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#MTtalk: Recharge, Energize and Fill Your Bucket…

Living With Grumpy: Time to Recharge

My husband and I had one day last week that was much busier than usual. He’s returning to Angola soon and we had a lot of business to take care of.

While we were in the car, I noticed that he sounded on edge. I didn’t let it bother me too much and put it down to our impending two-month separation, or the stress of traveling between two major cities in heavy traffic.

But things just got worse as the day progressed. Apart from being really cranky, his concentration was slipping, and he was yawning all the time. It felt like I had turned into Snow White and I was in the car with Grumpy, Dopey and Sleepy. (Don’t tell him I said this!)

When I eventually said something about his uncharacteristic behavior, I jokingly added that he sounded like he needed a nap. He replied that he probably did and only then mentioned that he’d slept very poorly the previous night. Having slept like a baby myself, I knew nothing of his tossing and turning. It did explain part of his grumpiness, though.

While pushing to get a lot of things done, we didn’t eat for about five or six hours after leaving home. The combination of tiredness, hunger and feeling tense took its toll on my husband and, at some point, the space inside the car suddenly felt very small. We returned home earlier than planned to save our sanity and our marriage.

Recharge, Energize and Fill Your Bucket

During our #MTtalk Twitter chat last week we spoke on the subject of “Recharge, Energize and Fill Your Bucket.” The phenomenon of crankiness and irritation came up again and again when we asked you how it feels to operate from an “empty bucket.”

Here are the questions we asked during the chat, and some of the responses.

Q1 What do you think “filling your bucket” means?

@MikeBarzacchini Making sure I regularly replenish by connecting with people, ideas, books, movies, music, nature and other resources that keep me curious, enthused and engaged.

@jeremypmurphy Maximizing an abundant vessel of all of our life’s possibilities. Reaching for our dreams and the infinite. Taking care of our minds, bodies, and souls. Abundance, joy, self-confidence, humility, and hope help anchor the bucket and keep it balanced. 

Q2 What are the risks of having an “empty bucket”?

What powerful reminders our participants shared with us!

@OrganicLeaderVB There are so many risks to having an “empty bucket” – you are serving from an empty vessel. An empty bucket means you’re serving from what’s left from you – not the best of you!

@maat333 The empty bucket reminds me of the quote that says: He died in 2010, was buried in 2017.

@Musolek It’s a major creativity and productivity suck; we cannot function in a vacuum. Having a full bucket helps boost major themes that makes us better people professionally and personally.

Drains on Your Energy

Q3 What are the three biggest drains on your energy?

Two common themes that emerged here were negativity, or dealing with negative people; and not having enough to look forward to, or enough to keep us busy.

@harrisonia My 3 biggest energy drainers: stressing about things I can’t change; HAVING to deal with certain people who choose to be ignorant; the fallout from other people’s poor planning.

@MduduziTNtuli 1. Being without any projects to work on. We gain energy when do what we love most. 2. Not reaching targets on time.

@Leadershipz 1. Routine work 2. Doing without being strategic 3. Negativity

Q4 What stops you recharging yourself? 

@WonderPix Sometimes we let the B word (busy) take our time and energy, when it’s more effective to recharge first, then take on the world 🙂 

@ZalkaB My own mind & my own bad habits – I give in to “let me just finish this and then I’ll” or I give into stress, deadlines or just plain laziness. I’m mindfully “kicking myself” more now.

 Q5 What values underpin the attention you give to your bucket?

@TheCraigKaye A determinedness to improve, resilience, approachability to feedback and a desire to be the best possible version of yourself.

@Jikster2009 Resilience and professional integrity. Sometimes simply by necessity due to feedback or self-analysis.

Recharge Your Batteries

Q6 What are the signs that you need to recharge your batteries, or fill your bucket? 

A common theme that emerged here was the absence of positivity and motivation – and also crankiness and irritability! Some of the answers remind me of Dopey, Sleepy and Grumpy once again!

@GenePetrovLMC Lethargy, anger, and lack of desire to do the things I love. Sure signs that I need to disconnect a bit and recharge the batteries.

@tweetgayusri When I forget what I wanted to do… it sounds weird but that’s when I need to put “new batteries” in: I meditate.

@LernChance When I start to forget things and I’m “on edge.” Then I know it’s time to meditate and recharge.

Q7 Who or what helps you to fill your bucket, recharge your batteries, and energize yourself?

@SaifuRizvi Spending quality time with friends. Listening to poetry and watching comedy. Helping others helps me recharge my battery!

@mai_designer Listening to music and looking at other designers’ work that gives me new ideas and new perspective of things, recharge my batteries. 

Q8 What strategies do you use to boost your energy? 

Recharging doesn’t have to be complicated. Just be aware of your needs, and then choose to do something about it.

@yehiadief Simply resting from my daily duties.

@LifeSpeak Certain foods have been known to help us feel more energized.

@hopegovind If something doesn’t interest me, I don’t do it, however important it looks. I also take routine breaks from my work and I do what makes me happy.

Energize Yourself Regularly

Q9 What benefits do you experience when you energize yourself regularly?

@BrainBlenderTec Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but I often see more opportunities which in the best case I can share with others.

@ZoeLord1 Better decisions, more positivity, smiling and making others happy too! No one likes to be around a constantly grumpy, stressed person!

Q10 How might you include recharging in your working day?

Another common theme emerged here: moving your body is important if you want to recharge during the day.

@HirePowerHR Regular exercise is very important. My new employer has a full gym on site, YAY! Read more, but not just anything. Read material that helps me grow. Talk more to others about their needs, what makes them happy, and what I can do to help. Now I am energized!

@TwisterKW Go for a walk. Do a puzzle at lunch. Get outside. Stretch.

For a complete guide to setting goals, planning your life, and remaining balanced, download the Mind Tools Life Plan 2018 workbook.

Coming Up

Sometimes, our best intentions – to take charge of our time, plan our workday, and achieve our daily goals – fall by the wayside because we say “Yes” to things we want to say “No” to.

The topic for our next #MTtalk chat, on January 19, is “Don’t Say Yes When You Want to Say No.” So, in this week’s Twitter poll, we’d like to find out why you agree to tackle tasks, favors or projects when you really don’t want to. Click here to cast your vote.


In the meantime, here are some resources that will help you to learn more about recharging, energizing and filling your bucket:

Mind Tools Club members can also access the full versions of the following articles:

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