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I spent most of the start of this year feeling like life was simply a series of exhaustion-inducing circumstances that continuously pushed me towards minor emotional breakdowns (commonly known as “good cries”). Every interruption seemed to throw me off-course for weeks. There was no reserve energy left.

I thought the answer was scheduling myself more tightly, better time management, working on my “day off” and just generally going all-out until I got the to-do list cleared and could afford a break. Funny how that fantasized vacation just kept getting more and more unattainable.

Then I came across The Energy Project on a management blog and found their ideas energy-inducing and their arguments convincing. Like the dire importance of sleep and the effects of trying to be more productive by not sleeping. The benefits of making rituals out of important activities to increase emotional, spiritual, mental and physical energy reserves.

I took the Energy Audit and since my rating came back less-than-stellar (I believe their words were “Imminent Energy Crisis”), I’ve been working at building “rituals” as they call them (more commonly referred to as habits). Like having my Bible reading/prayer time in the morning right after I wake up (and make a cup of chai). I’ve nearly got exercising down to an unconscious ritual. Now I’m working on getting a consistent eight hours of sleep. I’m a lot more balanced and happier. Unexpected events don’t feel like world-destroying disasters. I bounce back.

And while my to-do list is still crammed with things, I feel like I’m actually starting to hold even on it. Maybe even making a tiny bit of progress.

I might even take a real vacation soon.