Saving Energy

During this season of my life, I’m learning to save energy. I remember my friend April’s life-changing advice to “live at 60%” personal energy capacity each day so you have reserves for unexpected conversations, chores, or events.

We were walking our kids to school nearly a decade ago, and I marveled at April’s amazing capacity. She was a wife, mom, professor, researcher, and church and community volunteer. She also dealt with numerous health issues including chronic fatigue. How do you do it?

Live at 60%, she says.

When I asked her how she “lives at 60%,” she said she wakes up every day and considers how much energy she feels like she has for the day. “Then I do less. I need to preserve and store up energy for unexpected things. This way, I don’t yell at my kids because I’m tired or go ballistic over some kind of disappointment. I have energy to spare. And I don’t live a life I have to constantly recover from.”

Live at 60%. Do less.

As I navigate my new associate teaching professor role, I think carefully about what I need energy for each day. Then I ask what I can say no to or cut out that might drain me. It’s why I uprooted the garden. It’s why I meal plan and even lay out my outfits the night before. It’s why I can’t pack the day with meetings.

I’m living at 60% in case you need me later. I don’t want to live a life I have to constantly recover from.

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