us a return on investment in the long-term.

That is why when my sleep is disturbed, I narrow my focus.

For instance, I endure work to my best capability. I do my daily chores, clean, feed, and cloth myself. I engage positively with friends and family, and then I push past the tiredness to exercise for at least 40 minutes or read a book.

We all have nonnegotiable tasks in life that we can’t skip, but we have a subconscious brain that can delegate a lot more than we think. I try to keep my mind quiet on days I’m tired. I drive in silence and try to avoid unnecessary small talk at work. I do this to save that vital energy for things that matter to me such as interacting with my daughter or a meeting with my boss.

It is wise to work smarter, not harder, in everyday life.

Preferably we need to get enough sleep to achieve all our daily routines at a high level, but if not, then caveat emptor—which loosely translates to “buyer beware,” but in this case, “spender beware.”

Let us be careful what we spend our precious time on and, more importantly, our focus and effort. Time is a priceless commodity in life, but people spend it as if they are taking it from a bottomless pit.

Ever since my daughter was born, I have barely slept an entire night, giving me a great outlook on the importance of my time and effort balance.

I can’t do everything at hundred percent every day, but I can prioritize areas, and to do that, I save myself on the less meaningful parts like talking about Irish weather. “Yes, Bob, it’s raining. It rains almost every day here, Bob. We live in Ireland!”


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