What are Energy-Draining Trolls?
Energy-Draining Trolls are things that annoy the heck out of you when you look at them or are reminded of them. They could be anything from a stack of papers that needs to be organized or a closet door that needs to be fixed to a pile of clothes that needs to be put away or button that needs to be re-sewn on your suit or jacket. Every time we look at these things we are reminded of something we should do and are not doing or haven’t done, and usually the derived meaning is that we are failing at something or not measuring up.
Energy drainers suck the life out of us, and they do so often without our even realizing it. They irritate us, annoy us, wear us down, and are constant reminders of our procrastination or perceived incompetence. That’s why I call them Trolls. They are merciless bullies. Because they drain our energy and keep us focused on what we’re not doing, they prevent us from looking at what we could be doing to be happier, healthier, more relaxed, more energized and have a better life.
So today I’m going to invite you to make a list of all your energy-draining trolls, big and small, and do something about them once and for all. I know, I know, you carry a mental list of these things with you everywhere you go, but that’s part of the problem, you see. Items on a mental list can easily be forgotten or missed, and as a result they rarely get done, especially when they are annoying tasks or chores (or trolls) we’d rather not bother with.
Also, you can’t use your phone or tablet or any other such device to make your list because you know exactly what will happen. Your file will accidentally be hidden among all the other applications you have there, and it will likely end up being missed or forgotten as well. So for this exercise you’ll have to make an actual, physical, tangible list and you’re going to hang it in a place where you can see it as often as possible. We want it to be staring you right in the face every time you walk by it.
Then, you’re going to group the list into categories, such as “things I can do immediately,” “things I can do this week,” and “things I can do this month.” At the bottom of each group you’re going to write: “When I’ve eradicated these trolls I’ll reward myself by ________________” and fill in the blank with something that is pleasing and exciting to you. Pick any variation of those words that suits you; the point is to jot down the reward. If you can, make it something out of the ordinary so it can really motivate you. You can also write down a reward for when you finish the entire list as an additional motivator.
You’re going to give yourself 30 days to knock out these life-sucking trolls and put an end to their annoyance and energy-draining power. Then you’re going to get to work, and start doing them.
Three things are going to happen:
- One: You’ll find that as soon as you get these energy-drainers out of your head and onto paper you’ll feel a sense of instant relief. Even though nothing has gotten done yet, at least you now have a clear idea of what it is that has to be done, and you don’t have to be wondering whether you’re missing something important.
- Two: As a result, you’ll clear up some mental space for the really important stuff. Now that these annoying things are out of your head, you may notice that you can think clearer and be less “foggy” in general which will allow you to make better choices and see more opportunities.
- Three: You’ll find that you’re actually going to start doing these things! The brain has a natural tendency to want to see check-lists be, well checked off. So by having the list in a place with high visibility, you’ll constantly be giving your brain that nudge it needs to help you get those things done. And the more items you check off your list, the more motivated you’ll be to continue doing them.
When you have completed any of the groups, reward yourself immediately! Don’t put it off or wait for the “perfect moment” to reward yourself. Show your brain that you mean business and that you deliver on your word. Savor the victory and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. Play it up as much as you can! You just took care of business instead of procrastinating, so you deserve your reward. You’ve earned it. Enjoy it!
I have found that this approach works wonders when trying to eliminate those life-sucking energy drainers. It also helps me stay productive which definitely helps me feel better about myself. Talk about a self-esteem booster! “Oh yeah, I got this!” “That’s right!” “Who’s the boss now?” “Me, that’s who!”
Ahem! Anyways, I want to encourage you to give this exercise a whirl and show yourself what you’re capable of. Give these life-sucking trolls what for and show ‘em who’s boss. You may soon find yourself asking, “So what ELSE can I do to change the world?” And changing the world you’ll be; you can count on that!
Do you have any input or stories you’d like to share? What are your energy-draining trolls, and how do you deal with them? Drop me a line in the comment box below.
I’d love to hear from you!