This is a follow up to my post, Manage Energy, Not Time. A few folks have asked me how I figure out energy drains and catalysts.
For me, clarity came when I broke it down into:
On the task side ...
This hit home for me when one of the instructors gave some example scenarios:
- You have to analyze a few 1000 rows of data in a spreadsheet
- You have to give a last-minute presentation for a few thousand people in an hour
- You have a whiteboarding session to design a product
- You have to code a 1000 lines to solve an important problem
He asked, "how do you feel?" He said some people will have "energy" for some of these. Others won't. Some people will be excited by the chance to drill into data and cells. He said others will be excited by painting the broader strokes. He then gave more examples, such as, the irony of how you might have the energy to go skiing, but not to go to the movies.
The point he was making was that energy was relative and that you should be aware of what gives you energy or takes it away.
On the people side ...
I pay more attention to people now in terms catalysts and drains. With some individuals, I'm impressed at their ability to sap energy. (I can almost hear Gauntlet in the background ..."Your life force is running out ..."). With other individuals, they are clearly catalysts, giving me energy to move mountains.
It's interesting for me now to think of both people and tasks in terms of catalysts and drains. Now I consciously spend more time with catalysts, and less time with drains, and I enjoy the results.