We all have them.  Doesn’t matter what you do – full time worker, unemployed, freelancer, mother, billionaire . . . we all have places where we waste or lose time unnecessarily.  Sometimes we may choose to do nothing or are forced by physical or emotional woes.  I’m talking about those that we are often unconscious of.

For instance, in the company I work for (which employs thousands of people), I happen to still be the delegate for two people who have left the company. Every time someone sends out an email to everyone, I am inundated with multiple copies that I must delete.  This is an energy leak.

How about an illustrative example?  Let’s say you have a leak in your roof.  Whenever it rains, you have extra work to collect and dispose of water that gets in the house.

Sometimes energy leaks occur for me when I say I’m going to do something and I don’t do it.  I expend a lot of energy remembering what it is I’m supposed to do, or reviewing it and transferring it from To Do List to To Do List.

If you pay attention, you can often feel the energy flowing from your body, though you are clearly not exerting yourself.

Items such as broken appliances draw energy from you when they don’t work properly. It certainly zaps your energy when things that are supposed to save you time and energy, add to it.

I often waste a lot of time trying to find the right socks.  I’m a working girl, so there is no reason why I can’t afford to buy myself a few more pairs of socks to stop this ridiculous waster.

There was a time in my life when I struggled day after day with a litter scoop that clearly wasn’t making my life easier.  I was at the store one day when I noticed a scoop that would do the job so much better.  I believe it cost $1.49.  I couldn’t believe I had wasted all that time and energy when all I had to do was spend this small amount of money to change everything!

Things like litter scoops and socks seem like small potatoes in the hurry up and keep up world we live in.  But they can add up and make you feel far less energetic than you should.

What I try to do is, once a month or so I take an inventory of places where I think my energy is leaking.  It’s important, I’ve found, to give myself a little quiet time to think about ways to plug those leaks.

Very often it’s simply a matter of taking a step.  Taking action to get what you need.  Maybe calling a repair person, or taking something back to where you bought it.  Remember that things on a To Do List can be very draining.  I know, it’s hard to find the time to do things as they come up, sometimes.  I often keep a list through the week, when I don’t have the time, and then deal with them on the weekends.  I reserve 30 minutes for doing all the little things that pile up through the week – like picking up and putting away, sweeping, sewing a button, etc.

The trick, really, is to deal with things, as soon as you can.  Taking even a small step can often cross the thing off your list or at least help to regain some of the lost energy.

Another place you may find energy leaks is in relationships.  There are some people who just zap your energy.  I admit, I haven’t figured out how to protect myself from this.  I suspect  preparing myself for it, knowing what will happen, and accepting that I’m going to leave some energy behind, I can at least keep it from compounding.

Maybe the leak is a matter of saying what you need to say to someone.  Things left out in the air can definitely drag you down.  A writing tip here would be to write a rough draft of what you want to say (even if you’re going to say it out loud).  Don’t hit the send button (or seal and stamp, or open your mouth) until you’ve thought it through a bit.  Just make sure you promise yourself to do it.  You’ll be surprised how much energy will rush back into you when you let that go.

I like to make a game of plugging energy leaks. Whenever I catch myself doing things more than once, or gritting my teeth and feeling like something’s a chore.  When I find I’m not comfortable with someone or some situation. When I say to myself, why am I doing this?  I challenge myself to come up with ways to make it easier.