Feeling Drained?

You are NOT alone!

Here we are, 4+ months into a new world order.  Like you, I have had a myriad of thoughts about the “real” situation but, also like you, I have to keep moving business, our HR Consulting work and life forward. Nothing has really changed with that – Human Resource issues arise that need addressed, personal issues still try to interfere with work, decisions need made every day. I am energized by these are new challenges that I have never had to face – professionally or personally. But I am drained; really drained.

  1. Doing a Google search for “why am I so drained right now” gives me a whole slew of health reasons. Well, I am healthy, and I am sleeping well (probably better than ever because I am drained – have I mentioned that?!)
  2. My Garmin app always tells me I am drained – I seem to zap my energy level more than I add to my energy level. (Oh way, that would mean I would have to exercise…)
  3. I do not have Covid – I have been tested. (THAT was an experience…)
  4. Dehydration? That can do odd things to you. Nope – I drink at least 96 ounces of water a day.

So, what is it? HR consulting is energizing even on a normal basis without issues of pandemics and work from home and will the kids go back to school. (Thank heavens I do not have school age children – my heart goes out to those of you that do.)

There is ONE change that I can point to on my calendar that is completely different from “Pre-C” (my affectionate reference to all things pre-March 13, 2020.) I look at my calendar for the past 4+ months and I do NOT see breaks in my day. I am going from one client call, to another consulting task, to another Zoom meeting, to a Teams Call then a GoToMeeting call and then, maybe I’ll grab a lunch but will catch up on emails while I’m eating my lunch just so I can make the next Zoom call, complete the HR project that I started a few days ago, before I hop on the next Teams call and respond to the other Team chats in which I am a “guest” on their platform to finishing up by journaling what I accomplished today and starting to plan for tomorrow.

Yes, I did that as one long, run-on sentence because that is how it feels. Phew – I may have found the reason that I am so drained. My dear husband caught on to this early into the pandemic. In the Pre-C days, I would have a Human Resource consulting appointment that I would need to drive to; well, I would have to drive from that meeting then as well. So, there were two (2) built in breaks in my schedule where I was not attached to my computer screen (there is no emailing and driving at HR Resolutions!) Pre-C, video meetings were few and far between (and oh so cool!) Fortunately, I am very good about having a hard stop to my day. The business day is done not later than 6:00 P.M. each day. Frankly, because my brain cannot take any more; plus, most of our clients are closed by that time as well.

What is a business owner to do? Here is my plan, please feel free to adopt any parts of it that may work for you – I certainly do not own the trademark on any of these!

  • Begin each day with my devotions (this is an existing practice that has changed my entire world – professionally and personally.)
  • Check personal emails, catch up on Facebook, spend time with me
  • Plan my day:
    • What am I grateful for today?
    • What am I looking forward to today?
    • Affirmation
    • What is today’s focus? What exercise will I do today?
    • What are my three to five priorities today?
  • Check work email (Did you notice, I do not check work email until I am planned and grounded?)

At this point, I am two hours into my day (one hour for me, one hour for planning and reviewing emails.) I have been following this routine for well over 18 months– I am convinced that is part of what led HRR to 22% growth in 2019.

Here are the new things I am committing to trying to reduce this “drained” feeling:

  • Work email
    • No more than four (4) times a day
    • Moving to no more than three (3) times a day
    • I am physically cringing just typing that – did you have any reaction reading that?
  • Calendar scheduling
    • Schedule at least one (1) break and one (1) lunch period per day
    • There should be a 15-minute gap between calendar items/meetings
    • Ideally no more than three (3) video meetings a day (I used to limit myself to no more than three (3) meetings a day – this should be no different)

So, friends, I have now shared my goals publicly. What are or will YOU be doing to reduce the “drain” now that we passed the shock of our new world order? Will you help hold me accountable to my goals? How else can we help each other get beyond surviving and back to thriving?

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